How to sell books on Amazon - an Ultimate Guide

written on 28/Friday/02/2020 11:28

Amazon is vast, the world is even more extensive, and the number of books purchased via Amazon is vast like the Sahara. In this guide, we are going to tell you some essential information about how to start, how to source the books you would like to sell on Amazon.

Sell Books on Amazon

The reasons why people end up selling books on Amazon

Why would any sane person even consider selling books on Amazon? There is money to make with it. Not much, not at first, but if you get a stable foothold, you could make some cold hard cash from it. Selling used books on Amazon is a low-risk and, at first, a low-gain procedure, but it’s worth a shot. To make the most out of it, you must keep it simple: start with selling your good-quality used books you don’t need. So, the reasons are:

  1. Low risk
  2. Good ROI if done smartly
  3. Reputation gain
  4. Capital collecting before launching your product

Sourcing books

To sell used books on Amazon, you have to get some first (in the rare case you have none). In case you already have listings, keeping an inventory checked is a great idea. So, here are some ideas about how to sell books on Amazon, and where to find them!

  1. Your own home, and your relatives/friends: look around, ask your friends
  2. Yard sales, flea market, storage auctions
  3. Buying in bulks online (eBay, craigslist, etc.)
  4. Library sale-outs

How to…

How to sell books on Amazon - How to get started

The first step is to join Amazon as a seller. Visit the site, go through the registration process, and choose a plan. For beginners, the Individual method is recommended: the fee is $0.99 per sold book.

sell books to amazon

Find out what sells

At first, aim for the middle-ranking books, which may take a longer time to sell, but the competition is lower, and the demand changes now and then. Best-selling books have way too much competition.

Selling a book that’s already listed is also quite easy, check the ISBN of the book you wish to trade.

Calculate the potential profits

You have to be aware of how much you could earn from a book sold on Amazon, and what price you should aim for. The fees you must calculate with are:

  • Individual sellers’ fee: $0.99 per book
  • Amazon Variable Closing fee: $1.80 per book
  • Amazon’s Referral fees: $1.50 per book

With FBA: costs of storage, shipping, packaging your books: cc. $4-5 per book.

All in all, if you sell books yourself, there is circa $4.30 per book expenses (plus package and shipping), while with FBA, the fees stop at about $10 per book. Considering that books usually sell best in the $12-15 range, yielding about $2-5$ actual profit. Yet, it’s still worth it in the long run.

Create your listing

There are numerous tutorials on how to set up your listings on Amazon so that we won’t go into details about this. There is one important rule: be honest about the condition of the books you sell.

Pack and ship

Be careful and thorough when packaging your books: try to use extra protection for the corners and the spine. Consider using a shipping option that has tracking and is affordable to you.


What is the best price to sell books on Amazon?

There are two things to consider:

  1. Fees
  2. Competition

When it comes down to calculating your profit, you have to consider the costs. For example, if you use FBA, you’ll have to pay for the initial shipping (to the fulfillment center), the flat $0.99 / item fee if you are an individual seller, along with the referral fees, the FBA fees, and the variable closing fee. And you haven’t even billed your time spent with labeling, printing, researching.

To have a chance of selling, you have to see how much others are asking for the same book edition you have. If you are lucky enough, you can sell the book for a price that eventually makes you some profit.

Can I sell books on Amazon for free ?

No, you can’t. As an individual seller, you have to pay the $0.99/item price for each book you’ve sold. Using FBA sets you back with even more, so you might consider handling packaging and shipping yourself.

Can you sell books back on Amazon?

Well, we would say, “Yes, but no.”. Amazon won’t buy back books; however, there is a trade-in program, which allows users to trade in different items for Amazon Gift cards.


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