8 Places To Sell Used Books Online

stack of books in bookstores
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Personal libraries can be very near and dear to your heart. Like a soundtrack, every chapter of a particular book can bring you back to where you were in your life when you first read it. However, collections can build, tastes can change and moves can happen. 

If you are ready to get rid of some books, and yes, they are used but in good condition, you might need to know where to sell them.

Where To Sell Used Books

Books can be more than just a hobby, when you are done reading them you can sell them to make some money. Whether it is online or in person, here are some great places where you can sell your used books.

  1. Amazon
  2. Barnes & Noble 
  3. BookScouter
  4. Etsy
  5. Half Price Books
  6. Powell’s Books
  7. Strand Books
  8. Thriftbooks

1. Amazon 

It’s no surprise that the empire that started as an online bookstore is supportive of book sales. Amazon is a great option to get started selling your used books for the following reasons.

  • You don’t need a large inventory of books to get started.
  • You don’t have to build your own website.
  • You can sell books for cash or credit.
  • Sell by title, weight, barcode or ISBN.
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Amazon allows you a space to sell your used books without creating a lot of overhead for yourself. You can also fulfill your orders in one of two ways.

  • Merchant Fulfilled Network: This method means you list the books on Amazon but have to handle the packing and shipping to customers yourself. 
  • Fulfillment by Amazon: This method means Amazon not only packs and ships to customers for you but also stores the inventory as well.

2. Barnes & Noble 

Barnes & Noble is a great place to sell your used textbooks. Textbooks are expensive and usually something you don’t want to revisit once the class is over. Barnes & Nobles is where you should sell your used textbooks as it has just a few simple steps.

  • Locate the ISBN on the back of your textbook.
  • Enter it in the field on their “Sell Your Textbooks” page.
  • Click “Get Quote” to see how much Barnes & Noble will pay you for the book.

3. BookScouter 

BookScouter is a great resource for selling used books as it can let you know what websites are currently paying for the used books you are trying to sell. If you are trying to sell more than just a few books, but actually want to unload a bulk inventory, BookScouter has a useful tool in its Book Liquidation Tool which allows you to check real-time buyback prices. Here is how it works for a large stock of used books.

  • Upload the ISBN list to get real-time prices on specific books.
  • Upload the ISBN list with a “Target Price” column to organize by real-time buyback quotes that match the money you are looking to make from selling your books.
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4. Etsy 

People shop on Etsy for various homemade items, arts and crafts or vintage apparel. However, Etsy can also be an ideal marketplace where you can sell your used books. Etsy is designed to be a place for sellers so getting started is simple.

  • Create an account: You can use your email address or Apple, Facebook or Google login.
  • Set up a shop: Create your profile with specific details about what books you will be selling, photos, descriptions and the types of currency you’ll accept.
  • Choose shipping method cost: You can opt to have the buyers pay for shipping or you can offer free shipping.

Though Etsy is transparent about fees associated with selling on their platform, still factor in added cost when deciding to use them or not. You are charged a listing fee for each item you put in your shop as well as a transaction fee for every item you sell.

  • $0.20 Listing Fee
  • 6.5% Transaction Fee

5. Half Price Books 

Alternatively to selling books online, you can also bring your books in person to your local Half Price Books. If you live near a location it can be a great way to make some quick cash on your used books. It is a pretty straightforward process.

  • Box up all the used books you would like to sell.
  • Go to your local Half Price Books location and bring them to the Buy Counter.
  • Hang out while they evaluate your stock.
  • When the evaluation is done, they will give you an offer.
  • If you accept the offer they give you cash on the spot.
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If you are not sure if you live near a Half Price Books you can use the store locator on their website.

6. Powell’s Books 

Powell’s Books offers the best of both worlds to sellers as they buy both in-person and online. If you live close to a Powell’s Books you can take your used book inventory in to get it appraised. If you don’t, you can sell to them through their website.

  • Selling books in-store: If you live in the Portland area you can trade in your used books for store credit only as they do not offer cash.
  • Selling books online: Scan or enter the ISBNs of the books you want to sell, when your books are sold you can box them up and drop them off at a UPS store. You have the option to get paid through PayPal or store credit. 

7. Strand Books 

Strand Books is a New York City staple in the book-loving world. It is a respected option to sell to if you live in the greater New York area as they also only make offers on used books if you sell in person. Though this is no online option, the in-store option is very easy.

  • Must be 18 years of age or older and have a government-issued ID.
  • Offers are only on books evaluated in person.
  • Used books must be in good condition.
  • Higher offers are made on books with high demand.
  • Sellers must be present while the evaluation is completed.

8. Thriftbooks

Thriftbooks is another great option if you are looking to sell used books in bulk. They partner with libraries, thrift stores and more to create both revenue and sustainability. This is only something to consider if you are looking to sell a lot of books, and if you are, there are some benefits with Thriftbooks.

  • One of the largest online sellers of used books.
  • Handles all shipping, logistics and tracking for partners.
  • Offers customized payment options.
  • They support literacy programs.

Final Take

Though you can always donate your used books if you simply want to unload them, it is good to know where to sell used books if you want to make some money back. It is important to have realistic goals when entering this endeavor as buyback prices can be low depending on the demand for what you are selling. 

FAQ

  • Where is the best place to sell books?
    • If you are looking to sell your used books, here are eight great options to sell online or in person:
      • Amazon
      • Barnes & Noble
      • BookScouter
      • Etsy
      • Half Price Books
      • Powell's Books
      • Strand Books
      • Thriftbooks
  • What is the best site for selling used books?
    • Many sites offer money for your used books as well as a platform to sell your used books such as Amazon or Etsy.
  • What is the most profitable way to sell books?
    • It is important to have realistic expectations when it comes to what money you will make when selling used books. The most profitable used books will be books that are in high demand and in good condition.
  • How do I get rid of books for money?
    • You can either sell your used books online on such websites as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookScouter, Etsy, Powell's Books or Thrift Books. You can also sell your used books in person if you live near a Half Price Books or Strand.

Information is accurate as of Dec. 13, 2022. 

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About the Author

Caitlyn Moorhead has written content for a variety of businesses and publications. After graduating from Central Michigan University cum laude, she moved to New York City where she wrote columns, articles and plays for several years before relocating to Austin, Texas in the fall of 2020.
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