Selling Books on eBay for HUGE PROFITS
When I mention selling books on eBay, a lot of people say, “Wait a second. What do you mean? Selling books on eBay? You can only sell books on Amazon.”
Well, let me give you a couple reasons for why you might want to sell books on eBay in addition to Amazon. This information could help you make some more money. There are books that people pass up on Amazon that they could put on eBay.
But Why Books on eBay?
With eBay, you can take photos. On Amazon, it’s one single listing that’s used. You have to piggyback on that one listing. So a buyer is not able to see the actual condition of that book. They may want a specific condition, and sometimes those conditions on Amazon are not matched with the real condition, which I’m sure some buyers have experienced.
It might be that the buyer is a collector who is interested in a particular condition. That buyer might not be comfortable getting books from Amazon because they can’t see the exact pictures.
Condition is really important. And with eBay, you can take up to 12 pictures of the books. It’s very simple to take photos of books. They are very simple to list as well because you’ve got the barcode already. So you take a photo of the top of the book, flip it over, and take a photo of the back of the book. Then you do side, corner, side, corner, side, corner, side, corner—so there’s eight. Someone will be able to see the wear on every corner of that book.
Now if it’s a textbook, then you are also going to take a photo of the highlighting if there is any. You will also want to put it in the description that there’s highlighting.
If you take all these photos and have a detailed description of any highlighting, then there is very little chance of a return on that book.
Shipping Might Be an Issue for Amazon
Another reason to use eBay rather than Amazon is if you are in a different country. You might be from, say, Australia, and your shipping costs are going to be completely different from sellers in the United States.
Because of the shipping costs for Amazon FBA, there are books that you could only break even on Amazon but make a profit when selling on eBay. It might cost $5 to $10 just to send one book, even more if it is a large textbook. So in that case eBay would probably make more sense.
When eBay Is Better Than Amazon
When people think eBay, they often think auctions, but remember that you always have the option to list a book as Buy It Now. You can accept Best Offers too, but you really don’t need to do that. And with eBay, you can offer free shipping and express mail, so that way you get the top-rated seller badge and differentiate your listing from all the others that potential buyers might see.
A lot of people think that the profit margins are too low selling books on eBay. But even if the profit margin on one book is too low for your business model, you can always try bundling books. For example, you could collect a few Rich Dad books and put them in a bundle in a listing. Then when you sell, you are shipping all those books just one time, so that saves on your shipping costs. If you had sold each book individually while offering free shipping, then you would have had to pay to ship each and every book. That’s not the case with a bundle. And the buyer is getting an excellent deal because they’re getting a lot of books. It’s a win-win situation.
Another reason to sell on eBay is when you run across a first edition. For example, you might see a very popular book and pass on it because it looks run of the mill. However, when you take a closer look, you see that it is a first edition. Then the book may be worth hundreds of dollars. You will get the value of your book if you sell it on eBay.
Another reason to sell on eBay if you are a book seller is because there are some restrictions on Amazon on quite a few textbooks, especially the new editions. So you might find a book that is coming in at maybe 100,000 rank and selling for $96. The book has a market, but it’s restricted.
Now the reason it’s restricted, in most cases, is because there is a massive counterfeit textbook industry coming out of China. So this is why Amazon wants to protect the legitimate sellers of these books. The first thing you do is check the book condition. Look at the binding. Look at the pages. You want to make sure that this is actually a real textbook, not a bootleg copy. And once you’ve done that—because you don’t want your eBay account suspended—you start looking at what the comparisons are to see if you can sell it on eBay. Double-check what the shipping will be, and just list it on eBay.
And with restricted books, also consider your local area, craigslist or Facebook Marketplace—it may sell there. There are also websites that will buy the books for you instantly, but you will only get a smaller percentage of the book’s value. But that’s definitely another option.
So while you may be perfectly happy selling books on Amazon, don’t forget to consider eBay at time as well. You could find profits as a bookseller there too.
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