How to sell used textbooks on Amazon

There are two types of people who may want to sell used textbooks on Amazon. The first group of people is likely going to be students who have a pile of old used textbooks that they don’t need anymore. The other group will be those who want to buy used textbooks locally and resell them online for a profit.

Students: Those that have old textbooks on the shelves not being used and want to recoup some of their money from buying textbooks for school
To make money: 
Since many students don’t bother selling their used textbooks after finishing their classes, you can often find donated textbooks at thrift stores for a couple dollars that can resell for $30-150+ on Amazon. This can be a great, easy side income business, especially if you live next to a college campus.

Students: recoup money from selling your old textbooks

If you are a student, you have two options to sell your books on Amazon

  • Amazon buyback program: Amazon has a “buyback” program for textbooks, that is now called the Amazon trade-in program. With the trade-in program, you can exchange your use items, such as textbooks, for an gift card.
  • Selling through an Amazon account: if you would rather receive cash (and maximize your return), you will want to sell directly on the Amazon marketplace. To do this, you will need an Amazon seller account.

Trade-in program Vs selling on Amazon: If you sell your textbooks directly on Amazon, it will allow you to receive more money than you could through the Amazon trade-in program. The only drawback to selling on Amazon is it will involve a little more legwork and it will take more time. You will have to list the textbook, wait for it to sell and then pack and ship it to the buyer.

Make Money: Buying and reselling textbooks on Amazon

For those that want to make money, Textbooks are one of the best types of books to sell on Amazon. Textbooks can often be bought for a few dollars and sold for a great profit online. People that buy and sell textbooks usually scout (scan) for used textbooks at local thrift stores, libraries, craigslist, or other sources in order to buy used textbooks at a low price locally to resell them on Amazon for a profit.

Maybe you are creating a business or just buying and selling used books on the side. Either way, textbooks can be a great way to make some extra money. Textbooks can often be found very cheaply and if they are still in demand (i.e a current edition) you can get a fantastic return on investment.

How to sell textbooks on Amazon (Seller Account)

Sell used textbooks

Things you will need:

  • Amazon account
  • Amazon seller account: You can use your regular personal Amazon account to sign up, or a new one that is associated with your business. When you sign up, you will have the choice between a professional or individual seller account.
  • A printer
  • Shipping Labels: You can also use plain old computer paper and tape. Sticky backed shipping labels are preferred because they are much easier to work with.
  • Packing Supplies: Such as tape and padded envelopes

You definitely can sell with a free individual account. However, if you start to sell a lot of books on Amazon (over 40 books a month), you will want to become a professional seller. This requires a monthly fee of $39.99 a month. Eventually, if you sell enough books, that $39 a month actually saves you money. As a pro merchant seller, you pay fewer fees compared to an individual seller account, when your items sell.

Choose a selling plan

With two selling plans, Amazon offers you the flexibility to sell one, or one thousand. The Professional plan gives you the opportunity to sell an unlimited number of products and pay a $39.99 monthly subscription fee. Individuals pay no monthly fees, but instead pay $0.99 per item sold. Both Professionals and Individuals pay other selling fees when an item sells. Learn more about plans and pricing ›

Also, note that if you have an individual seller account you won’t be allowed to sell more than 40 books per month.

Most people who first start out selling probably going to choose the individual seller account, which is perfectly fine, and best of all – completely free.

How to sell your used textbooks on Amazon

  1. Sign up
  2. Research
  3. List
  4. Sell

1. Sign Up for an Amazon seller account

First, sign up for an Amazon seller account

2. Research The Textbook Price

Type in the ISBN number of each textbook to see how much they are going for on Amazon in the used marketplace.

Research textbook price

3. List the Textbook

Next up is setting the condition of the book. Then you need to set the methods of shipping that you accept.

List textbook 1

4. Sell the textbook

Once you’re done with that you can publish your book to become live on Amazon.

List textbook 3

How to turn textbooks into gift cards (Amazon Trade-in Program)

If you want a quick way to offload all your old textbooks on Amazon, you can use the textbook buyback, or as they call it now – the textbook trade-in program. Keep in mind that with the trade-in option, Amazon pays you in Amazon gift cards, not cash.

Also, you will likely only get around a third of what you would get going through the process to sell the textbook on Amazon’s marketplace.

The biggest benefit of the textbook trade-in program is it’s quick and easy. Amazon will pay you right away for your used textbooks (in the form of gift cards). You don’t have to wait for it to sell and you don’t have to deal with returns (which are kind of rare though).

Amazon will then guide you through the process to see if the textbook is eligible for the trade-in program. They’re going to ask you some questions, such as:

Amazon trade in textbook

  • Is the cover and binding intact?: If you answered yes, the textbook is eligible.
  • Are the pages torn or have major wrinkling from water?: If you answered no the textbook is eligible.
  • are there notes or names on the cover? If you answered no the textbook is eligible.
  • Do the pages have excessive writing or highlighting? If you answered no the textbook is eligible.

Then Amazon will ask to make sure that the ISBN matches the ISBN as shown. You have to put a check mark to make sure ISBN matches.

If all is well, you can then click continue to proceed with the next steps. It will then ask you to sign in with your Amazon account if you’re not already signed in.

The next step is to just continue with instructions and print out packaging slip and printing label that you can print out for free from Amazon!

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