How to sell second-hand books on Amazon

Amazon sells everything you could ever need, from your favourite DVDs to homeware and now the site even hosts sellers creating handmade products in a bid to support independent businesses.

But you can also sell your own belongings on Amazon as a great way of making a little extra cash.

If you’re a bookworm, it is likely that you have shelves full of books but there may be some that you won’t pick up again. In this case, consider selling them on to make a little extra cash – that can be used to buy more books!


How to sell books on Amazon

There are a few steps to take before your item can be sold when using Amazon, follow these and you’ll sell your second-hand books in no time.

1.   Register for an account and choose a plan

First, you will need to set up an account with the site. You have two options when it comes to selling on Amazon; a Basic plan for those selling fewer than 35 items per month and a Professional plan for those who intend to make a business out of Amazon selling.

If you just want to get rid of those extra books for a little additional cash, a Basic plan is a good call. You essentially pay as you go when it comes to fees but are still able to reach millions of customers on the site.

2.   Create your listings

You’ll then upload details about your items and create a listing that will then be displayed on the Amazon site. While listing, you’ll match what you have for sale to items already for sale on Amazon, this means it will show up in the search results under one item and the buyer can choose who they purchase the book from.

3.   Send your book to the customer

When someone makes a purchase, you’ll be notified and then you will have to ship the book. You’ll receive your notification via the email linked to your Amazon account and there will also be a notice in your Seller Central dashboard where you can keep track of sales.

4.   Receive payment

Once a sale has been made you’ll receive payment directly into your chosen bank account and you’ll be notified by email when it’s on the way.


How much does it cost to sell second-hand books on Amazon?

Like other selling platforms, there is a fee for each item you sell. How much you pay depends on the selling plan you have chosen. You can either set up a Basic plan which doesn’t charge a monthly fee but you pay 75p per sale. If you opt for the Professional plan, you’ll pay a £25 monthly fee (excluding VAT.)

This means if you decide to shift some of those books you’ll need to account for these fees, depending on the plan you choose.


Where to store your second-hand books

If you’re getting rid of a large number of books or are considering buying and selling second-hand books as a business, you need somewhere to store them.

A storage unit is an excellent solution. At Cubic Storage, we offer units in a range of sizes from 9 sq.ft – around the size of a locker – all the way up to 500 sq.ft. This means no matter how many books you have to sell, we have a space for you. Our units are dry and clean, which ensures book pages remain unscathed and free of damp, ensuring they remain in top condition before reaching their new owner.


Second-hand books that are more likely to sell

Some books will sell better than others, here’s what to consider:

First Editions – A first edition will sell for more than a duplicated copy. Check on the inside page what edition your book is and ensure you state this in the listing.

Textbooks – Students looking for a bargain will be searching for textbooks. Try to list your books in August for those looking to buy their textbooks ready for September.

Early edition Harry Potter books – If you have any Harry Potter books featuring the original illustrated covers then these are popular and you’re likely to make some money.

Books in good condition – It’s safe to say that a book that’s in near new condition will do better than one with a dog-eared cover and tattered pages.


Where else can you sell second-hand books?

Amazon is a great platform but there are a range of options when it comes to selling second-hand books. Why not look into these as well?

  • eBay – The popular bidding site is a great platform for selling used books. You can take pictures of the book in its current condition, have people bid on it or sell it for a set price. There is a fee per sale and you’ll get to decide how much postage should cost as well.
  • Facebook Marketplace – If you want to get rid of your books in bulk, list them on Facebook Marketplace where local buyers can buy them and even come and collect.
  • Car boot sale – Have a large number of books you need to get rid of? A car boot sale is an easy way of making some quick cash. Simply display your books on that wallpaper paste table and barter with people to sell them at a fair price.
  • Online marketplace – You can sell your books to websites such as MusicMagpie or All you need to do is scan the barcode or input the ISBN number (which can be found on one of the first pages in the book) and they will confirm how much they are likely to give you. Then you ship your books off and receive the cash.


Ready to get started? Make a little extra cash in 2020 by selling those used books on Amazon, following our tips above.


  • I want to sell second hand books – Adults – children like Lady Birds – I am housebound – how do I post them – any collect/delivery from Amazon or anything else

  • If I am selling books, does Amazon pick it up from me or do I have to post it at the post office?

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