Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How to sell books on Amazon and make money!

I went through a phase in my 20's where I lived in Florida, had no kids, and bought a new book almost every week to read on the beach.  This was pre-internet streaming and we didn't have cable so reading was my primary source of entertainment.  Now I have a massive glut of book inventory - mostly chick lit from 2001 - 2008 that I will never read again because I only read books once.  There are some GREAT books in this collection but I don't have room to store these books.  

Today I posted 14 books on Amazon, you can find my store front HERE, the link takes you to feedback, select Products to see the books. Some of these are from conferences I've attended.  Big hug from me if you buy one of my books!!  They are priced competitively and all proceeds go to the refurbishment of our house.  


I've been selling my used books on Amazon for 4 years and I've found I can actually earn more per book than through used book sellers with the right books.  Here's how it works:



  1. Set up an Amazon Seller Account - the link is right here, or you can just scroll to the bottom of your Amazon page and click on "Sell on Amazon", then set up a Seller Account.
  2. Plug in the ISBN numbers for all books you want to sell.  Amazon will give you a suggested price that compares to other vendor prices after you put in the condition of the book.  

Here are the fees involved, this is important because if your book is priced too low, you could actually lose money:

  • Amazon Referral Fee – 15% of sell price (this seems to go away when you’ve posted more than 40 books) 
  • Amazon Variable Closing Fee $1.35
  • Amazon Per Item Fee $0.99
  • USPS Media Rate $2.60 on average for paperback (hint - the post office does not post their media rate but you must use it because it's almost $1.00 cheaper then paying by weight)

My benchmark is to earn close to $1.00 per book, if I can’t get this then it’s not worth the effort in my opinion.  To reach my target, I need to price my book at $2.25.  Here is a breakdown of the fees on a book I’ve posted recently:

  • Amazon Total Fees $2.68
  • USPS Media Rate $2.60
  • Total fees = $5.28
  • Sell Price is $2.25 + 3.99 shipping = $6.24
  • Profit $0.96
Amazon is great about showing you the lowest rate that other vendors are offering so if you see a low price like $0.01, don't bother posting the book because you would lose money after paying Amazon and shipping fees.  Once you've set your benchmark, like mine at $2.25, then you can reject posting any book that other vendors sell for lower than this price.  

I’ve got 14 books that are priced at $2.25 and above which will make an expected profit of $49.51 if all sell.  This is well worth the effort in my opinion.  The rest of my inventory that is worth $0.01 on Amazon will go to a yard sale or flea market sale.  

About those $0.01 books, have you ever wondered why someone would even bother selling a book for $0.01?  It's because the book has fallen in value and there are so many re-sellers that the book is only worth $0.01 + shipping.  If you advance to paying for a monthly $39.99 professional account, that takes away some of Amazon's fees but you'd need to be sure you can sell at least 40 books a month to break even on a $0.01 book. 

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links.

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