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Subject: Should I bother selling used books on Amazon? rss

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M C
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Chit chat hivemind, I was wondering if anyone has experience with this?

I have waaay too many books, and some of them have highish prices right now used on Amazon (about $20, for what ever that is worth). I probably wouldn't bother selling a book for less than 10 bucks. I am having trouble figuring out exactly how much of a cut Amazon gets. It seems like $1.35 + .99 + 15%, which is steep. Should I just go to eBay, or just give up give the books away locally?
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Rich Shipley
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I've used half.com to buy and sell used books. I've only bought since ebay took them over, but it seems about the same. They charge a percentage when you sell, but nothing else:

$0.75 - $50.00 15.0%

$50.01 - $100.00 12.5%

$100.01 - $250.00 10.0%

$250.01 - $500.00 7.5%

> $500.00 5.0%

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Kurt
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The hardest thing about selling stuff to Amazon tends to be finding a box. I've sold a fair amount of video games and a couple of books to them (sold as in exchanged for Amazon Gift Card) and it's pretty easy. They even pay for the shipping. Generally it's significantly more profitable than going through Half Price Books and far less work than Ebay.

EDIT: I should note that this is selling TO Amazon, not selling THROUGH Amazon. I haven't tried selling through them.

I'd consider Ebay if you felt they were significantly undervaluing some hard to find stuff or your collection. But if you just want to get rid of them and make some money, Amazon is likely the better easier option.

Giving them away locally is always a fine option. Many libraries run a used book sale at some point, and collect donations. If you have a LOT it might be worth seeing if you can get a receipt for a write off, but I'm guessing the library wouldn't sell them at value (instead selling them for $1 for hardcover...).

Not a definitive answer, buy hopefully it helps.
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There is also alibris.com. Which supposedly has better rates than Amazon. eBay is seller unfriendly, and will never sell anything through eBay again.
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sirius23 wrote:
Chit chat hivemind, I was wondering if anyone has experience with this?

I have waaay too many books, and some of them have highish prices right now used on Amazon (about $20, for what ever that is worth). I probably wouldn't bother selling a book for less than 10 bucks. I am having trouble figuring out exactly how much of a cut Amazon gets. It seems like $1.35 + .99 + 15%, which is steep. Should I just go to eBay, or just give up give the books away locally?



It's a percentage of the sale price isn't it?
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Vincent
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Amazon's seller fees:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1...

Your estimate is correct for books. It used to be worth it, not so much anymore. They also do stupid or questionable stuff like take money from the shipping fees to get their cut.
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M C
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Phil of Mars wrote:

It's a percentage of the sale price isn't it?


My understanding is that it is a percentage of the total price including the 3.99 shipping.
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I've put books up on Amazon that I thought would never sell, but ended up selling pretty quickly.
I've also listed books there that I thought were sure things and I'm still sitting on them.
It's at least worth a try for the stuff you think has value and you hate to just give away.
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Andrew Brannan
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My dad is an avid reader and had a ton of books in the house. My sister has been helping him sell them through Amazon/Half. He's sold just over 20 books, and has pulled in more than $100. Not a lot of money, but worth his time investment.
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Morgan Dontanville
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Go to http://www.powells.com/sellonline/

They will buy a ton of your books, they will give you a shipping sticker and you just have to box them up and send them to them.

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Andy Andersen
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We just gave 250 books to the Friends of our Library for their annual book sale. Donation comes off taxes
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Key Locks
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In my experience, it's hard to get any money for books. I've carted books around far too much just to be told that nobody even wanted to make an offer for them. Unless I know a specific book has value for some reason, the best I've found is to either sell them to Half Price Books for an abysmally small amount of money or just give them away to charity and take the tax deduction. But who knows, maybe you'll have better luck.
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you could try Abebooks.com as an alternative to Amazon.
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Peter Brichs
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I usually give books & magazines away to hospitals and the like - to have in waiting rooms and such. And friends get a bunch as well. I've never sold a book.
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M C
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Brichs wrote:
I usually give books & magazines away to hospitals and the like - to have in waiting rooms and such. And friends get a bunch as well. I've never sold a book.


I should specify that my books are not for general readers. They are very niche audience books, hence their higher prices on Amazon. For example I have these books to sell:




Hence why giving them to a library to sell might not be a good idea.
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M C
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. It seems like a mixed reaction, a couple saying it is not worth it, a few who have made a couple bucks.

I appreciate the alternatives you guys mentioned:

sisteray wrote:
Go to http://www.powells.com/sellonline/
They will buy a ton of your books, they will give you a shipping sticker and you just have to box them up and send them to them.

Sadly, they will not take most of my books. To academic I guess. Same for AbeBooks

MWChapel wrote:
There is also alibris.com. Which supposedly has better rates than Amazon. eBay is seller unfriendly, and will never sell anything through eBay again.


Which is the most interesting option to me. I have not yet been able to decode their fee structure, but it seems to be the same as Amazon, yet they sell through Amazon, B&N, and everyone else. I might give them a shot.

Either way, this is going to be a summer project. I am afraid it is going to be more time consuming. I should take a picture of my book hoarding for you guys, it is out of hand.
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Sarah D
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If you want more books for your books, there is Paperback Swap
http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php
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Rick B
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I have sold books and music on Amazon, and made enough on it to cover much of my honeymoon ($2,000 or so).

Of course, 1) it was 10 years ago, and far fewer sellers were using the service, 2) much of that total was very specific and hard to find books which I collected like flies in graduate school (so good in your case), 3) I was able to add other gems to that at thrift stores, which I think is harder now as more people are selling online and know what to look for, and 4) Amazon's shipping allowance doesn't seem as good anymore.

Not sure it helps, but a little more data.
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