As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Selling My Books on eBay: Probably Not Worth It

This article was written by in Uncategorized. 8 comments.

Doctor Who: Silver NemesisLast night, I was considering starting an eBay campaign. I have about 100 books (or “novelizations” as they’re called) of the classic Doctor Who television program. I purchased them with allowance money more than 15 years ago over the period of a few years, and the box that contains them has followed me from apartment to apartment.

I want to get rid of them, but they are kind of rare. I’ve been meaning to sell them on eBay for about six years. It would be a pretty large project unless I tried to sell them in bulk, but I’m not quite sure I want to take that route. I started looking into it again last night, but the process looked too intensive for selling them all individually, and I didn’t think I could get a good price by selling the entire lot at once.

Now eBay is increasing fees charged to those running a store within the auction website. The increases are intended to push more sellers back to the “auction” side of eBay and away from the stores.

So what’s the point of this story, other than to be aware of the increased fees? If anyone knows any Doctor Who fanatics with $100 plus shipping to spare, let me know so I can unload this box of books that has been taking up space in my coat closet.

Updated October 16, 2016 and originally published August 22, 2006.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes 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 Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Well, my mother sells the same dolls on eBay pretty often. She just uses a template and can get an auction up and running pretty quickly. You could probably set up either a template or else a text file and just copy and paste, changing your episode number and the description as you go about it. You would probably want to stagger your auctions as well, so that you can test what works and get more of them sold rather than somebody only wanting to bid on one or two at a time.

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 Anonymous

Try going to the fans instead of having them come to you. Televisionwithoutpity and SciFi both have fairly active forums, I believe. I bet if you posted in a merchandise thread, you’d get offers. Or at least suggestions about where to post further.

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Anonymous

I’d like to buy them, but would like to know just a little more about them. Is it possible to get a list of what titles you have, or a very brief overall condition assessment?

Depending on the condition and titles available, I’ll put in my interest on a purchase of them.

crudjunk at yahoo dot com

Reply to this comment

avatar 4 Anonymous

I’ve been using amazon to sell all my cd’s and a couple of books. The nice thing is all the work is already done- just type the UPC code in and all the product info, including picture is already there. They even work out the shipping costs for you!

Reply to this comment

avatar 5 Anonymous

If you want to sell as a single lot I would suggest Ebay. If you are worried about getting your price you could list with a reserve price to minimize your risk.

If you want to sell one by one I would suggest Amazon. You can see what other copies sell for and set your own price. Might be a bit of work with 100+ volumes tho (listing and shipping).

I cycle through a lot of books depending on what computer-related subject I’m concentrating on at work. The old ones go up on Amazon as soon as I’m done with them.

— Dave

Reply to this comment

avatar 6 Anonymous

I am starting to prefer Yes, it’s part of eBay, but I like the format better, and I’ve had better luck.

Reply to this comment

avatar 7 Anonymous

You’re right. I’ve sold on ebay. It’s not worth it. Someone needs to actually do a cost analysis to see that Ebay makes the money, not them. The time that you have to put into maintaining your sales page is a joke.

Ebay wins.

Reply to this comment

avatar 8 Anonymous

I recommend They seem to have lower fees than However, amazon is alledged to have greater volume.

The benefit of doing either is that you can lookup your books by upc code and they provide all the information – even for 100 books it’s fairly fast.

Furthermore, you can sell them over time – whereas EBay gives you 10 days or so on auction.

Finally, you have no fees to list the product – if it’s not sold, it’s not sold.

The down side is that you can’t charge shipping and handling separately. gives you a shipping allowance for different modes – media mail is the default, but you can offer others.

I’ve been fairly pleased with for book sales. I had a miserable experience selling books on ebay – it really didn’t make any sense.

If you’d like to gamble (the cost of insertion fees), I would sell the whole lot on ebay with a reserve. You should have enough viewers of your blog to generate some traffic.

Good luck,

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.