If you know the history of Amazon, then you should know that the website didn’t start as a marketplace. Jeff Bezos started the website in his garage back in the 90s as an online bookstore. Looking back, Amazon has already achieved so much within the past 30 years. It is now the biggest online B2C marketplace in the world and one of the most profitable companies ever.
If you want to know how to sell used books on Amazon, then its history as a bookstore should give you ample confidence that you can make it work. AMZ and books go hand-in-hand together. The Books category is one of the most popular and profitable categories on the website.
Even in 2022, reading is still a very big part of our everyday experiences as human beings. Our continuous search and yearning for knowledge can only be satiated by reading, whether physical or digital. While modern technology has already changed and revolutionized how books are published, read, and consumed, most strategies on how to sell used books on Amazon stay the same way.
In this article, we will tackle and explore how to sell used books on Amazon. We’ll check different methods and ways to acquire used books to sell. And we will also explore how much does it cost to sell books on Amazon. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll learn a thing or two about how to sell used books on Amazon too.
Ready to start? Then let’s dive right in!
Is Selling Books On Amazon Worth It?
As an e-commerce seller, this is an important question that you need to ask before even starting your venture in the book business. Today, reading is still as important as it has ever been. According to eMarketer, around 60% of the total books, music, and videos sold in the world are bought online. With this huge number, it is safe to say that they are still here to stay and even growing stronger each day.
With the recent pandemic keeping more people inside their homes, selling books on Amazon has never been more attractive. A lot of people want to try and learn new things, and there aren’t too many accessible teachers that can assist them. Thus, reading and learning through reading has become a popular way to learn a new hobby or craft.
Aside from that, reading for leisure is also a big reason for selling books on AMZ. With so many young people getting exposed to games, movies and TV series that came from books, reading the source material has become a passion for them. Titles like The Witcher, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and The Lord of The Rings are consistent bestsellers in the fantasy genre.
Upcoming releases not only in the fantasy genre but in the young adult subcategory are always in demand. And if these are consistently popular no matter what kind of economy the world is in, it is safe to say that books will be here to stay.
Now, we all know that most sellers are only interested in asking one question. “Is selling books on Amazon profitable?”. And if the fact that Books are amongst the top 10 most popular and profitable categories on Amazon doesn’t comfort you, we aren’t sure what else will.
The Book category has always been a consistent top performer in AMZ since its inception as an online bookstore. Combined with the new ways that e-books are published and consumed by the public today, as well as the easy fulfillment methods available to sellers, selling reading materials is a safe bet on any marketplace.
Now, the only question left to ask is, “how to sell used books on Amazon in 2022?”. Below, we will discuss the simple steps on how to do that. We’ll also give tips on where and how to find sources for your products to sell.
Steps On How to Sell Used Books on Amazon
Many aspiring sellers are interested to know if you can sell used books on amazon. When it comes to selling used books, there is a certain standard that you should follow too. First of all, it comes without saying that the items should be in decent condition. There should be no torn and missing pages, and the cover should be presentable. Furthermore, no molds or paper bugs should be found on the books you are selling. It goes without saying that your used reading materials should be in 80-90% physical condition to avoid getting complaints and returns.
The first step on how to do this is to register your account. When registering your account, you have an option to choose between an individual and a professional seller account.
The individual seller account is free to use, but you have to pay a fee of $0.99 for every book sold in your store. You are also limited in access and some features are locked and unavailable to you. The professional seller account costs $39.99 a month, but you don’t need to pay $0.99 for every item sold in your store. Also, the professional account unlocks other features such as access to third-party tools, API, selling on restricted categories, and so much more.
Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Go to Amazon and create an account
- Choose between Individual or Professional seller account
- List your books. Enter the ISBN (international standard book number) and click “I have on for sale”. The ISBN of the book you are selling is can usually be found at the lower back portion of a book. Sometimes, it can also be found in the Bar Code of the book.
- Choose the fulfillment options that you want to use – either FBM or FBA
- Check the costs of selling to see if you can make a profit.
When completing the fields, here are some of the items that you need to fill out:
SKU – This refers to Stock Keeping Unit. This is a number that allows you to sort and label the items that you are selling. You can generate your own SKU or let AMZ make one for you.
Price – Every item needs a price, and this applies to the books you are selling as well. When pricing them, make sure to do proper market research, especially since you are selling used books. One of the best strategies on selling is to price the items low enough to win the Buy Box. By winning the Buy Box consistently, you can quickly make sales and gain reviews. But don’t price your items too low that you aren’t making profits anymore.
Quantity – Default quantity is set onto 1. Make sure that you change this number to your actual inventory number before publishing your listing. Many new sellers often forget this, and they end up “out of stock” right after making one sale. Don’t forget to set yours.
Condition – Since you will be selling used books, you have several options to choose from here. You can choose Used – Like New, Used – Very Good, Used-Good, and Used – Acceptable as viable options here.
Fulfillment Channel – as discussed earlier above, you need to choose between FBA and FBM. If you are not familiar with these fulfillment methods, the next section offers a short explanation.
When it comes to fulfilling your customers’ orders, you have two main options available to you – FBM and FBA. We’ll discuss each one of them below.
FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)
Under the FBM model, the seller is the one who fulfills all the orders of the customers. This means that you will be the one to pick, pack, ship, and offer customer support to your customers. If there are returns and refunds, you will also be the one to process all of them. In short, the FBM model is a “DIY” approach to fulfillment and is usually the common method used by sellers on any platform.
FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Under the FBA, things are slightly different. By paying AMZ a fee, you can leverage the company’s manpower, logistics, and network to fulfill your customers’ orders. With FBA, you need to send all of your inventory to the designated AMZ warehouse or fulfillment center. When a customer makes a purchase, AMZ employees will be the ones to pick, pack, and ship the order to the customer.
Customer service is also handled by AMZ under the FBA fulfillment model. If you are too busy to do your fulfillment, this is a great solution that you can utilize. However, you need to be aware of the different Amazon FBA Fees that are attached to the use of this service.
Is it costly to sell books on Amazon?
One of the most common questions that new sellers ask is “how much does it cost to sell books on Amazon?” And frankly, this is a valid question that you need to ask if you want to be a profitable seller in the marketplace. There are many costs that you have to factor in such as referral fees, delivery charges, overhead costs, etc.
Every time you make a sale, AMZ takes a percentage and deducts it from your total sale. This fee is called a referral fee. This fee is calculated depending on the total sales price, delivery charges (for FBA users), gift wrapping charges (for FBA users), and the product category your item is sold under. Knowing your referral fee charges is important to calculate your profitability. If you want to know how to sell used books and make a profit, knowing your referral fee rate cards is important.
So you plan to ship on your own? Then you need to calculate your courier and delivery charges. The fee that you have to shoulder on this part depends entirely on your courier. If you can make a bulk shipping deal with your chosen courier, you might be able to shave off some dollars from the costs.
Running paid advertisements, giving away books for contests and sign-up, and any marketing stunt you can think of. It all falls under this category. If you use AMZ’s PPC (pay-per-click) advertising model, you need to pay them a certain fee to start running your ads too. Make sure that you monitor all of your costs to keep your business profitable.
Just like any other business, there are overhead costs involved in running a used book online store. If you are hiring freelancers and virtual assistants to run your store, you have to pay them their salaries. And if you are hiring a third-party service to wrap, deliver, and ship your items, you need to pay them as well. Much of your overhead costs depend on how you handle your business though. If you can cut down on your costs, more profits will be in for you.
Where to Find Books to Sell?
Before you ask how to sell used books on Amazon, you must first have an inventory to sell, right? There are many places to source out used books, and we’ll list some of them below:
Book sales are dime-a-dozen and easy to find if you know where to look for them. Just type in “nearby book sale” in Google and you can find lots of potential used book sources for your business.
Sometimes, libraries have fundraisers where they sell used books in good condition. Having a connection with your local library or librarian is handy in these situations. But you can also find these easily by visiting the social media pages of your local libraries.
Gems pop up now and then in these garage sales. And believe it or not, this is one of the cheapest sources of quality used books that you can resell for a lot of profits. Check them out by typing “garage sale” on Google to see the ones happening nearby.
There are lots of places where you can find people selling used books that they don’t want anymore. Some of the best places to visit are eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook groups.
Learning how to sell books is just like any other business. It can be daunting at the beginning. But if you take your time to learn the craft, you’ll be making profits in no time at all!
When it comes to finding the best books and products to sell on AMZ, having access to a software seller tool is essential. Zonbase is one of the best-value, most accurate software tools for sellers today. With just one click of a button, you can check your competitors’ listings and see if selling your products are profitable in the long run.
Want to learn more about Zonbase and how it can guide you on how to sell used books on Amazon and help your business succeed? Sign up for a free trial of Zonbase.