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Beginners Guide/Things you need to know

Like many other people, were you also unaware of the fact that Amazon first started as an online store to sell books?

Yes, you heard that right! This giant e-commerce site was an online bookstore before it became this.

Amazon has now extended as a site to sell many other products, but selling books on Amazon is still a great way to earn. Amazon earns billions of dollars by selling books annually, which is why many sellers prefer selling books on Amazon.

Selling used books on Amazon is a fantastic way to get started on this platform and earn. You might have a pile of books catching dust in the bottom of your cellar, so selling them on Amazon is a perfect option without investing anything. You can also ask your friends or acquaintances if they have extra books that aren’t in use.

For any reason, selling used books on Amazon can be an excellent way to earn money without financing your savings in Inventory, so it’s worth giving a shot!

But it’s not just simply clicking and posting pictures of your books, putting a price, and start waiting for sales. It’s more than just this.

Here’s a complete guide for you to start selling used books on Amazon.

  • Where to Find Used Books for Amazon?
  • How Profitable is Selling Books on Amazon?
  • How much does the Selling Process Cost?
  • How to List and Price your used books?
  • How to Sell Used Books on Amazon?
  • How to Use FBA by Amazon for used books?

Let’s get started!

Where to Find Used Books for Amazon?

selling used books on amazon

There are used books everywhere. Sourcing and finding books for Amazon includes many aspects.

Also, consider the profit you can make after subtracting all the costs and fees associated with a book. 

If you don’t already have books to sell, there are numerous spots where you can look for books. You should have an idea of what type of book you want.

  • Find Used books in local markets.

There are so many shops in local markets where you can buy used books at low prices. Old bookstores, thrift shops or flea markets are a treasure box of used low-price books. 

They are the best places to buy books. Dollar and discount stores are also good options.

Peek out for garage, library and estate sales in your local area. Every now and then, even libraries sell some of their books. This is also a great chance to find some hidden treasures.

Estate sales get rid of goods as fast as possible. Prices may go far below market value if they have any books available.

You can also find these sales through Google or Facebook groups.

  • Find used books online.

There are multiple online websites where you can discover used books in good condition.

 Sourcing used books through Craigslist and Facebook is also a good option. People mostly post about the stuff they want to sell. You can go through the posts or maybe ask people for their used books; people might as well donate their used books to you.

How Profitable is Selling Used Books on Amazon?

selling used books on amazon

Selling books on Amazon can be very profitable as there is barely any investment, especially while selling used books, but there can be tons and tons of profit if you do it the right way.

There are so many stories where people start selling books just for some extra cash but then turn it into a full-time career after seeing the profit. Well, that is because of the excellent profit margins. You buy a book for fewer dollars and sell it for almost ten times that amount or even more.

People also start with almost zero investment, where they sell their own used books and gain profit. That is when they decide to invest a little more and start earning.

And what better place than Amazon to sell books?

Whenever people want anything related to books, they turn to Amazon. Amazon has over 50% of the print book market and three-quarters of the ebook market, with plenty of people signing up for Prime memberships daily. It’s pretty much visible that Amazon is the best platform for selling books.

How Much Does the Selling Process Cost?

selling used books on amazon

A vital factor to be considered is the overhead costs, royalties, delivery charges, referral fees, etc. One of the best things about selling used books is that there is not much buying expense or budget.

The amount you’ll pay to Amazon for selling books depends on a few things:

  • The type of account you choose (individual or professional).
  • Operating costs such as FBA or FBM. FBA charges can keep collecting over time. They include storage charges, disposal costs, penalties, and shipping.
  •  Upfront costs include a commission fee of 15%, which is to be paid to Amazon for every book you sell, and a closing fee.

But, overall, selling used books on Amazon is not a costly process. It’s, in fact, a very budget-friendly way to earn money. This makes Amazon one of the best sites to investigate while selling books.

How to List and Price your used books?

selling used books on amazon

While selling used books on Amazon FBA, there are a few options while listing your product as such:

  • You can click pictures of your books, upload them using the Amazon Seller app, and manually create each list.


  • Enter the ISBN into Amazon’s search bar and select the “I have one to sell” option. This option will open the information on that book.

Used Books Condition Grouping by Amazon:

Amazon has particular policies while listing and grading used books. This includes describing the condition of your books.

The categories are:

  • New
  • Used – Like New
  • Used – Very Good
  • Used – Good
  • Used – Acceptable

While selling used books, you can also add specific notes, if necessary, with more information like “this book has a highlighted paragraph or a handwritten note on any page”.

Check for these things before selling; otherwise, add a note for them as it is vital for customers.

Considering Factors When Pricing your Books for Amazon

  • The condition of books: Books with less deterioration will go for more and vice versa. People will never pay extra for books in bad condition so price them according to their condition.
  • Competitor’s price: Before putting up prices, compare your potential prices with your competitor’s price. The ratings are a reliability sign for customers. As a beginner, you won’t have enough ratings, so you need to win people’s interest and trust the other way. Ensure that your pricing makes logic for your existence as a newbie.
  • Amazon fees: Amazon has multiple fees, such as listing fees, variable closing fees, FBA fees, referrals, and per-item fees. All those charges will apply to your sale, which will also impact your profit margin. You need to be on top of these to make sure you make any profit.
  • Multiple copies: Your pricing also depends if you have multiple copies of the same book.

How to Sell Used Books on Amazon?

To sell used books on Amazon, you need the following three things:

  1. Inventory, 
  2. A Seller account 
  3. A fulfilment method

Also, Amazon Seller App can be very beneficial when exploring which books to sell. With its help, you can scan barcodes, examine competitive pricing data, view book ratings and estimate profits after fees. It’s a shortcut to intelligent inventory decisions and will help you spontaneously spot a good purchase.

Here’s how you can start:

selling used books on amazon

  • Log in to your Amazon Seller Account account or sign up if you don’t have one.
  • Visit Amazon’s guide page, click on the “How to register” option, and select either “Sell as an Individual” or “Sell as a professional.”
  • Choose the country you’ll handle your virtual shop in and when a dropdown appears, select the type of seller you are prior to clicking “Agree and continue.”
  • Next, choose or enter details of your citizenship, birthplace, date of birth, proof of Identity ( Passport ID or Licence), business address, and phone number.
  •  Amazon will send a former pin to the phone number you provided. 
  •  After clicking on “I Understand”, to confirm you have enough banking information to open a seller account, provide your bank account information. Then check the terms and conditions before selecting “Verify Bank Account.” 
  • Enter your credit card information
  •  Select a billing address. 
  •  Now put your store name, and tell Amazon whether you have UPCs, diversity credentials and if you are the manufacturer or brand owner for all or some of your products.
  •  Confirm your account details and upload your ID documents and bank statement before hitting Submit. 
  • In four to eight working days, you’ll receive a postcard with a code to confirm your account before receiving an email from Amazon ensuring the process is done. 

How to Use FBA by Amazon for used books?

The most critical problems for Amazon sellers are keeping inventory and shipping orders. Every seller does not have the space to stock so many books. And packing and shipping orders are highly time taking.

Here comes the FBA program by Amazon, which is convenient for sellers. With this method, you can ship all your books to Amazon, and they will look after everything for you.

Your Inventory will be held in Amazon’s warehouses, and when a customer orders one of your books, they will pack and ship it for you.

It will obviously be charged, but it’s such a time-saving and convenient process that it’s totally worth it. That’s why Amazon’s FBA service is highly recommended for sellers.

Prepare Your Books for FBA

selling used books on amazon

After selecting FBA as your fulfilment method, you will have to prepare your books to ship them to Amazon. The preparation procedure involves completing your shipment for Amazon, packing your books, and labelling your packages.

The shipment process includes:

  1. Log into your Amazon Seller Central account.
  2. Click on Inventory and select the Manage Inventory option.
  3. Open the Edit dropdown menu, and select Send/Replenish Inventory.
  4. Enter your Ship from the address.
  5. Choose
  • The Individual products option, if you’re sending various books with different ISBNs


  • Case-packed products if you’re sending numerous versions of the same book.
  1. Enter the number of copies of each book you are sending.
  2. This step needs you to specify if your product needs any special preparation. Books do not have specific guidelines, so select “No Prep Needed”.

Final Thoughts

Even if you are an experienced seller or a beginner, Amazon is the best platform for you. Especially selling books on Amazon can be very profitable and easy, as we have explained the entire process. The initial profit might be low, but you can make good money if you do it correctly.

If you follow the steps mentioned above, you can become a successful seller in a very concise period.

If you want to know about make some money from amazon, then you can check our detailed article on how to sell from alibaba to amazon. 

Happy selling!