Easy Ways to Sell Used Books

Summer is the time to clean up your home. And once you start, you realize that there are so many unwanted and long forgotten things stored in your attic. One of them is old used books…old school textbooks, children’s story books, old encyclopedias, management books, recipe books. The list can really be endless. Some of you might rejoice on finding some old books, for you consider them to be your long-lost friends. While a few others might want to make a quick buck out of this cleaning job. Here are some easy ways to sell your used books.

Where to Sell Used Books?

Here are some popular places where you can sell your used books at a good price.

Auction Sites

Some of the most popular auction sites like eBay and Amazon offer you the opportunity to put up your books for online auctions. All you need to do is register yourself as a member of their site and update the details of the books to be auctioned. There is a specific time frame within which the bidding for the book is allowed to take place. You may expect quite a lot of online bidding from some interested buyers. The title of the book usually passes to the best deal on offer provided you accept it. These online bids can sometimes fetch you some really high and interesting price quotes for your used books.

Used Book Stores

There are so many used book stores in every city. All you need to do is carry your books to them. The staff from the store usually checks the condition of these books. Prices are then quoted keeping in mind the overall demand for these books. There are however, some professionally managed online book stores like Powells which help you sell them books online and from any city. In this case, you are required to go on their website and place a selling request for your book with its ISBN number. This number is usually printed on the back cover of your book above the bar code. Upon identifying the ISBN number, you receive a price quote for your book. If you accept, you are issued a shipping slip to be attached along with your book’s postal package. Yes, these stores actually pay for shipping the books that they buy! You can usually expect a payment for this sale via Paypal within three working day’s time.

Garage Sale

An easy and effective way to sell used books is to organize a yard sale or garage sale. You can use this opportunity and host multifamily garage sale with your friends and neighbors. All you need to do is make big colorful banners and place them prominently outside your home so as to make your neighbors aware about your garage sale. Alternately, you may print fliers and place them at your local supermarket to advertise your garage sale. You will be quite amazed to see how many buyers visit you searching for some rare books.

Local Libraries

Many times, local community libraries accept old and used books. However, do not expect to bargain with the libraries for a better deal.


There are numerous schools that buy old books on behalf underprivileged students. You may not fetch really good price for your books. However, you are bound to feel good about your gesture since you could contribute towards educating a needy student.

Welfare Center

There are certain welfare centers for underprivileged students which accept old used textbooks and reference books. Since, these institutions run for a social cause, do not expect to bargain and fetch a very high price quote for these books.

Where to Sell Rare Antique Books?

One of your precious findings while clearing your old books might be an old and shabby looking book. Do not ignore such books and spare them more than a glance. Check to find out the name of the book, its author’s name, its year of print and the series of its edition. You never know when you might land up with a jackpot. There are plenty of collectors interested in buying some rare, antique, out of print and first edition books. You can always go on the Internet and check if your book is really rare. Bids for such books should not be treated as ordinary. You can always bargain a good price for such books. However, care should be taken about not changing the original look of the book as buyers insist on original covers and binding for such book. One well-known antique book purchasing websites is ‘Rare book buyer’.

How to Get the Best Price Quotes?

There are certain strategies that need to be remembered if you want the best price for your used books. Some of them are:

  • Used books sell really well during vacation times. So plan your garage sales during Christmas and summer vacations. This strategy may not be applicable for used books sold online on auction sites.
  • When selling books online, care to mention all possible details about the books put up on sale including the name of the previous owners if written anywhere on the book. Be very specific and honest about the condition of the book.
  • You can expect the best price quotes for books with covers or protective dust jackets. This is because buyers assume such books are in good condition and taken care of by the previous owner.
  • You can always get a better price for some non fiction books and old books like English literature classics. Do not expect a really high price for latest fiction books by new age authors.

There might be some books that do not get any response from second-hand buyers. But they can still fetch you an indirect monetary benefit. You can donate old books to some registered charities. These charities will issue you a charitable donation receipt which can then be used to deduct some amount from your tax payment. Great isn’t it?

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