The Amazon.com Marketplace offers practically anyone an unmatched opportunity to cash in selling old, used paperback or hardcover books. But what titles should you stock up on to resell? The following types of printed books, magazines, and other related printed materials sell very well on Amazon… and what doesn’t sell on Amazon can be re-sold on eBay or Craigslist websites:
How-To Non-Fiction— This will be your bread and butter. You’ll make more money selling the trade books. Keep a sharp eye of to pick these up. You’ll notice them by their size; these measure about 6″ x 9″ and they usually are 1″ – 2″ thick. They ship cheaply by USPS standard media mail. The subject matter can be diverse. It’s easy to find the following items cheap and resell them online:
- Music theory & music sheet music books
- Teacher classroom instruction manuals
- UFO Abductions
- Ancient Aliens In Egypt
- Edgar Cayce books
- Biographies of celebrities, religious leaders, politicians
- Buying and selling commodities
- Weight Loss
- Cancer Cures
- Dog Training
- Civil War
- Credit Repair
- Self-Improvement books
- Healing with Herbs
Sell Solutions, Not Books
Buyers log on to Amazon seeking solutions to their problems. They buy gobs of ‘how-to’ books to help solve those problems. I think they seek out good used books over new books because they are less concerned over building a book collection and more concerned with finding solutions. Certain topics seem to sell better than others. In fact, it’s not even just books that sell well! Here’s what I’ve discovered that will make you the most money in this business:
Vintage Magazines — Like, Look and Time magazines sported vintage covers, some by celebrated famous artists like Norman Rockwell, and famous photographers. Collectors love to find these. They will pay good money for these. Buy them cheap and you’ll make money. The best vintage magazines feature celebrities like Jimi Hendrix or Marilyn Monroe or Albert Einstein or John F. Kennedy on the cover. Better yet, even if the old magazine does not have a pristine cover, don’t despair. Clipping out the full-color and even the black and white full page ads inside can be profitable. There are lots of people who like to collect and/or display these in their homes. Slip them into an inexpensive frame from a hobby store; they make a wonderful piece of folk art.
Teacher Workbooks and Instruction Manuals — These are usually sold at very high prices from the original publishing companies. Teachers like to get these online at $8-$15 price range if they can use them in their classroom. They save money. You make money. The kids learn something. Everybody wins. I often find them for cheap and resell for $14.99 to $19.99 each. They move quick. Don’t overlook books on homeschooling, either. Parents homeschooling their own kids at home are willing to pay big bucks to get the best products… but they often want to save money by buying good used books.
Comic Books — Don’t overpay for these. Until you really have a grasp for values, which can be found by reading reference books, going online to check the actual selling prices, and talking with avid comic book collectors willing to share what they know about these comic books. But, if you find a stash of old comic books in a box at a garage sale, and the owner has them marked for $2, grab them. The odds are pretty good you’ll sell at least one for $2, and you probably will find a few that will make you money. Just know what you’re buying. You don’t need to clutter.
Collectible Books — Amazon limits who gets to list books in its Collectibles listings. You can always resell these on eBay or on CraigsList, even put out feelers to book collectors. It will take longer to sell these, but sometimes you’ll discover a gem like when I bought a vintage book on women’s rights from the turn of the 20th century for 25 cents, and it’s selling for over $100.
Self-Published & Short-Run Books or Booklets — These could be good sellers. I’ve been amazed at doctors and laymen who publish small booklets that have sold really well. Many times these are home remedies or strange health cures which no one would dare publish these days for fear of getting shut down by the FDA or FTC. But these little booklets and manuals often sell for 25 cents or less, and you can resell them for $8-$10 very quickly.
Instructional DVDs — Yes, DVDs sell, but you’ll make better money selling educational or instructional DVDs. Weight loss DVDs are very popular, lightweight to ship, easy to make money on. Other subjects — like hypnosis, turkey hunting, dancing lessons — are also good sellers. DVDs also bundle well on eBay when sell them as a lot and make a lot more money (example: offer 6 lessons on woodworking for one price, creating a great value for those seeking this type of information).
Repair Manuals — Auto repair, appliance repair, home repair. These are big sellers. Vintage automobile manuals, tractor manuals, train set books, antique repair instruction books all have collectors, or maybe hobbyists, who want to know how to fix things. Find these types of books and sell them.
Knowing what types of books to source from garage sales, thrift stores and estate auctions will help you conserve your start-up cash and make more money on Amazon in less time. Focus on the easy sellers. Only buy used books for resell which move quickly. Following these tips, you’ll be well along the way toward finding the best books that sell fast online.