How to sell second-hand books on eBay

You’ve sold all your junk. Emptied your attic. Sold your Grandmas antiques. What’s left to sell? How can you start making a more regular and reliable part-time income?

OK, selling unused stuff that has been hanging around your house is a great way to start your eBay trading.

Like most eBay traders you then probably check out places such as car boot sales, charity shops, thrift shops, garage sales etc. Again these are great places to pick up one off items and make a good profit on eBay.

The reason that you make a good profit is because the item that you are selling is fairly unique and there will be little if any competition in the eBay market place.

One of the down sides of these ‘second-hand’ items is that they are all different, it’s difficult for you to specialise in one item, and they all require different types of eBay descriptions. They also require different sized and types of packaging. In fact, dealing in these types of items can turn into a full time job, very soon the fun aspect goes out the window.

Eventually, after being on eBay for a while and studying other sellers, you see that some people are getting a high feedback by repeatedly selling the same item, usually with the “Buy It Now” option. These are things such as DVDs, CDs, Videos, virtually any type of items that you can find in normal shops.

What these people are doing is buying the items in bulk from wholesalers and reselling at a profit on eBay. However, because everyone has access to the wholesalers, you will no longer have a unique product. This means that you will have competition which means much lower profits for you. I’ve seen some “eBay Power Sellers” that sell over 30 DVDs per day at about $3 each. That sounds like a lot of work and administration for probably not a huge profit.

It would be nice if you could find an item that is somewhere in between the above to ways of selling on eBay.

Would you be interested in an item that has the following benefits?

Currently over 4000 of these items sell each week on eBay, so it’s a big market.

You can pick up the items really cheap in most towns, you’ll even find them in those garage sales and thrift shops, but you’ve been ignoring them!

The items are all roughly the same size, so you can standardise on your packaging.

The mark up profits can be phenomenal, perhaps 200% to 800%.

The item that I make a great part time income from is second-hand books. OK don’t yawn, it may sound boring, but that boredom soon goes when I buy a book for around $20 and resell it on eBay for $80.

Each second-hand book is fairly unique, like selling junk, thus there is little competition and that means I can make a good profit.

The main difficulty with selling second-hand books is knowing which ones sell for the most profit. For example you don’t want to buy books for $10 that can only be resold for $15. You could study eBay on a regular basis and make notes of what books are being sold for a high price. This would take you months of research and you would still have a limited list. Alternatively you could visit

About the author:

Stephen Webb
Stephen Webb is a freelance author for

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