Maximize Your Profits: Tips for Selling Books Online

How Can I Make Money Selling Books Online? 

If you have a couple of books that are just collecting dust on your bookshelf, why not sell them and earn some extra cash? Selling books online has a low entry barrier and won’t take much of your time. Plus, it is the perfect way to earn a passive income

In this article, we will tell you what you need to know about flipping books for a profit online and offer some quick tips to help you get started. 

What is Book Flipping?

Book flipping is a way to make money online by buying and reselling books. 

It’s similar to flipping houses or cars – but with books. The idea is that you can make a profit by purchasing used books for a low price and then selling them for a higher price.

Some make a couple of thousands of dollars monthly, flipping books online.

 However, selling books online is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It can take some time to make any substantial profit. But if you are consistent, you can make a nice side income. 

Can Selling Books Online Become a Full-time Business?  

If you are selling on the right platform and have some goodwill over a period, it can become a full-time income stream for you. Plus, the type of books you sell matters a lot when you’re making money flipping books.

Some online booksellers are making over $10,000 per month, so it is possible. But it is best to treat it as a side hustle online first and see how you fair before going full-time. 

Steps to Flip Books Online

steps to flip books online
  1. Choose a Platform: Decide which platform you will use to sell your books online. Popular options include Amazon, eBay, or your own website. 
  2. Price Your Books: Research the prices of similar books to determine how much you should charge for yours. Consider factors like condition, rarity, and demand. You can use tools like BookScouter and AbeBooks to find the value of your books in seconds. Simply use the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to check for the name and edition of your book and run it through one of these services. 
  3. Create Listings: Write detailed descriptions of each book and upload images to create listings for them on your chosen platform. 
  4. Promote Your Listings: Spread the word about your listings by sharing them on social media and other online channels. 
  5. Manage Orders: Monitor orders and respond promptly to customer inquiries. Ship orders as soon as possible after they are placed. 
  6. Track Performance: Analyze your sales data to identify trends and adjust pricing. 

So, what type of books can you sell to make money?

Types of Books You Can Sell to Make Money 

The most important thing about flipping books is that they need to have value. These types of books include:


Although most students today have grown in a digital world, many students still prefer textbooks to digital books. 

Research by Direct Textbook, a free textbook price comparison service, reveals that 62% of college students prefer print textbooks to digital ones. Students say print textbooks are easy to read, and e-textbooks make it hard to concentrate. 

They also like that no internet is required. The best part is that textbooks are easy to find and resell because many students are price-conscious when shopping for them.

You can find textbooks at campus sales, yard sales, and even from individual students.

Modern First Edition Books

Modern first-edition books were published within the last thirty or forty years. People who are fans of their favorite authors or books collect them. Others just want to buy something that might become collectible one day at a higher price.

First editions of current or recent best-sellers are not hard to find. However, the further back you go, the more tricky they become.

Here are some tips for identifying a first-edition book:

  • The copyright page may mention the words ‘first edition’ or ‘first printing.’
  • There’s also the number line – the copyright page contains a number line. In most cases, if one appears in the line, it’s a first edition.

You can get first-edition books at garage sales, yard sales, Craigslist, flea markets, and second-hand thrift stores.

Rare or (Out of Date) Books 

The term “out-of-print book” refers to a book no longer available that you find in a thrift store or an old bookstore. Most “run-of-the-mill” books do not make much money, but it doesn’t hurt to try. 

Where to Sell Books Online


You can create a profitable stream of income by selling books on Amazon. 

However, the process is more complicated than it is on other platforms. There are two fulfillment options, FBA and FBM. There are also two seller options, Individual and Professional. Your choice will depend on your preferences, the number of orders you expect, and whether or not you are interested in pursuing a small online business.

FBA means Fulfillment by Amazon – an Amazon program that stores your products in their warehouses and provides customer service for you for a fee. You only pay when the product sells – not when it is shipped to the customer. 

FBM means Fulfillment by Merchant – where you store your products and provide customer service yourself. With FBM, you are responsible for fulfilling the orders. 

As for the selling plan, the individual option is suitable for sellers not planning to exceed 40 sales per month. When an item sells, you’ll have to pay Amazon $0.99, plus you must manage your inventory and follow Amazon’s shipping policies.

People who intend to sell many books on Amazon should consider the Professional plan. You will pay a flat $39.99 per month, but you will avoid the $0.99 per item fee, plus you can choose your shipping method. is a platform that lets you sell used college textbooks. After accepting a buyback quote, that price will remain for 30 days. A UPS label will be provided for free shipping. Once your book has been received, you will receive a payment via check or PayPal deposit within one to four weeks.


The website is a one-stop shop for getting quotes on your books. It searches dozens of other book buyback sites to find you the best deal. You can find out which sites are willing to buy your book simply by entering the ISBN (International Standard Book Number). 

In other words, you get to choose the bidder or offer that offers you the highest price for your book.

Powell’s Books

Powell’s Books, a Portland-based bookstore, offers online book sales. Powell’s will bid on your books after you enter the ISBNs. After arriving, you will receive confirmation from Powell’s and be paid via PayPal or Powell’s credit. You can use their prepaid mailing label or ship them yourself once you accept the bid.


eBay is another great option for selling your books. After creating your account, you can list your book for sale. You’ll need to provide a detailed description of each book, including its condition, edition, and any flaws it may have. You’ll also need to set a price for each book. Once everything is set up, wait for a buyer. After the buyer receives their book and confirms that they are satisfied with the purchase, eBay will release your payment. 

What is the best place to sell books now (Amazon or eBay)?

Both Amazon and eBay are popular online marketplaces for selling books. The best place to sell books may depend on your preferences, the type of books you’re selling, and your target audience. 

Amazon is generally known for its large selection of new and used books and its Kindle ebook platform. It’s a good option if you have newer or popular books to sell, as many Amazon shoppers are specifically looking for books to purchase. Amazon also offers fulfillment services, which can be helpful if you have a large inventory of books to sell.

eBay, on the other hand, may be a better option if you have rare or hard-to-find books to sell. eBay’s auction format can be useful for selling unique or collectible books, as buyers may be willing to pay more for rare items. eBay also allows sellers to set their own prices and shipping rates, which can be beneficial if you want more control over the selling process.

Tips for Flipping Books

#1: Research 

Flipping does require some work and research in order to be successful. You need to be able to find good deals on used books, properly assess their condition, and determine what prices they will sell for online. 

An effective way to quickly determine competitive prices is by checking the ISBN of the book and using tools like BookScouter or AbeBooks to find the value of the book.

#2: Check for Damage

The better the book’s condition, the higher the price it will sell. Before you buy a book to flip, check its pages carefully to see if there are rips in the cover, missing pages, stains on the text block, or other damage that will impact the value negatively. Damaged books are harder to sell.

#3: Look for Special Editions

It’s not the easiest thing to do, but if you know what to look for – special editions of popular books that have increased in value over time – you can make some decent money flipping them. These books are released in limited quantities for a promotional purpose – perhaps to coincide with a major motion picture release – and then out of print shortly afterward. 

Usually, these editions have special cover art and/or dust jackets worth more on the secondary market than the standard edition. 

 #4: Choose the Right Platform

Before using a platform to sell books online, do your due diligence. Consider the fees charged by each service and determine which one offers the best bang for your buck. Also, consider the ease of use of each platform. Don’t get stuck trying to sell your books on a platform that is too complicated to use. 

Start Generating Passive Income Today!

You can make extra money by selling books online, but don’t expect to retire on the proceeds. It is a good side hustle that requires a lot of consistency and finding good deals. If you do it right, it can become a full-fledged business. But just like any money-making venture, it will take hard work and persistence to get the results you want. Use our guide to start selling books online today.


What is the most profitable way to sell books?

The best way to sell your books for the most money is to sell them online on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. 

Another option to consider is selling the books individually on a site like – but be prepared to deal with the hassle of responding to inquiries and meeting potential buyers in person to finalize the sale. 

Is selling books still profitable?

Yes! As long as people are reading, they will be interested in buying used copies of their favorite titles.

How do you flip books for profit?

To flip a book for profit, you buy them at the lowest possible price and sell them online for a profit! 


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