Sell Second Hand Books: Helpful Tips To Make Money

The days are getting longer and the weather warmer, you’ve had the motivation to tidy and want to sell second hand books that kept you company during winter. Throwing them away feels like a horrible deed, so why not sell books for cash instead. 

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Where is the best place to sell second hand books?

Here are our tips on where to sell second hand books –

  • Carboot sales/fleamarkets – a fun day out, and you can take along other items that you want to sell. Clearing out and selling unused items could be an activity you do during a no spend challenge to keep you busy.
  • Book stores – search for second hand books shops that buy books near me or ask around whilst in town. Smaller, independent bookstores may be more likely to buy them.
  • Online – you can sell old books online on websites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, AbeBooks and Fatbrain (particularly popular for textbooks). For more suggestions, see below.

What is the best way to sell second hand books?

The best way to sell second hand books depends on the time you can commit and how often you want to do it! 

If you are looking to sell books for cash UK, it may be worth going into a store to reap the rewards for your trade immediately. 

Selling old books UK online is the most accessible and efficient way to make money online unless you don’t mind taking the books to a store.

If you don’t mind waiting for your books to be delivered and checked, then online could be an option for you! Additionally, when selling online, you will get an instant quote for your items. 

On the contrary, if you were to sell the books yourself, you could set your own prices, potentially generating more money.

Where can I sell second hand books online?

There are many options on where to sell books online UK/USA/even worldwide!

Here is a quick list of websites you can use to sell 2nd hand books:

  •  We buy books – a specialist book buyer. You receive a valuation of your items, package and post and then wait for your payment! ‘We buy books’ works together with Hermes for delivery and collection service to make it easier for you. They also buy DVDs, CDs, and games.
  •  eBay – you are in charge of the whole process, from pricing to packaging.
  • – buy second hand books, CDs, DVDs and games. Enter the barcode to receive a value and utilise their free courier or drop off service. Payments are made via Paypal, bank transfer or cheque. If you’re trading in more than £10 worth of books, use my code (POOPRO9ZP) for an extra £5!
  •  Zapper – not only does this website buy books but also electronics and Lego! If you’re having a thorough clear out, this could be a one-stop shop for you. 
  •  Abebooks – along with fine art and collectables, Abebooks will also buy your second-hand books, including rare ones and those in other languages.
  •  Bookscouter – selling second hand books USA use this website. This website specialises in textbooks, perfect for college students and uni students looking to make some money and save money when purchasing for their next semester. They even have a book scholarship you can apply for!
  •  Amazon – Amazon has a sellers section. Amazon can host your second hand books if you’re looking to start a business.
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My suggestion is to receive as many valuations before committing to a single website to ensure you get the most money for your books! 

Sell Second Hand Books

Is selling second hand books legal?

No! If you were to sell books for cash (UK), there would be no legal repercussions. You are in your right to buy and sell old books.

However, it would be illegal to copy the contents due to copyright laws.

Can you make money selling used books?

If you are interested in books and often find yourself browsing charity shops and best seller displays, you may be onto something! You could start making money from selling 2nd hand books.

A basic business principle is that revenue – costs = profit.

Revenue is the money you make from selling your books.

Costs include (but not exclusively):

  • Purchasing the books you plan on selling
  • Postage
  • Storage of books
  • Website hosting fees

Your strategy could be to purchases books that are bestsellers, rare, or textbooks. Be cautious of outdated textbooks; these may be less popular and difficult to shift. 

Where to find books:

  • Charities
  • Car boot sales
  • Library sales
  • Bookshop sales
  • Online, e.g. someone may be giving away for free locally.
  • Swap with friends that have higher value books, if they’re willing!
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Before buying, have an idea of prices you could charge for the book and if you would make a profit after clearing costs.

Can I sell second hand books on Amazon?

You can sell second hand books Amazon UK or elsewhere! Amazon has a ‘Sell Your Stuff‘ section. Be aware that Amazon may charge you a fee for using this service.

How to sell second hand books on Amazon

Initially, sign up as an Amazon seller. You will have to make two decisions: your fulfilment method and what type of seller you are.

There are two methods to choose from on how to accomplish your orders: fulfilment by merchant and fulfilment by Amazon. Both come with different fees.

Fulfilment by merchant means you take on the responsibility of packaging and posting the order once sold on Amazon. Whereas fulfilment by Amazon means Amazon take on the role of packaging, posting, inventory and customer service.

Next, choose what type of seller you should be. An individual seller expects to make fewer sales whilst a professional seller expects to make more than 40 sales per month and generate a regular income through transactions.

Finally, you can start listing your books! Amazon even has a seller app that can make the whole experience more efficient, allowing you to edit your listings and track your sales.

The types of books that sell well on Amazon include:

  • Textbooks
  • Hardcovers
  • Collectables such as comics or first editions
  • Books that are high in demand or high ranking

For up-to-date information on fees and selling via Amazon, check out their policies and guidelines.

Is there an app to sell books?

You can sell books online or by using apps. Here are our app recommendations where to sell used books UK:

  • – scan the barcode on the back of the book for a valuation on your app. The package up your books and use their free courier or drop off service and wait to be paid! When trading in for more than £10, use my code (POOPRO9ZP) for an extra £5 payout!
  •  We Buy Books – scan the book’s barcode with your camera and instantly receive a price in your app. You can then review your offer and post your items for free or utilise the We Buy Books collection service. Once books have been received, you will be paid. 
  •  eBay – a classic when it comes to selling bits and bobs. eBay has a broad audience. If you are unable to sell your book elsewhere (maybe too niche or old), try your luck here. Having an app on your phone means you can quickly put items up to sell and communicate with buyers on the go.
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Using apps with automated features is an efficient and easy way to sell second hand books in bulk or even if you only have a couple.

Buy second hand books

Most places suggested above sell and buy second hand books. Buying second hand books is a great way to give books another chance and save yourself a few pennies if you’re living frugally, sometimes costing you less than a cup of coffee! 

Rather than contributing to our disposable world, buying second-hand books is a positive step to reducing the carbon footprint created in manufacturing new ones.

You can find 2nd hand books online or in-store. Personally, I have found World of Books the best place to buy second hand books online. They have an expansive library, free shipping and use 100% recyclable packaging.

Finally, you could always donate your books or set up a book swap group with your friends, keeping the ‘three Rs’ – reducing, reusing, and recycling – alive. However, selling second-hand books to make money from items you no longer need can help boost your savings. 

There are many things you can sell to make money, not just books! Have you got books to sell? Will you do it online or in-person? Let us know in the comments section below; we’d love to hear your plans!

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