Financial Fridays: Selling Used Books Online

One of the other items on my areas to declutter is my bookshelf. I looooooooooooove my books, but I also really love my Kindle. I don’t re-read many of my books so the hard copies tend to pile up on my bookshelf. While I haven’t entirely given up on reading hard copies of books, I also haven’t been very good about moving books out of my home.

In an era where many libraries no longer accept used books, it gets harder and harder to decide what to do with the books you longer care to keep. They look pretty on the shelf, but all most of them do is collect dust.

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I could always use them for crafting…but there really is only so much I can do with the pages of a book. It is also so painful to tear out the pages of a book for crafting because someone else might have really enjoyed said book. I know that I can always take them to a thrift store or a used book store, but I’d hate for them to end up on a shelf only to be tossed in landfill because no one buys them.

So I decided to see how easy it is to sell them on-line. Like my clothes venture last week, I realized eBay and Amazon were options but it seemed too tedious of a process and would require me to actively keep an eye on my listings so I could mail them out when, and if, purchased. That was so not going to work for me. I’m looking for easy.

Like the online consignment clothes stores, I discovered that there was a whole host of on-line stores that buy back your books (and textbooks). They outright buy them for a certain amount, and then I’m assuming they sell them for a profit.

There are quite a number of sites out there to try, but the one that seemed to get the most positive reviews was ckybooks.com – you can sell books, movies, CDs and games. You literally enter the ISBN or UPC number and they tell you if they are looking to buy that item.  They’ll tell you how much they’ll pay for them so you can decide if it’s worth your time. I haven’t hit the jackpot with anything I’ve entered so far, but I like the user-friendly concept.

If you reach a certain level of payback (I think it’s $40), they even pay for you to ship the items to them.

Seems simple, right?  It is, but it’s going to take a lot of items to get anywhere near $40 in my household. One of my books will only get me $0.15. I guess that’s better than nothing, but is it worth me shipping?  Not sure yet. I’ve only just starting inputting identifying codes, so we’ll see. The process seems easy enough that it could be fruitful if you have recent textbooks and novels.  My books are all pretty old.

Another great site I discovered in this quest is BookScouter.com – you enter your ISBN number and it searches all the online buyers for you and compares their buyback offers. They even rank the sellers on reliability for payment. One of the books I had entered into the CKYbooks site was being bought at a higher price somewhere else.

So it will take work and you’ll have to read the fine print about condition and minimum amounts so you achieve free shipping.  Clearly, a $0.15 payment for a book that I’d need to ship for around $3 would not be worth the mailing.

I’m going to give this a go and report back!

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