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3 Reasons Why You Should Sell Used Books on Amazon


Book Cover

If I told you that you should look into adding used books to your Amazon selling portfolio you might ask, “Why ‘Used Books’ and not things in one of the other, more glamorous categories?” Great questions, here are three reasons why:

1. Physical books are not dead! Believe it or not, there is still some very nice profits to be made selling physical copies of books. With the creation of E-readers and the ability to read books on the computer or on other portable electronic devices, we have definitely seen a decline in the number of paperback and hardcover books sold, but print books are still in the lead. According to a recent study by Nielsen Books & Consumer, “E-books accounted for 23% of unit sales in the first six months of 2014.” The types of books that have the most popularity on the E-format are Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Children’s, & Romance in that order. Physical copies of Non-fiction books are still holding their own. For whatever reason people still desire physical copies of their reference books, and we should capitalize on that.

2. The profitability is astounding! Typically online sellers hope to find products that they can sell for a 60-100% ROI (Return on Investment). This means that for every dollar they they spend on a particular item they would like to realize a net profit of somewhere between $.60 to $1.00. Not a bad return right?

With books it’s different. On average, books at thrift-stores, library sales, rummage sales, garage sales, etc… can be sourced for about a dollar a piece. If we were to average out all of the additional expenses that are necessary to run this business we would probably need to tack on an additional $.25 per book (and that’s a pretty liberal estimation). We currently have an average sale price (ASP) per book sold just under $15. So assuming that Amazon will take about a third of the sale price in fees, we sell 100% FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon, that would leave us with a $8.75 net profit per book sold. Even if you’re not a mathematician you can probably already begin to see how profitable this business is. If my total COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) is $1.25 and I plan to net $8.75 after all is said and done my ROI is 700%!

3. It’s Outsource-able. Due to the high ROI and demand from Amazon customers, there’s room to pay someone else to source, prep., list and ship them for you and still make a profit. As an online entrepreneur we should be on the look out for ventures that will earn us some passive income, used book selling is one of those opportunities.

Hopefully, I’ve at least perked your interest! If you have any questions or comments let me know in the comment section below.

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