Flipping Books for Profit: Top Q&A for Beginners

Side hustles are more popular than ever, people are seeking new ways to make extra money on top of their monthly income. Can flipping second-hand books really be that profitable? 

Although e-book popularity continues to grow, book lovers everywhere continue to prefer the feel of paper in their hands. Meaning that it can be really profitable flipping books. Find out the most asked questions from beginners to help get you started. 

Why sell books? 

Reselling books is really eco-friendly and stops more trees from being cut down to make new books. So instead of letting your books gather dust on your bookshelf give them a new home and increase your bank balance at the same time.  

Most asked questions by beginners 

  1. What books are good to resell? 

Almost any type of book can be resold but some types will be more profitable than others. These include: 

  • Education textbooks 
  • Academic books 
  • Antiques and collectibles books 
  • Religious books 
  1. Where to find books to resell? 

Second-hand books are everywhere but some great places to start your search include: 

  • Thrift shops 
  • Facebook groups and marketplace 
  • Local tabletop and car boot sales 
  • Marketplace websites such as Gumtree and Craigslist 

A great tool to use is a book scanning app that shows you the highest price a buyback company is willing to pay for the book, and tells you if a book is worth reselling, speeding up the process of finding profitable books. One of those apps book flippers use and that is highly recommended is a BookScouter app.

Check out this great YouTube video on flipping books for profit to get a bit of motivation and finally give it a chance.

  1. Where can I sell used books? 

The most popular place to resell books is Amazon, they make it extremely easy to sell on their website and have different sellers plans depending on your needs. A beginner can start listing books for free, while the more experienced bookseller can expect to pay around $40 a month. 

Other websites that pay for used books and are very popular among book reselling professionals are buyback companies. To find the best buyback price for a book check it on BookScouter.com.

Find out more about flipping books for profit in the BookScouter blog. The platform offers Pro subscription for book flippers providing them with useful tools like deals finder, bulk ISBN lookup and book price history.

  1. How much profit can I look to make? 

If selling on Amazon or a similar marketplace website, fees will be around 50% of your sale. Add on top any software costs and your overall profit could be around 40% which isn’t bad once you get selling more than a few books a month. 

  1. How much time does flipping books take? 

Sidehustlenation talks to Charlie William who says to make a substantial profit you need to spend a couple of hours a day, a few days a week looking for books in shops and online. It may be discouraging if you’ve spent all weekend scanning books and haven’t found anything worth reselling. Be patient and consistent and it will pay off in the long run, try becoming friendly with your local shop owners and they may put aside interesting books for you to check out on your next visit. 

Important tips and tricks 

  • Check the ISBN number. This identifies prominent features of a book and helps determine its worth. 
  • Make sure the book is in good condition. Check for torn pages, discoloring of the paper, stains, and odor.  
  • However, when dealing with very rare, old books its condition may not matter as much and the books may still fetch a lot of money at auction.  
  • Check out your competition, observe how much others are selling their books for, and price accordingly. 

Start flipping books for profit now  

By reselling your old books and ones found in long-forgotten corners of the thrift store you are not only decluttering your bookshelf but helping reduce waste, improve the environment and increase your income.

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