It’s a bit of a horrifying experience the first time you walk into a college bookstore. I remember the first time saying to myself, “You want a $145 for that?” To say I felt ripped off is an understatement, which is why this side hustle I’m about to share is all the more exciting.
I came across an engaging article that offered insight on ways to sell books online and generate additional income. The practicality of what I read was very rigorous and required that I attend garage sales every now and then. However, you will be introduced to ways to purchase books on ecommerce sites like eBay, and ways to also sell these purchased books and generate profit from platforms like BookScouter.com. Think of this as my way of punishing outrageously expensive bookstores and their overinflated book prices. The best part is that you generate a lot of income in the process too.
I am sure you are eager to find out how this works, so here’s how what you need to know:
You will get a convenient little tool which helps the process at BookScouter.com. Their site will let you plug in a book’s ISBN number (right next to the UPC) and then it will tell you how much the book is worth and which buyback company will give you the most money. I use this tool before buying a book to make sure that there is a company willing to pay more for the book than what the Ebay seller is charging.
Here are some relevant examples I discovered recently:
Here is a screenshot of an auction that just closed for the book “Fundamentals of Physical Geography.” It was sold for $52.50 (plus $3.99 for shipping) giving the buyer a total cost of $56.49. Using the tool at BookScouter, I see that Moola4Books.com is paying $61.25 for the same book and they will cover the cost of shipping if I send it to them, giving me a profit margin of $4.76.
Also on Rent Scouter, it shows that Amazon’s buyback program would be willing to give me a $71.77 Amazon gift card for this book. Amazon’s program also comes with free shipping so I would profit a $15.28 gift card. Not too bad!
Here’s another one:
After shipping charges, this book cost the buyer $37.11. BookScouter shows that it could be traded in for a $41.26 Amazon gift card, giving me a profit of $4.15.
As you can see the profit margins aren’t huge on a single book, because there are several other Ebayers playing this trade-in game. However, if you can average a $5 profit margin on each book, you only need to buy 5 books every day to pocket an extra $750 dollars each month! Considering there are over a million textbook auctions on Ebay right now, it shouldn’t be too hard to find 5 books a day to resell.
If you do decide to sell textbooks for money, you should endeavor to observe the following:
- Make sure to examine the state of the book before purchase: While a good number of buyback companies do not have a problem with a little wear and tear, they are highly unlikely to buy if the pages of the book are ripped off completely or when there is a severely damaged to the cover.
- Ensure your Packaging is foolproof: A good number of buyback companies offer you a prepaid shipping label. However, it is entirely your obligation to ensure that your packaging is foolproof to prevent any damage or loss during transit.
- Beware of extra fees that come with payment options: The choice of payment that is used could detract from your profit margin. For instance, it would not be smart to choose a Paypal payment option over a check payment as Paypal attracts some fee. This is an important consideration if you want to meet and surpass your profit margins.