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Selling Used Textbooks on eBay and Amazon

As the end of summer approaches and students return to their studies, many of them are looking to save money by buying used textbooks. Other students and former students are trying to raise some extra cash by selling the books they no longer need, and these can often be found at garage sales, car boot sales and flea markets. This presents a good opportunity for online sellers to buy these unwanted books locally and offer them to the many thousands of potential buyers on eBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces.

Organic Chemistry by L.G. Wade Jr (2009) sold on eBay for $250.05Textbook of Diagnostic Ultrasonography and Textbok of Perinatal Medicine sold on eBay for $250 each

Homeschoolers are also looking for used curriculum courses online and the relatively high prices they can sell for gives the potential for  higher profits than some of those made on single textbooks.

Sonlight Core 1 + Reader 2 Regular sold on eBay for $330.00Calvert 7th Grade Curriculum including math sold on eBay for $330My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures sold on eBay for $240.28

The books will need to be in good, clean condition and in most cases will need to be a recent edition. Some pencil markings within the book are usually acceptable but avoid buying books that have extensive highlighting or ink markings in them.



  1. Just came over to continue the conversation (yeah I linked a different site – considering the content here, in fact I may be back regularly to comment and get that link love :)

    This is a great post – short, sweet, to the point, AND I never realised there was a market for the old text books, stupid really considering how expensive the damn things are to begin with.

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog today

  2. Lynn says:

    Hi Alex

    Nice to see you back again :-)

    I remember listing some of my son’s old textbooks when he finished uni a couple of years ago. I listed them to coincide with the start of the new university year and was surprised that they didn’t sell as easily as I thought they might. But when I relisted them two or three weeks later most of them sold for reasonable prices and my son explained that it was probably because it can take a couple of weeks for the students to find out which books they’ll need. That makes sense, and it just shows what a difference getting your timing right can make to sales.

    Warm Regards

  3. Hey Lynn,

    I love your post layout and how you have your integrated, the screeshots of the’used books’ pictures within the paragraphs of your post!

    As regards that I think the power of that selling concept is the timing is the best leverage you have on selling them, have you heard of a very successful Amazon seller in this niche called Sharon Fussel, hers the link to the sales page, (not affiliate),

    Anyway great business model,. Lynn….Ed.
    Ed@The Ed Files recently posted..Selling on eBay- and Having a passion for chicken Nuggets Relates to Your eBay Success

  4. Lynn says:

    Hi Ed

    Nice of you to drop in on your 100 Blog Comment journey :-)

    I was on Sharon Fussell’s list for a while but I haven’t heard from her for ages. She made a huge success of selling books on Amazon, beginning with selling a few from home then expanding it to a full time business for both her and her husband. Well done that woman! It just shows what can be done if we make the effort.

    Kind Regards

  5. Terry Conti says:

    Hi Lynn, text books are great to sell but like you said students will prefer the lasted edition. Interesting books that you have around the house that you’ve read may also sell if you don’t have text books.

    Terry Conti
    Terry Conti recently posted..Some things you should know about Clickbank

  6. Lynn says:

    Hi Terry

    It’s nice of you to drop by and leave a comment :-)

    I probably should have mentioned that the importance of textbooks being recent editions applies more strongly to some subjects than others. Law, for instance, is constantly changing so the information within the books soon becomes obsolete, whereas others such as art or philosophy need to be updated less frequently. However, methods and opinions do change so even textbooks on the more stable subjects still need to be reasonably up to date.

    Warm Regards

  7. Hi Lynn,

    Very excellent article on selling old textbook through ebay and amazon. I’m surprise to know that old textbooks can now have a market on ebay and amazon. This a good news to those book owners who want to sell their excess books.

    Thanks for this information. I believe this is the kind of information that book owners must be aware of.

  8. Used textbooks are one of those few items that can be a two-edged sword. They still have a good demand when you go to sell them, but since there are new editions of the same textbook so often it can be hard to keep up. I don’t know if I would sell them on ebay though. With new rules and fees all the time, ebay is becoming more and more like retail everyday.

  9. Annabel S. says:

    “With new rules and fees all the time, ebay is becoming more and more like retail everyday.”

    I completely agree! But it is nice to sell used books you don’t need to fellow students who ‘are’ in need. Not to mention you might find some books you need too.

    Great post Lynn, thank you!

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