Last Updated on September 22, 2023
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a bunch of books lying around at home, some of which you haven’t even read yet. And I bet you’ve wondered, “Could these books be worth something?”
Well, the answer might just be yes. There are folks out there making thousands of dollars every month by flipping various books. And the good news is, you don’t need a massive collection to start. Many successful book flippers (resellers) began with just a few books.
But, of course, not all books are worth the effort of reselling. However, certain types of books can fetch you a nice sum of money. It turns out that the used book market is quite a big business. Market data from top used booksellers and reselling platforms reveal some surprising books that are highly sought after for reselling- and the results are not what you’d expect.
Best books to resell
First up on the list of best books to resell, we have the ever-reliable textbooks. You know how expensive these books can be for students, right? That’s why the used textbook market is thriving. But not all textbooks are valuable. Buyers are looking for ones with up-to-date information, published within the last three years or even more recent. Also, keep an eye out for textbooks with transferable access codes – those are a big plus.
When it comes to reselling textbooks, there’s a smart strategy you can use to boost your sales even further. Look for textbooks that are in demand for specialized courses or majors. These niche textbooks might not have a massive market, but they can fetch a higher price since students in those specific fields are often willing to pay a premium to get the required material.
So, explore textbooks related to engineering, medical sciences, or advanced mathematics – you might find some hidden treasures.
Faith-Based and Religion Books
Next on our list of best books to resell are books about faith and religion. Since many popular religions are centered around sacred books, it’s no surprise that religious people love to read. Faith-based fiction, self-help, and devotionals are in high demand. However, since they’re popular, the competition can be tough.
Seek out titles that have received praise from spiritual leaders or have a strong following within certain religious communities. These books may not be as widely available, but when a dedicated reader discovers them on your reselling platform, they’ll be willing to pay a premium for the opportunity to deepen their spiritual knowledge.
Make sure your copies are in great condition and offer some extras like discounts or free shipping to attract buyers.
Book Sets and Series
Now, here’s an interesting one. People often want the whole package when it comes to book series. That’s why book sets are a hit among readers. If you’ve got a complete series in good condition, you’re in luck.
A full set is worth more than individual books, especially if they come with the original packaging or box. Bestsellers like the Harry Potter series can be real gems for reselling.
To take advantage of this trend, keep an eye out for complete book sets that have become rare or out of print. These limited editions can be highly sought after by avid collectors and fans. Additionally, if the series has inspired movies or TV adaptations, it might create a surge in demand for the original books.
So, stay on top of pop culture trends and be ready to resell those cherished book sets to enthusiastic fans who can’t wait to add them to their cherished collection.
Just like textbooks, students of all ages need literary classics for their studies. They love to fill these books with notes and thoughts, so even used copies in any condition can be sold.
But, of course, books in good condition, especially hardbacks, fetch a higher price than damaged paperbacks. Literary classics are super popular, right after textbooks, making them a top choice for reselling.
Look for special editions or annotated versions of these timeless masterpieces. An annotated classic includes insightful notes, analysis, and historical context, making it an enriching reading experience.
Such editions are highly sought after by students, scholars, and literature enthusiasts who want to delve deeper into the nuances of these literary gems. So, keep an eye out for these editions and offer them as valuable additions to any reader’s collection.
Self Help Books
We all need a little help sometimes, and that’s why self-help books are so popular today. Psychology and self-help books are perfect for reselling because many people read them, take notes, and then pass them on. So gently-used books are preferred over heavily worn ones.
You’ll find self-help books for various topics, like money management, which are in high demand too. If you’ve got a good-condition self-help book, it’s a great item to list online.
To stand out in the market of reselling self-help books, consider seeking out titles written by well-known experts or psychologists. Books endorsed by influential personalities tend to gain more attention from potential buyers.
Also, look for self-help books that tackle trending topics or address contemporary issues, as these are likely to attract a broader audience.
Now, here’s where the treasure hunt begins. First-edition books can be worth a lot of money, especially if they’re from famous authors like Charles Dickens.
When it comes to reselling first-edition books, it’s essential to do your research and verify the authenticity and rarity of the book.
Another thing is to look for indicators like the printing number, the presence of typographical errors that were later corrected, or any unique features that distinguish it as a first edition. Moreover, focus on niche genres or authors with a dedicated fan base, as their first-edition books can hold significant value for collectors.
While the hunt for first-edition books might require patience and persistence, finding one can bring in a hefty sum, but don’t expect to stumble upon a fortune at a bargain price.
Want to make some good cash? Look for rare books, even those out-of-print ones. Search old bookstores and thrift shops for hidden treasures. Remember to check the condition carefully – torn pages, loose binding, or stains can affect the value.
Keep an eye out for estate sales, auctions, or even online marketplaces that specialize in rare book trading. Sometimes, people might not be aware of the true value of the books they have, and you could score big with a rare edition at a bargain price.
You may also, consider investing in a book restoration service for those rare finds that might need a little extra care. By presenting these rare books in their best possible condition, you can attract serious collectors who are willing to pay a premium for these elusive literary treasures. Simply put- the cleaner the copy, the more you can earn from it.
Discovering a stack of manga books is pure joy. You might not be a big fan of Japanese culture, but manga books often come as complete sets. That’s the real treat here.
Most manga series tell one comprehensive story, so readers want the whole set. They buy and donate all the books together. And here’s where the excitement kicks in – some manga series can be quite valuable. Imagine a series with 15 books, each worth $28. That’s a sweet $420 worth of books right there. So, if you stumble upon a sale or store with a manga section, dive in early.
To elevate your manga book reselling game, familiarize yourself with the most popular manga series and the ones highly regarded by avid fans. Be on the lookout for limited-edition or signed manga books, as these can fetch premium prices from collectors.
If you’re not familiar with the manga world, don’t worry. Take some time to learn about the most sought-after titles and expand your knowledge as you venture into this exciting niche of book reselling.
Niche Business Books
The world of business books is full of potential, especially when you spot valuable niche titles. While business books with broad appeal can still hold value, we’re looking for those special niche ones. Think “Algorithmic Forex & Stock Trading: A Qualitative Analysis.” The complex titles might be worth a second look.
Now, here’s something you need to know about reselling niche business books – targeting a specific audience is essential.
Connect with groups or online communities interested in the subject matter of these books. For example, if you come across a rare book on a specialized investment strategy, promote it on financial forums or among investors who could truly appreciate its unique insights.
Positioning these niche business books in front of the right audience increases your chances of finding enthusiastic buyers who recognize the value and are willing to pay a premium for the knowledge they offer.
Large Print Books
Large print books are a hidden gem for those with vision issues. They’re printed in smaller quantities, which can make them valuable. Like poetry books, they might take a bit longer to sell due to lower demand, but the payout can be worth it.
You can spot them by their hardcover library-style layout or markings indicating “large print.” Practice makes perfect.
To make the most of reselling large print books, consider reaching out to senior communities, libraries, or support groups for visually impaired individuals.
These places might have a higher demand for large print books, and you could build a reliable customer base by offering them a selection of these specialized editions.
You can also explore titles that have won awards or recognition for their content, as these can attract interest from collectors and readers alike.
Worst books to resell
Let me tell you, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in this world. It’s tough out there, especially with so many sellers vying for the same readers. But fear not, I’ve learned a thing or two about the best books to resell and what not to resell, and I’m happy to share my insights with you.
First up, children’s books
I know, they’re adorable and full of wonder, but they’re also full of germs. Kids love their books, and that’s great, but let’s face it, they can get pretty messy.
Those sticky hands with snot and Dorito dust can turn any book into a potential health hazard. So, it’s best to leave children’s books for donation to libraries with proper sanitation procedures.
Next, well-loved books
Ah, the ones with dog-eared pages and scribbled notes in the margins. They might feel cozy and connected to past readers, but they aren’t exactly the best for resale.
People prefer their books in good condition, without too much wear and tear. If your book is too marked up or damaged, don’t bother trying to sell it. Instead, spread the love by donating it.
Out-of-date and irrelevant books
Whether it’s a textbook or a nonfiction gem, if the information inside is no longer up-to-date, it’s better to let it go. Unless the book has historical significance, it’s just taking up valuable space. So, toss it out, or better yet, donate it to someone who might find value in its pages.
What is book flipping (Reselling)?
Book flipping is a cool way to make some extra cash by taking advantage of price differences in different markets. Here’s how it works: you buy a book for a low price from one place and then sell it for a higher price somewhere else. The difference between those prices becomes your profit. Simple, right?
What does it cost to start reselling books?
Now that you know the best books to resell and those not to resell, you might be wondering how much it costs to start this book flipping adventure. Well, the good news is, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you know what to look for, you can find cheap books at thrift stores or even garage sales. Imagine buying a book for just 5 cents and then selling it for way more—cha-ching, that’s a sweet profit.
College students can also be a great source of books to resell. Sometimes they want to get rid of their fairly new books, and you might snag a good deal on Craigslist.
And guess what? eBay is another goldmine for affordable books. Book lovers sometimes decide to sell their collections, and if the book’s in good shape, you can resell it for a nice profit.
Now, Amazon is a bit trickier. The chances of finding cheap books to resell there are slim, but it’s an excellent place to look for high-quality and unique books that can bring you a good profit.
Where to Sell Your Books
One popular way to sell books is through bookseller sites like BookScouter.com or AbeBooks. Before you choose one, though, check out the fees they charge. Some of these sites don’t take any money from you upfront; instead, they earn through affiliate marketing or by directing your sales to the site that offers the best price.
Now, who hasn’t heard of selling profitable books on Amazon? It’s quick, easy, and widely available. You can choose between the individual seller plan or the professional plan.
The individual seller plan is okay, but it has limited features. You can create new product pages and use Amazon’s shipping rates.
The professional seller plan, on the other hand, offers more perks. You get to create new pages, manage inventory and orders, receive reports, set shipping rates, and even offer promotions and gift services.
The subscription fee for the professional plan is $39.99 per month, or you can go for the individual plan with a per-item fee of 99 cents whenever something sells. If you sell a lot of books each month, the professional plan might save you money in the long run.
You can also try Amazon FBA, where you ship your inventory to Amazon, set your prices, and let them handle the shipping directly to customers when books sell. Keep in mind that this service comes with additional costs.
Ah, eBay! It’s a treasure trove for collectibles and vintage items, including books. You pay a final value fee only when your item sells.
eBay Books can even suggest a price based on recent sales of similar books, and you can check how others price similar items. After selling, you can use an eBay delivery label to ship your book.
Just be honest about your book’s condition to avoid issues.
Consider checking out sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace too, but be aware that they might not reach as wide an audience as other platforms since they focus on local areas.
Don’t forget about the bookstores right in your town. They might offer you a deal, but keep in mind that they usually buy used books for around 50% of what they’ll resell them for. So, while you might not make a huge profit, it’s an option if you need to make space for more lucrative books.
How to Flip Books
If you’re eager to start flipping books and make some extra cash, don’t worry. I’ve got some tips to get you started. Let’s take it step by step:
1. Start Slowly
Don’t worry if you’re new to this. You can begin with just one book. Even Warren Buffett, the famous investor, started small by buying just one stock when he was only 11 years old. So, take it easy and build your way up.
2. Check the ISBN
Each book has a unique code called the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). You can use tools like AbeBooks, ScoutIQ, or BookScouter’s app to quickly find out the book’s value. Compare different sites to see which one offers the best price for your book.
3. Pick the Right Marketplace
Create an account on the platform that gives you the best deal. Do some research to find out where you can sell your book for the most money. Sites like AbeBooks, Amazon, Textbooks.com, Chegg, and eBay are great options. Before you list, check the fees associated with each platform.
Keep in mind that if you choose eBay or Amazon, you’ll need to wait for your books to sell, and you’ll have to consider shipping costs based on your chosen method.
4. Ship the Book
If you’re not using Amazon FBA, you’ll handle shipping yourself. Pack the book carefully to avoid any damage, put the packing slip inside, and stick the shipping label on the box. You may want to share the tracking number with your customer, so they know when to expect the book. If using PayPal, for example, you’d need that tracking number to get funds off hold.
For rare books, consider adding insurance to protect yourself in case of damage or loss during shipping. Don’t forget to take pictures or a video of the book’s condition before sending it out.
5. Get Paid
The payment process varies depending on the platform. Many sites require customers to pay upfront, so you’ll usually receive your money quickly. If you use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you might need to make a bit more effort to get paid, such as meeting the buyer in person.
How Much Can You Make Flipping Books?
I know you’re curious about how much money you can make from flipping books. Well, the answer is, it varies. Lemme break it down a bit.
First off, it depends on the books you have in your inventory, the way you choose to sell them, and the shipping costs involved.
Let me walk you through an example using Amazon’s tool for listing sales margins. Imagine you buy a book for $4, and you list it for $40 because it’s a great find! You decide to use “fulfillment by seller” for shipping, which costs you $3.
Here’s the math for selling on Amazon (keep in mind that other platforms may have different fees):
- Item sale price: $40.00
- Cost of goods: -$4.00
- Category referral fee: -$8.40 (this includes 15% of the item sale price plus a $1.80 closing fee)*
- Individual plan fee (per item sold): -$0.99
- Total profit: $26.61
Remember, this is just an example, and your profit may differ if you choose a different company or website to sell your book.
Frequently Asked Questions About Book Flipping
Can I buy a book and resell it?
Absolutely. If you’re in the United States, you can sell or give away any book that’s been published here without any copyright concerns. Just remember, you can’t copy the book, but selling the copy you bought is perfectly fine.
Is flipping books good?
Yes, book flipping is a fantastic way to make extra money. It’s even possible to turn your side hustle into a full-time business. The best part is, you don’t need a huge upfront investment to get started.
That’s it about the topic “best books to resell”- my fellow book resellers. Book flipping can be a fun and rewarding way to make some money, especially if you know where to hunt for those book treasures.
Read also: Complete Steps to Sell Used Items on Amazon