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Selling Used Books (and Other Items) on Amazon.com

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I’ve decided to clean out my apartment a small amount by selling some used books on Amazon.com. Most are college textbooks that have been sitting around for quite a while. I’m writing about this here for two reasons. First of all, I’ll track my experience selling on Amazon.com. Secondly, maybe there are readers of this blogs who happen to be interested in the books, and if so, here’s a chance to directly affect my income as I report every month.

Signing up to sell your own items through Amazon.com is pretty simple. Start here by entering the first item you wish to sell. If it’s your first time, you will go through a registration process where your identity is verified using a credit card. You will then be asked to set up your Amazon Payments account which will allow Amazon.com to deposit your revenue directly into your checking account every two weeks.

Once the registration process is complete, you will be returned to the form for selling your item. Describe the condition and set a price. I suggest opening the item’s page to view the prices other sellers are offering for the same item. This will help you select a price that will be noticed and will hopefully result in a quick sale. Once your shipping preference is entered (Amazon.com reimburses you for shipping but takes a $0.99 fee plus an additional fee based on a percentage of the sale price), you will be able to add another item.

Update: The first book was sold less than ten hours after listing for $40!

Continue reading for the list of books I’m selling through Amazon.com.

* Reasons for Living: A Basic Ethics by Porter, Burton F.
* Romantic Music: A History of Musical Style in Nineteenth-Century Europe (SOLD!)
* Straight Talk About Mental Tests by Arthur R. Jensen
* The Divine Proportion [Paperback] by Huntley, H. E.
* The Human Brain: A Guided Tour (Science Masters Series) by Greenfield, Susan A
* The Modern Conductor: A College Text on Conducting (SOLD!)
* Instrumentation and Orchestration [Hardcover] by Blatter, Alfred (SOLD!)
* Psychology by Darley, John M
* Writing About Music: An Introductory Guide by Wingell, Richard J.
* The Mind of a Mnemonist : A Little Book about a Vast Memory (SOLD!)
* Anthology for Musical Analysis by Burkhart, Charles
* The Enjoyment of Music by MacHlis, Joseph; Forney, Kristine
* Psychology: Themes and Variations (Psychology) [Hardcover] by Weiten, Wayne
* Sociocultural Perspectives in Social Psychology: Current Readings
* Modern Music: A Concise History (World of Art) by Griffiths, Paul
* Sound Recording Practice [Paperback] by Association of Professional Recording
* The Modern Conductor (6th Edition) [Hardcover] by Green, Elizabeth A.

Updated May 5, 2014 and originally published August 21, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

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{ 5 comments }

avatar Doobie

Flexo’s list of titles make Doobie’s brain hurt.

avatar Caitlin

I’ve had great results selling used books and graphic novels on Amazon. DVDs, VHS and CDs tend to not sell as well (maybe its just my taste) but I always use Amazon for books and donate it if it’s either not worth it (like if 15 people are selling the same book for a penny) or if it doesn’t sell after 6 months.

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,455 (Platinum)

That’s my plan as well — some of the other books I was looking to sell where abundant on Amazon for $0.01. I’d be better off donating those to a library.

I thought about selling CDs online, but I’m not sure if that worthwhile.

avatar Gus M

Selling CDs on Amazon is definitely worthwhile. You just have to be careful what you sell. If copies are currently selling for under $2, it’s not worth selling. But I have many CDs that sell for $6 or more, which is much higher than you would get at a B&M store. I’ve been pleasently surprised at the number of $15+ Cds I’ve sold also.

IMO, Amazon is much better than Ebay for selling CDs, for a few reasons.

1) item stays live for 60 days. Ebay auctions are only 7 days.

2) Payment is instant. No waiting for Paypal or checks to reach you. As soon as someone buys an item, the money is immediately in your “seller account”. (It takes about 3-4 days to transfer to your bank.)

3) I’ve had bad luck selling on Ebay. My theory is that people often look to Amazon to buy a CD, and just happen to find the used CD link. People don’t seem to go to Ebay to look for music.

avatar Brett

Anybody heard of half.com? Yes, they are now owned by ebay, but they’re not auctions… I do all of this purchasing/sales there. Is Amazon as good for the deals?

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