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How to sell books on Amazon: stack of books and a yellow mug in front of a wall

How to Sell Books on Amazon: Tips & Secrets for 2021

2021 Update: 

In order to provide ecommerce entrepreneurs with all the information they need to succeed with their Amazon ventures—from startup, to first sale, to phases of growth and scaling—we’ve updated our content for 2021.

If you’re interested in selling books on Amazon or eBay, check out our updated guides for How to Sell on Amazon and How to Sell on eBay in 2021

Selling books on Amazon is a fantastic way to make some cash — and even to start building an Amazon business. (In fact, that’s how I got my start selling on Amazon five years ago!)

But, to get started, you’ll need to learn how selling on Amazon works, as well as how to find books to sell on Amazon and what types of books you should and shouldn’t sell.


How to sell books on Amazon (my story)

Long before I made six-figures selling my own branded products on Amazon, I sold books. 

It all started with a nine-to-five job; and I hated my nine-to-five job. It was back in 2012, and I was hired to sell cars (yep — all the bad stuff you hear about car salesmen is 100% true, at least in my case).

After three years, I’d had enough.

how to sell books on Amazon
My life as a car salesman–just end it now!

So, in 2015, I started looking for a way out. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but, like many, I didn’t know how or where to begin. I was scared to make a move.

Sound familiar?

Then, my internet searches led me to blogs and videos about passive income. That’s how I discovered bookselling on Amazon.

I didn’t have a lot of money to start with either. Just a few hundred bucks. And frankly, I didn’t want to risk even that. I mean, who wants to risk losing their hard-earned money, right?!

Fortunately, I had an old comic book collection gathering dust. I thought, “Maybe I’ll list these online? See what happens!” And that’s how I started selling books on Amazon.

In just days, I had dozens of books listed on Amazon.

I was earning money, and I was learning about how to sell on Amazon as a way to replace my income. Now, five years later, I’m still an Amazon seller with hundreds of product listings and thousands in monthly sales — and the income that comes with it.

In other words, selling books on Amazon is absolutely doable! And I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to know in order to be successful.


How can I sell my used books on Amazon?

To sell a book on Amazon you need to decide three things: 

  1. Your fulfillment method (FBA or FBM)
  2. The type of seller you want to be (Individual or Professional Seller)
  3. How you source inventory

Once you’ve made those decisions, you can list your books on Amazon immediately — and then just wait for your first sale!

Let’s break it down further:

1. How will you fulfill orders?

There are two ways to fulfill your orders on Amazon: FBA and FBM. 

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)

With this method, when a sale is made on Amazon, you pick, pack, and ship the book yourself, using the carrier of your choice (eg. FedEx, UPS, etc). FBM sellers are also responsible for storing their own inventory.

So, when you are calculating your costs, remember to factor in storage fees if you’re not storing the books at home, as well as shipping and handling expenses and the amount of time it takes for you to pack and ship your orders.

Use FBM if you only have a few orders to fulfill or if you have a large enough operation that the costs to ship your orders are lower than Amazon’s. And again, you will have to have a place to store your books.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

With this method, when a sale is made on Amazon, Amazon picks, packs, and ships the book on your behalf. Amazon also stores your inventory for you and takes care of customer service.

Therefore, instead of paying storage, shipping and handling expenses, and labor costs on your own, you pay Amazon an FBA fee to cover those costs.

Use FBA if you have a lot of orders to fulfill and your operation isn’t large enough to have shipping costs lower than the requisite FBA fees. On the plus side, you won’t need a place to store your books as Amazon’s fulfillment centers will hold them for you until they sell.

2. What type of Amazon seller should you be?

There are two types of Amazon sellers.

Individual sellers

Individual sellers typically sell fewer than 40 products per month. This method is recommended for sellers who only have a few items to sell or are only selling as a hobby. Individual sellers have different fees than professional sellers (see the FAQ section below).

Professional sellers

Professional sellers are Amazon sellers who sell 40 or more products per month. This method is recommended for sellers who have large inventories and want to create a regular monthly income from their Amazon sales. 

Note: To find out what types of Amazon sellers are most successful, and what other categories they sell in, check out “The State of the Amazon Seller” report.

3. How do you find books to sell (ie. what is your inventory)?

Most folks want to sell books they already have online, but you can also source your inventory from a number of different places to continue growing your book sales on Amazon.

Here are some of the most popular methods.

Sell your own books

This one is probably the simplest way to find books to sell and it’s how I got started. Look around your house (yes, second-hand Marie Kondo-style) and see if you have some old books collecting dust.

Consider textbooks, rare topics, or — as I did — old comic books. (See the FAQ section for more on which types of books are best to sell on Amazon.)

Book sales

A lot of sellers love going to book sales as it can be kind of like hunting for treasure. Plus, there’s always a book sale going on somewhere, especially at libraries.

Head to these sales with a book scanner and look for some good picks that you buy and list online. 

Online arbitrage

Don’t feel like going out? Some sellers look on websites other than Amazon for books with prices lower than what you could sell the same book for on Amazon. This is usually called ‘online arbitrage.’

All you do is purchase the book from the one website, wait for it to arrive, and then list it on Amazon.

Bulk purchase/wholesale

You can often buy entire lots of books online for super low prices. You can buy full lots of used books on eBay, CraigsList, and Facebook listed at low rates. 

Estate/closing sales

Estate sales, closing sales, and moving sales are awesome ways to find books since large collections of books will be sold all at once. I used to go to estate sales and make offers on entire collections for pennies on the dollar.

Free books

Check out CraigsList or Facebook Marketplace; there is always someone who is looking to offload books at no charge. All you have to do is go get them.

Just be careful, as sometimes these free books could be listed by other sellers who are getting rid of the books that don’t sell. 


What kind of books can you sell on Amazon? 

Finding books to list on Amazon is usually pretty easy. However, you don’t want to spend your time listing books that no one will buy. That’s why it’s important to know how to find the right books to sell on Amazon. 

Here are a few tricks you can use to sort through the clutter.

Check the book’s Best-Seller Ranking

Every single product on Amazon gets a ‘‘Best Sellers Rank’ (BSR). The lower a product’s BSR, the more often that product sells on Amazon.

For example, a book ranked #1 on Amazon sells 1,500 copies per month. Meanwhile, a book ranked #1,000,000 might not sell a single copy for months — if ever.

A book’s best-seller ranking can be found on the book’s page listing in the product details.

Note: The Amazon Best Sellers Rank you need to focus on is the BSR for the Books category. You can ignore the BSRs for the subcategories.

In my experience, you want to sell books that have a BSR lower than 100,000. That means there is a pretty good chance that your book will sell within 24 hours. 

Estimate the book’s likelihood to sell

There are a few tools you can use to estimate how likely a book is to sell on Amazon shortly after you purchase it.

  • Jungle Scout’s Free Estimator Tool: Simply put in a book’s BSR, the market you’re selling it in, and the category. From there, the Sales Estimator tells you the monthly sales for that product. For example, if a product has 3,000 sales per month, it sells about 10 copies per day.
  • Keepa: Keepa creates a graph that shows you how a book’s BSR has changed over time. Using that data, you can predict how often sales are made. Keepa’s premium version, which shows a book’s BSRs, costs $149 per year.
  • Jungle Scout Extension. Jungle Scout — an all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon — offers an extension too, which not only shows you the sales history for a single product but the estimated sales for an entire page of search results as well. This is useful if you ever expand your business beyond selling books, and the cost is $228 per year.
  • Book Scanners: Many book sellers use a handheld scanner to help them while they’re looking for inventory. To make life really easy for yourself, you can always use Amazon’s mobile seller app instead. It comes with a scanner of its own that gives you the product price, FBA fees, approximate profits, BSR, total number of sellers, and official Amazon category.

Note: If you don’t mind storing books in your own home for a longer period of time, or paying the additional storage fees (if you’re an FBA seller), then you can list books that sell more slowly. Just go with what you’re comfortable with!

How to list your book on Amazon

Once you become registered to sell on Amazon, you can start listing your books.

The easiest way to do this is to go to the actual product page for the book you want to list. That’s right—you can actually list your books from the Amazon page itself instead of creating an entirely new listing. Then, once you list your book, it appears on the same page.

Here’s an example:


To access the product listing page, type in the book’s ISBN (which is the book’s registration code) into Amazon’s search bar — just like you do when you’re searching for a product to buy.

The ISBN can usually be found either on the barcode or somewhere inside the book’s dust jacket. 

However, if the book was printed before 1970, it won’t have an ISBN. In that case, you’ll have to enter the title manually.

Once you’re on the product listing page, you will find a gray button that says “Sell on Amazon” just below the Buy Box.

After clicking on that button — and as long as you’re permitted to sell the book — you should see this screen:

How to sell books on Amazon: view of Seller Central offer page

From there, enter the following information:

  • SKU: This is your own personal code for the book. This can be whatever you you want it to be, though it’s best if it’s something that will help you remember it. If you leave it blank, Amazon randomly generates one for you.
  • Price: I recommend selling the book for the lowest price possible, unless there is a large difference between the prices on the varying conditions of the book. For example, books of ‘Acceptable’ quality usually sell for less than books of ‘Very Good’ value. For your convenience, Amazon has a button you can click to match the lowest price.
  • Quantity: If you have more than one copy of a book, enter the total quantity here. Otherwise, it defaults to one unit.
  • Condition: There are five conditions for Amazon books: ‘New’, ‘Like new’, ‘Very good’, ‘Good’, and ‘Acceptable’. If you can sell Collectible books (see FAQs), you will also have options for: Like new, Very good, Good, and Acceptable books. Furthermore, hardcover books with dust jackets have separate conditions for just the dust jacket.
  • Fulfillment Channel: FBM or FBA (see above in this article for the difference).

Once you enter that information, one of two things will happen:

  • If you selected to sell the book FBM, your listing for the book will appear on the book’s product listing page in 15-30 minutes. All you have to do is wait for it to sell.
  • If you selected to sell the book FBA, you have to prepare the book to ship to Amazon. It typically takes 1-2 weeks for your inventory to arrive at the destination fulfillment center. Then, it will take Amazon’s staff another three days to a week to unpack the inventory and distribute it to their network. This time could be longer if it’s a particularly busy period for Amazon, like the holiday season.


Frequently Asked Questions


Where else can I take old books for money?

If Amazon isn’t the solution for you, or you only have a handful of books and it’s not worth all of the rigamarole, then here are a few more options for you to consider.

Donate them

The easiest option is scheduling a donation pick-up with the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or another non-profit. All you have to do is box them up, set them on your front porch, and they’ll send a truck to pick it all up. In exchange, you’ll get a receipt that you can write off on your taxes. This isn’t the most exciting option and you won’t receive cash, but it is pretty simple to do.

Yard sale/garage sale

You might also try selling them from your garage in a yard sale. Again, this is pretty easy to do. However, in my experience, books rarely if ever sell at yard sales. The last three yard sales I’ve had we just ended up giving the books away. 

Used bookstores

Another option you might consider that’s pretty simple and a little more profitable than a yard sale is selling your old books to a used bookstore. Spots like Half-Priced Books pay decent cash for good, used books. The only drawback with this method is that they won’t necessarily take every book you try to sell them. And they pay a pretty low rate for most books; even the goods ones!

Sell books on eBay

When it comes to selling books on Amazon vs eBay, personally, I feel Amazon is the better option.  I’ve sold books on both platforms and I’ve had a lot more success with Amazon.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. You don’t have to hold your own inventory. Amazon keeps your inventory for you in their fulfillment centers and ships the products for you (FBA).
  2. Amazon gives each book a best-seller ranking. You can use this metric as a guide to estimate how likely a book is to sell on Amazon. This saves you a ton of time.
  3. Amazon has more than double the online traffic of eBay with less than 1/10th of the sellers eBay has. That means a lot more opportunity for you.

What types of books sell best on Amazon?

  • Textbooks. If there was a “gold standard” of used books that you can sell on Amazon, it’d definitely have to be textbooks. Textbooks are always in high demand, especially during the fall and spring, and tend to have high prices — even old editions! The only drawback with textbooks is that sometimes publishers “brand gate” their books to prevent non-certified sellers from selling new or used copies.
  • Niche books. Books that had low print runs and are a part of a larger collections do well on Amazon thanks to a lack of competition. For example, I made a lot of money purchasing Dungeons & Dragons books on eBay and reselling them on Amazon.
  • Comic books. You can sell comic books on Amazon, too. Both single issues and graphic novels perform well on Amazon, and if you have collectible issues they can fetch a decent profit.
  • Collectibles. First edition books, signed books, and any other book that could be considered “collectible” are also popular on Amazon.
  • Non-fiction. Overall, non-fiction performs a lot better than fiction on Amazon. That’s not to say that fiction does poorly, but in my experience, fiction books tend to lose their value faster than non-fiction books. 
  • Hardcovers. Naturally, hardcovers have higher prices than paperback books and tend to hold their value better.

What types of books don’t sell well on Amazon?

  • Fiction. As I noted above, fiction doesn’t sell well on Amazon. I believe there are a few reasons for this. First, fiction books have larger print-runs than non-fiction books, meaning that there are more copies in circulation. Also, readers are less likely to hold onto a book of fiction they’ve read than a  book of non-fiction which they can still reference. Finally, fiction books have cheaper cover prices. 
  • Children’s books. Another type of book people tend to get rid of quickly once they’re done reading them are children’s books. Children’s books tend to have much lower prices, as well, meaning that it’s tough to turn a profit when selling them competitively.
  • Cookbooks. For whatever reason, cookbooks perform poorly on Amazon. 
  • Mass market paperbacks. Of all the books you can sell on Amazon, mass market paperbacks probably perform the worst. Not only do they have high-print runs (which means more competition) but their sales prices are low. It’s not uncommon for major book sellers on Amazon to sell these books at a loss. 
  • Popular new books. New books — even new, hardcover, non-fiction books — don’t perform well on Amazon. The chief reason for this? Because you have to compete against Amazon! Anytime Amazon is selling a book, it’s going to be tough to beat their prices.

Tip: Overall, supply-and-demand dictates how well a used book will perform on Amazon. If there is a lot of demand for a title but there aren’t a lot of sellers selling that title, then it’s likely that the book will perform well.


How much does it cost to sell books on Amazon?

Like most online platforms, Amazon has certain fees you have to pay to sell on their platform.

Here is a brief description of the fees you should expect.

Individual fee OR subscription fee

As mentioned above, individual sellers are sellers who sell 40 or less products per month. If you are an individual seller, you do not have to pay the professional seller subscription fee, but you do have to pay $0.99 individual per-item fee. Like the referral fee, the individual per-item fee is deducted from the proceeds of the sale so you do not need to pay these fees in advance.

Unlike individual sellers, professional sellers are Amazon sellers who sell more than 40 products per month. A professional seller does not have to pay the individual fee for each sale. However, they do have to pay a $39.99 subscription fee every month. This fee is deducted from your account balance or charged to a credit card you put on file.

Referral fee

When you sell a book on Amazon, Amazon takes 15% of the sale price. For example, if you sell a book for $10, the referral fee will be $1.50. This fee is subtracted from the proceeds after a sale is made, so you don’t have to pay it upfront. 

Closing fee

Media products such as books, DVDs, CDs, and Blu-Ray, come with a flat $1.80 fee per sale, and only sellers who focus on selling these products need to worry about these fees. 

Like the referral fee, the closing fees are deducted from the proceeds of the sale so you do not need to pay these fees in advance.

Shipping costs

In addition to the two types of seller plans, there are also two ways to sell on Amazon: Fulfillment by merchant (FBM) or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). 

A FBM seller is responsible for shipping their own products once a sale is made. Your shipping costs depend on your carrier, resources you use to ship products, and the cost of labor.

A FBA seller uses Amazon’s fulfillment network to store, pick, pack, and ship their products. This comes with an FBA fee that replaces the costs you’d normally spend shipping goods. Your FBA fee is determined by the size and weight of the book sold.

You can learn more about FBA fees in our in-depth article on the subject. However, it’s worth noting that FBA fees tend to be much less than what it would cost to ship your own books. Plus, Amazon does all the work for you! It’s a win-win.


Let’s say we’re selling a first edition copy of Stephen King’s “It” for $100. We’re shipping the book ourselves, so it will be shipped FBM. And we are an individual seller instead of a professional seller.

In this instance, Amazon takes $15 for referral fees, $1.80 for the closing fee, and $0.99 for the individual per item fee. We’ll use an old box we have lying around with some packing peanuts in it and ship it by USPS Media Mail, costing us $3.86. Finally, we factor in the cost of the book itself. In this scenario, we purchased it for $10 at a yard sale.

After subtracting the fees, that leaves us with $76.07. 


Can I sell books on Amazon for free?

Yes! Well, kinda. Amazon has a program called Amazon Trade-in, which allows you to exchange video games, electronics, old books, and other items that you may not have a need for anymore. The only catch is that Amazon is pretty picky about what they accept.

Furthermore, Amazon only offers Amazon credit for the goods that you trade-in. And much like trading your books into a discount book store, they do not offer very much for your books.

Still, if you’re looking for another simple solution to getting rid of old books, Amazon Trade-in is the way to go.

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Have you sold books on Amazon before? What tips do you recommend for people just starting out? Share them in the comments below; we’d love to hear them!



537 comments on “How to Sell Books on Amazon: Tips & Secrets for 2021

  1. Hi,

    I have just bought a house and it comes with a collection of 15,000+ books.

    Will i need a professional account in order to list them?
    They are mostly all niche books on niche topics.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Nice score! You don’t need a professional account to list them but it is recommended if you plan to sell more than 40 books per month, which you probably will. If you choose the individual account, you will be charged an extra $0.99 per transaction and the pro account is a flat $39.99 per month. If you sell more than 40 items with the individual plan, you will be paying more than what it would cost for the pro plan.

  2. I have written a book it has already been printed and copyrighted I have copies of the book I would like to sell on Amazon I am keeping the inventory and I would like to pack & ship myself when a book has been purchased. How do I set this up??

  3. Hello, I want to sell books, What if i sell a best selling new book without publisher’s permission on amazon, do i need to take care or it’s okay, can i sell branded items in generic category

    1. Hello,

      You can sell a best-selling book as long as your account allows you to list the item. But be careful about listing the books as “New.” I suggest choosing “Used” when selling books.

      You can’t sell branded items under “Generic.” It must be listed under the actual brand.

  4. Hallo Dave,

    Greetings. My name is Grace. I am looking to get rid of some academic books, mainly Respiratory Care and Math of various levels. It’s about 20 books. I was not very smart when it comes to purchasing my academic books in the past. To my regrets, I paid a hefty penny for most of these books at the time of purchase. I am looking to get some change from selling these books, but no grand expectation either. Selling on Amazon seems intimidating. I am willing to overcome that fear, but might need a substantial amount of guidance.
    Can you please assist me? Thank you for your time and consideration.

    1. Hi Grace,

      Once you get your account set up, it is pretty straightforward getting your books listed for sale! It is intimidating at first but you just have to jump in and try it. You can start with a free individual seller account with Amazon since you only have 20 books to sell.

      Search for the books you have on Amazon to see if they are available for sale already and to check the current prices. Then, you just list your product on that same listing as another seller.

  5. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for all of your tips! I am new to selling and have started with rare and historical automotive books. I am having issues however adding any product. When i type the ISBN in, the window comes up with ”show limitations’ and no option to sell. I have tried this with 5 other titles and all coming up with the same outcome. Does this mean I need to look at other platforms other than Amazon to sell them?
    Thanks in advance,


    1. Hi Samantha,

      For those particular books, they may be restricted on Amazon. If so, I suggest listing them on eBay.

      What does it say under “show limitations?”

    1. Hi Mick,

      You can still use “Add a product” in seller central or through the Amazon seller app. Go to inventory > add a product.

  6. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the helpful info. I am new to selling books on Amazon and have just sent my 4th book shipment. After shipping, I realized I had 2 books with labeling errors with their condition. I can’t seem to get to the bottom of how to correct this. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Gina,

      In this case, you will need to make those listings Inactive and have Amazon ship those items back to you via a removal order. Amazon will not relabel them for you with the correct condition.

  7. I have 100 copies of a new title at an Amazon FBA facility. I was just notified that I can’t advertise the book because I’m a 3P (Pro Account) Seller.
    Do you have thoughts on other ways to improve ranking and get some sales momentum going? I’m frustrated that I can’t advertise but have to find other ways to gain visibility and move product.

    1. Hi Gene,

      You should be able to advertise your product if your ARE a Pro seller. You cannot advertise if you are an Individual seller.

      Also, I suggest checking out our Listing Optimization article. That will help you with ways to gain visibility.

  8. Hi Dave, I am somewhat new to selling on Amazon, my daughter and I bought a bunch o books new, we scanned them in store, and there is profit to be made… however, once we got home I noticed some books sell for high but the book has a price tag that was made with the book, not the sticker from the store but a publisher price. Should I just return these to the store?

    1. Hi Benson,

      I have experienced that before and have not had any issues. Normally it’s an older book that cannot be easily found and the customer is willing to pay extra than the original price.

  9. Thanks for this informative article. Assuming that I set up to be an individual seller and plan to ship my own product, how do I know when the product is sold? Another way to ask is how does Amazon notify me of the sell and where to send the item sold?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Amazon will send you an email notification of when an item sells if using FBM. Also, download the free Amazon seller app, and what will notify you as well.

  10. Everywhere someone is saying how easy it is to sell books on Amazon, use apps, where to buy books, etc., but no one says that Amazon doesn’t allow sellers to sell most profit books. There is a mountain of books that Amazon doesn’t even allow sellers to unlock/ungate, it just displays the message “not available” to sell.

    1. Hi Kleber,

      Yes, there are books that you’re not able to sell but there are millions of others that you are able to sell. You just have to go out and find them!

  11. Hi! I want to start selling books but what is the BEST scanner to use to figure out if the book I find will sell quickly (not take years to sell)? I have the Scoutly app but have no idea how to read it! I want to learn how to tell if the book will sell well.

    1. Hi Marcia!

      I use ScoutIQ as a book scanner and think it works very well. I suggest watching some Youtube videos on your app of choice to see how to read correctly–it can be confusing!


  12. Great info – question do you know if the $39.99 monthly can be cancelled? So lets say I have a few hundred books I want to sell… Lets say that they sell out within 6-7 months. Can you cancel your ‘subscription’ once you are done. —- DOES ANYONE KNOW ??? thanks for your help

    1. Hi Leah,

      You will need to create an FBA shipment within your seller account to send the book info an Amazon fulfillment center.

  13. Hey i would love to sell Books on Amazon. i got some but i see some Offers are the newest Edition and i have just the older one. how can we sell it? because i dont see the different Book Editions on Amazon. just the newest

    1. Hi Marko,

      Have you tried entering the ISBN on Amazon? The listing may be out of stock which is why you wont see it.

      1. Hey Brian, thank you for your reply. they share the same ISBN. so i saw mostly education books are profitable but i have Edition 2 printed 2018 and on amazon the same isbn the same book but Edition 3 printed 2019. so should i create a new listing? or is this not possible? because i dont want to get bad reviews when the customer want to buy of course the newest edition and gets a “older” one. or is there any trick?

        1. Hi Marko,

          I would try to create a new listing with the correct edition. Multiple editions on one listing would cause lots of confusion.

    1. Hi Nikita,

      Look up “FBA prep centers” on Google. There are many companies that can help prep your items for FBA.

  14. I am new to amazon seller. I want to start selling online very soon after I get all information.
    The BIG question is WHAT products to sell?
    Can you suggest?
    Best Regards
    Surin Poommai

    1. Hi Surin,

      Unfortunately, I cannot recommend what to sell for you. You will need to go through the product research phase to find something that suits you. I suggest checking out our How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners guide for all the info you will need.

  15. After I send physical copies of old books that i purchased and send to Amazon what are the next steps I need to take for example, do I need to open an account, because I have an account with Amazon when I want to purchase something, but I would like to sell the physical books on Amazon Prime. Tell me what do I need to do??

    1. Hi Tracey,

      Your first step will need to be opening up your Amazon selling account. You cannot do anything until that is complete. After that, you’ll be able to create your shipments to send your books into an FBA warehouse.

  16. Hello I have seen university and textbooks are here in Germany also used very lucrative. but now after I bought a few of them, I noticed that the ISBN always remains the same no matter what book edition it is and Amazon offer is always the latest edition. at the used offers you can not see which edition is offered. How do you handle this?

    1. Hi Manasan,

      There are no other listings available with the older editions? You can always try to create a new listing with the specific edition you are wanting to sell.

  17. To whom it may concern:
    I have a variety of many books that I need to sell/donate. I’m in the process of decluttering and down-dizing and need to fine an effective way of getting rid of my books.
    I love my books, but have come to a point in my life where I cannot keep them any longer. Books are sacred to me so that I can’t throw them out as garbage. Please advise.
    Thank you,
    Mirian Hernández

  18. Hi,
    Your answer to someone else said, “Yes, you can use media mail and purchase that through Amazon’s shipping services.”

    I’ve never been able to figure out how! I’ve been paying almost $10 each time I mail a book that Media Mail would be around $3. Can’t find how to do Media Mail!

    1. Hi Pat,

      You don’t see an option for USPS media mail in shipping services? That’s odd! You can always purchase the shipping outside of Amazon and add the tracking information into seller central.

    1. Hi Muhammad,

      Did you read through this guide? You should also check out How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners Guide. It’ll explain how to get started on Amazon no matter the product!

    1. Hi Tina! Take a look around our blog, we have lots of great resources to help you start. I suggest reading our free How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners guide. It will show you step by step how to sell on Amazon.

  19. I need a step-by-step guide to getting started selling books on Amazon. I believe I have an Amazon account having purchased items and been billed to my Visa account. Can I post my books for sale and receive payment to my Visa account?
    Help! I am anxious to get started!
    Anne Kirkpatrick

    1. Hi Anne,

      You will need to open up a seller account, which is separate from your buyer account. Also, you will need to connect your bank account in order to receive payment.

      Did you read through this guide? What other questions do you have?

  20. I have many fictional books by known authors that are like new. All are hard covers. How can I sell them?

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Did you read through the post? It’ll give you all the info you need! Let me know if you have a specific question.


  21. I have a set of six Hemingway books as a kit to sell via FBM, in which shipping I will be take care of myself. What is the total Amazon selling cost for this 6-book kit.
    I may have some other individual books to sell later.

    1. Hi,

      There is no way of knowing that without knowing the price of the item. You can use Amazon’s free FBA revenue calculator to estimate your costs.

  22. I publish books through Amazon KDP. A Seller listed the book and somehow our details have been mixed up on the system. If I try to set up an Amazon Ad them I’m told there is only one book available, the book is at too high a price so my ads won’t be served. Amazon Ads even tell me the Sellers name but insist that I am that Seller.

    Logically I shouldn’t have only one book with publishing through KDP (Print-on-Demand) and I should have access to select the book price that matches the price I am publishing. I have been going around in circle for a week or two now unable to convince Amazon that they have got my details mixed with somebody else.

    Does anybody have any advice?

  23. Very well done article. One issue that I was hoping to find the answer to is: if a merchant is doing the fulfillment, what information, and in what form, is Amazon going to present the buyer and shipping information to the merchant? Are you using USPS media mail to ship your books?

    1. Hi Tom,

      The customer will be presented with the shipping speed that is available. Once the customer places an order, their information will be available in your seller account. Yes, you can use media mail and purchase that through Amazon’s shipping services.

  24. Hey I only see the option to pay 39.99 to set up a seller’s account and I want the one that charges 99 cents plus fees per item sold instead. Can you provide a link to that?

  25. I have hundreds of books my dad wrote in the 90’s. The book is called A Ripple of Hope. About he and mother’s work in the civil rights movement ( white couple). It’s excellent. I can send one for you to read if you like.

  26. Hi Dave, trying to get around the “deactivated for potential pricing errors” … I sell many books (religious, astrological, etc.) that have an older print date than those that are listed on Amazon. The pricing for these are being compared to paperback, newer additions. Do you have any advice to get around this glitch? Thank you.

    1. Hi Michele,

      Try setting a “minimum” and “maximum” price in your Manage Inventory section. This should fix the price error.

  27. “Amazon” reduced the price of my used book so low that I needed to sell it at a loss. Somehow my FBM was changed to FBA, and when I tried to return to my original selling method (FBM) it would automatically change to All. After 16 years of selling on Amazon, what a horrible new selling method on Amazon in view of the present pandemic and job losses!!

    1. Hi Sandy,

      What do you mean Amazon reduced your price? Were you receiving a price error? Try setting a minimum and maximum price in manage inventory to avoid any errors.

  28. Hi Dave thanks for the very helpful info on selling on Amazon. I wondered if you can help me with selling my own (fine art) book on there?
    Julie Luiz Murphy (Queensland Australia). 😊

  29. Hello I am interested in selling as a hobby. I downloaded the FBA app but am having trouble understanding it. Any suggestions or videos on how to use would be appreciated.

  30. Hello.
    Very informative article. I have some used books that I like to sell on Amazon. With the FBM method, how are returns handled? Who pays for shipping back the item to me? What if the person who bought the book sends it back in a damaged condition preventing it from being resold to others?

  31. Hi Dave. Thank you for the article. I am someone who has a couple hundred books all over the house and have decided to start trying to sell them. I set up a seller’s account (FBM – which took about 10 days – it’s more of a process than I realized). I read every single article Amazon had in their seller’s guides, etc. However now that I’ve listed some books, I still feel unclear on a few things. One, as I input the new listing, I’ve used the “suggested low price” recommended. Then below, Amazon gives a chart of costs. As an example: a book is listed for $5.00 plus 3.99 shipping. According to the seller fee chart, there is a shipping credit for $3.99. Amazon fees are $4.14. And the total I receive is $4.85. I can’t figure out where the $4.14 comes from. I know there is a 15% referral fee and $.99 individual fee. Does this also include the $1.80 referenced in your article? Even so, it doesn’t add up to $4.14. I am able to justify that I will not make a ton of money on an example like this but just want to understand the fee structure better moving forward. In addition, I’m unable to find my own listings on the Amazon pages. I’ve tried all the books I input and can not find mine. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Yes, that fee does not sound correct. I suggest using Amazon’s free FBA revenue calculator–you can search for it on Google–and it’ll break down the fees for you.

      I also don’t suggest using the suggested low price as you may even lose money on the sale. Keep your prices higher until the other competition sells out.

      To find your offer, you need to click on the book listing you are selling and go to “other sellers.” You won’t have your own separate listing, you will be sharing the listing with other sellers.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Just start small and get familiar with the process. It can be overwhelming at times but you will get the hang of it as long as you are consistent! Take some time to read our many articles and How to Sell on Amazon beginner guide to help answer your questions.


  32. HI. My problem is selling in Canada, because the shipping is so expensive. Cheapest is Canada Post and Amazon foes not pay anywhere near enough to cover the cost of regular parcel, even with a business account. Some thinner books could be sent as oversize letters, but Amazon wants regular post with tracking number. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Margaret,

      Books might not be the best to sell in Canada if that is the case for you. You can try sending them into a Canadian FBA warehouse instead of fulfilling the orders yourself.

  33. I”m a used book seller. It seems like Amazon is taking my money. Is there a class for those who want to sell on Amazon? Is it better or worse to offer free shipping/handling? How do you adjust the cost of your book?

    1. Hi Doris,

      You need to understand your costs and Amazon fees before listing any item for sale. Are you using any software or scanning apps to help with your book business? They will calculate the Amazon fees to show you your profit. Also, I am assuming you are doing FBM. Have you sent any books to FBA?

  34. I sold MANY books on Amazon in 2008–back when days were simpler!. Amazon says my account has been closed. No kidding! I am now downsizing and want to sell as an FBM, but I can only find info on how to sell as an FBA on Amazon’s site (while I have more than 40 books, it will take me longer than 40/month to organize and list them all).

    1. Hi Susan,

      As long as you can get back into your Amazon account, you can choose to create an FBA or FBM listing. I believe you are talking about a professional account vs. an individual account. Check out Amazon’s selling plan page. This should be what you are looking for.


  35. On the Free Jungle Scout Estimator, under category, I cannot find “Books”. Is it under some other category? Please advise. Thank you.

  36. I am not a book seller yet. I do have a question about labeling my books before shippng to Amazon for fullfillment. Do I need an inventory and label making product in order to label my books before shipping?

    1. Hi Karen,

      You can use a label printer to print out the FNSKU barcodes for each book. Or you can use your regular printer and use the 30 label sheets to peel and stick to your books.

  37. Thank you for sharing this great article with all of us.
    . I like the point by point presentation you used to address the most important topics for the beginners.
    I have couple of questions:
    a) I have books in Russian language and the books do not have any ISBN number since the were published in Russia, how to publish this books on Amazon.com?
    b) where to read about posting the books and other details for the beginners?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Ada,

      You should look into using a GTIN exemption in order to list on Amazon. That allows you to list a product without a UPC. Though, I am unsure if it applies to the book category. Check out our post on that topic.

      What information was missing from this post that you need to know more of?

    1. Once your book sells, Amazon will add the funds to your available balance once the order ships. Amazon pays out every two weeks.

  38. I have sold books on Amazon slowly over the past few years and it has always been easy to give an idea of the condition beyond just clicking “used- good”. Now I don’t see any way to explain the lower rating – “book has highlighting”, etc.

    1. I believe condition notes are no longer available when listing products. Have you tried “advanced view” and see if the condition note section comes up?

  39. What fees does Amazon get when I sell a used book on the Amazon website? I tried opening your FAQ to find out but the links don’t work.

  40. I have written a book and it is about to be printed. I’m over 80 years old and cannot handle all the shipping myself. Can I have the printer send you 40 copies to store and then from those copies, can you fulfill orders that are placed on Amazon? The last book I wrote and put on Amazon, the publisher did all the work, so I haven’t done this myself before. The book didn’t sell well, so I don’t want to print too many of this new book to start. I don’t have a website. You can reach me by phone at 978-732-0073. Can you tell me how to begin and what the fees will be? Thank you for any advice you can provide.

    1. Do you have an Amazon Seller Central account already set up? You’ll be able to create a shipment within Seller Central and send the shipping labels to your printer to ship to Amazon.

      The fees will depend on the size and weight of your book. We also have a post that explains the Amazon fees here: https://www.junglescout.com/blog/amazon-fba-fees/


  41. I sold on Amazon quite a while back and went inactive. I am an individual seller and would like to start up again. I no longer have the inventory that was previously listed, so would just need to start over with fresh inventory. Is there an easy way to erase that previous inventory? How do I apply as an individual? All I saw was the $39.99 monthly fee version. Any advice appreciated. Thank you!

    1. If you already have an account, don’t open a new one. Amazon only allows you to have one seller account. You can upgrade/downgrade your account with your account settings.

      You can delete your inactive listings from within your manage inventory.

  42. Hello. Thanks for sharing great article.

    i would like to ask. If i’m new to this selling books at amazon thing, would you recommend FBM or FBA?
    i read articles about textbook flipping as well and most of them recommend FBA.

    Thank you

    1. You can do both. It depends on on how fast a book will sell. If it has a decent sales rank, you should send into FBA.

  43. I have written five books so far and have a quantity of about 75 of each in my home. How can i have Amazon handle the sales, shipment, and collection for the sale of the books?

  44. Hello Dave i really benefit from the information about how to sells books on Amzone,i want to start sell like you on Amazon

  45. Great article, thank you! How do you determine shipping cost and should this be folded in to the overall price and offer “free shipping”?

    1. Hi Jonna! Books are usually very cheap to ship via USPS. You can calculate the cost from your zip code to zip codes in other parts of the country to figure out the average cost.

      Roll the shipping cost into your price and offer free shipping. Buyers will prefer a free shipping option.

      1. Will a customer see the price based on their location? In other words, you mention cost to ship zip to zip, but if I’m listing the price and want to roll the shipping into the price, how would I do that if the shipping cost for me will be different depending on where it is being sent.

        1. Hi Doug,

          In that case, figure out what the median shipping cost would be across the country and roll that cost into your product. Also, keep in mind, shipping books through USPS is very cheap with media mail. You cannot set calculated shipping. Here is what Amazon states in their shipping settings, “Shipping to all states in the continental U.S. (excluding Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. protectorates) for the same shipping fee is required.”

  46. Hi

    Thank you so much for your article. I have a question is there a company that can check, repackage and ship your book? So that I cut the time of processing the books myself

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Kelvin, There are plenty of prep centers for Amazon sellers that will process your items for.

      Just search Amazon FBA prep centers on Google and you will find a ton.

  47. Hello,

    II’ve been using Scoutly to source books. When I was checking the thrift store the scanner said I would make a profit so I bought. A day later I rescan when I am entering the items to my inventory and has a different result to reject the book. What’s going wrong here?

    1. Are you using the database with Scoutly? You may have had an older database downloaded with old information. If it came up profitable at one point, I would just list the book and hold until the price goes back to where you want to sell it at.

  48. Dave – Thank you for this really helpful overview of selling books on Amazon. I’m getting ready to move and trying to reduce my library. Your article made a difference for me! Much obliged! – monica ps… Love the photo!

  49. Thank you for all your information! What happens when your book or “product” has limitations? How can I show proof of my supplier?

  50. HI! Question – I need to sell a few books of mine on amazon. I am trying to register as an individual seller, not business. Amazon is asking for my personal information, including the date of birth, country of birth, and passport or DL number and country and date of issuance. And Amazon says it is asking for this information because EU regulations require is to collect business and personal information and confirm identity. I do not see a comment as to how they protect this information, and how EU regulations pertain to US listings and sales in any way. Any comment as to whether it is normal for amazon to request this information and whether it is possible to do without disclosing it? I used to have a seller account on amazon years ago and I do not remember disclosing my personal information like DOB or identity documentation. Please advise, thank you!

  51. Great article on selling books on Amazon. You didn’t mention the strategy of making a separate listing for a book by creating a listing for completely different edition that does not exist, which I’m seeing is ubiquitous on Amazon. These listings are created by changing the name of the book slightly by adding some extra words, names or dates, and changing the name of the publisher slightly, and providing publication dates that are in the 1700’s and the 1800’s. The listings do not have ISBN numbers (guess because they have such an old pub date), they have ASIN numbers instead. They use the same artwork, descriptions and reviews of the legitimate listings. Most of these listings appear to have been created by 50 different “stores” that can be traced back to one single holding company registered in Texas. Many of these books sell for around $1,000, but the prices fluctuate. These books apparently are not in the physical inventory of the sellers, because the ship date is several days after the normal ship date of books, which is within a day or two of the purchase. They not only hurt the integrity of the legitimate books and their listings, for example by pulling sales from the legitimate book and therefore lowing the legitimate book’s rankings, they confuse the customer with all the phony editions, and during this world pandemic health crisis, they unduly stress fulfillment centers and the post office. The books are also prone to more shipping damage because they are shipped twice, 2nd time usually in just a thin plastic bag.

    The sales from these phony listings risk the health of not only the fulfillment center workers and postal workers, but also health of the customers by the extra exposure to Covid-19 by having to ship the book twice for one purchase.

    What’s up with all of these phony listings? As an author, and also an individual seller on Amazon, I find them so unfair and disgusting!

    1. Hi Penny,

      yes, I do agree that is a problem! You can always report listing abuse to Amazon if you suspect any wrongdoings. Amazon will take them down if they find it to be true.

  52. What do you recommend for selling college books and how much does amazon get from selling your books on amazon?

    1. Hi,

      Selling college textbooks is a great way to start selling on Amazon. It depends on what your selling price is.

  53. If there are 20 plus number of sellers in a certain single product, it is worth to list and sell that single product? What is the minimum of seller in order for me to compete in single product? Thank you.

    1. Hi Rogelio,

      it really depends on the sales volume of that product. If the book you’re listing sells 100 times a month, it’ll be worth it. But if it sells just 5-10 a month, it’s probably not worth listing unless you can match the lowest price.

  54. hi! I am trying to get into book selling and appreciated all of this information! My question is about getting started. If I already have a decent amount of books I’d like to sell, and want to go the FBA route, is my first step scanning the books and posting them to sell? Once they are posted for sale, I ship them to amazon? Just wanted to confirm this step! My other question is what do you recommend for taking high quality pictures? And confirming that the sales rank should be less than 100,000 to have a better chance of selling? I have seen that a ROI of at least 30 percent is smart to make my efforts worth it. Would you agree? Thank you for taking the time to help! I am excited about this!

    I read that you started with just selling books. Was this a decent amount of extra income for you?

    1. Hi Sydney,

      Your books will not be live for sale until they reach an Amazon warehouse. You list them in your seller central account and choose the “Id like Amazon ship my orders” option. Then, you’ll need to create an FBA shipment.

      You can include all the books you want to send in one shipment and package them all in one box. But each book needs to be labeled with an FNSKU label so Amazon knows it is apart of your inventory.

      If the books are already selling on Amazon, you don’t need to take pictures on them. The listing will already have pictures. You are just another seller, along with other sellers, on one listing.

      With books, you can go over 100,000 ranks. Even close to 500,000 though it may take a month or so to sell.

      ROI is whatever you are comfortable with! 30% is a good number to follow.

  55. Very nice, i learned so much.but now i must take action.oon in this month i will do FBA selling on amazon, never i sold on amazon, only on ebay i sold only one book.i like online selling not only for money, i like it as hobby too and i will feel himself free. thank you

  56. Hello
    I created a brand new seller account. Interested in the Personal plan with Fulfillment by Merchant since my husband and I have a brick & mortar comic book store. We only want to list on Amazon trade hardcovers related to comic characters. Trying to list the first book, I ran into an issue with need to provide permission letter from Marvel to sell their products. Also mentioned was a commercial invoice from when we acquired the books. We have neither of these since all these books are used and generally come to our store from private individuals selling their entire collections. How feasible is it to obtain a letter of authorization from Marvel, DC, Image and other publishing houses?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Amazon wants to be sure items from big brands such as Marvel are legitimate. To get approved to sell Marvel products, you will need to order items from an authorized Marvel distributor and send Amazon the invoice.

      If you search around on Google, you should be able to find authorized Marvel toy distributors

  57. Hello,

    How do sellers receive payment from books they sell via FBA? Must the books sell before receiving payment from amazon? Thanks!

    1. Hi Joe,

      When you make a sale FBM you will not get paid for the transaction until the order is marked as shipped. Once you ship the order, you will see the payment in your balance.

  58. I have an Amazon Fulfillment warehouse about 4 miles from me. Will I be able to take my items to sell directily there or will I still have to ship?

  59. I just talked to an Amazon rep because I couldn’t complete the setup to Trade-In 3 books. They said at this time they are no longer accepting books for Trade-In. But…I did enjoy your article and glad that you talked about the independent seller option!!

  60. I published a book and it was listed on Amazon 20 years ago.

    a link to the book page at Amazon:


    1. I am my own publisher of my old book and have 100’s of copies. I want to sell them again on Amazon and/or Ingram as before. I don’t know how to get back on Amazon, make the necessary changes on their website so I am listed as the publisher and sell my inventory. I need some technical help with Amazon.
    2. Once I sell out of my existing inventory, I want to make some story text edits/changes and publish a new title and cover. This would be a new book perhaps coming out next year. This new book can have print on demand and all the new technology features available for selling books.
    To complicate the matter, I have a 13 song music CD that goes with my old book. My Son wrote and performed the songs. I want to have a soundbite of the theme song so the reader/audience can hear it. The CD goes with the old book. For the new book, I just want to have one song that will go with it.
    My first book was the first Rock Novel with Son and Father collaboration writing and performing. It’s unique.
    Can you provide some technical assistance or can you recommend someone for guidance?
    Thank you,

    Roger A. Campos 301 254-0048

    1. Hi Roger,

      If you are the publisher of the book (and can prove it) you should be able to submit changes to the listing and have seller support approve them.

      If you are making story edits and publishing a new title, I suggest creating a brand new listing for the book. Don’t use the old listing, since technically, it won’t be the same book.

      You cannot add a sound bite to the listing but you may be able to add a video to the listing. I am not 100% sure about adding videos in the book category.

      I hope this helps.


  61. Hello,

    I have come across a YouTube video about reselling books online and it sounds very appealing. What the YouTube video talks about is how easy and profitable it is to buying book and reselling them using their training and software. The cost for the program is 2000 dollars. I will provide a link of the video. It seems for real but I am just afraid it may be a scam. It looks real when I spoke to one of the sellers and he showed me everything, but I am not sure. You must watch the video that is an hour and some odd minutes long before you can request a live zoom meeting with a seller.
    If you can assist me with this I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you and God bless. Here is think to the video. https://approved.clickfunnels.com/bookoprofitsmemberstorieslevi27590071

    David Vitale

    1. Hi David,

      I can tell you right now that you don’t need to invest in a $2,000 course to help you get started selling books on Amazon. There are tons of free resources out there, including Jungle Scout about selling books.

      Check out Reezy Resells on Youtube. He has a ton of free videos about selling books.

  62. This was a great article! We have one book for now that we wrote ourselves. I have two questions: (1)… I see that our book is already listed on Amazon (though we did NOT list it) because two used book sellers are selling it. There is no photo of the book with product details, etc. So how would I go about listing it ourselves as OUR property? (2) what happens with shipping costs for Prime members? I assume that we add a shipping fee into the price of the book? Our book’s sales price is $24.95 on the back by the ISBN number. Can we list it for more to include at least part of the shipping cost? ie… shipping is about $6.80 so if we listed it for $28.95, we would at least get back about half of our shipping. Is that the way to go?

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      The listing for your book has no images on it? Then the listing should not be live if that is the case.

      You can list under that same listing as “new” since it is your book. Since it’ll be listed as new, you will get the buy box.

      If you ship your book into an FBA warehouse, your books will be prime and you won’t have to worry about adding a shipping cost.

      If you are shipping yourself, you can add an extra shipping cost. Though, I recommend offering free shipping as it will increase your conversions.

      With media mail via USPS, your shipping costs will be very low.

  63. Hey I love the passion and effort in creating this blog to educate the like minded entrepreneurs. I am 34 and is interested in starting a business selling college text books. I only have 4 used text books to resell. My main focus is to branch out and be a College text book seller on Amazon. If I do list those 4 text books, they may or may not even seem. Where and how do I find new text books to sell? Th interested of mines have been there for 2 years I am ready to take the leap. Thank you!

    1. Hi Shernelle,

      You can start by listing the books you have right now as FBM. That way, they can sit as long as they need to before they sell.

      You can find used books to sell at thrift stores, Goodwill, garage sales, FB marketplace, college campuses, library book sales, estate sales, and more.

  64. This was an awesome article. Thank you. I wonder if everything still applies now, as it was written right before the COVID plague onset?

    I’m ONLY interested in FBM to sell books I own already. I DO NOT WANT TO PAY AMAZON $40 PER MONTH. If I sold 20 books per month, I’d be ecstatic. My situation is that I have way too many books that I myself have purchased over the past 40 years; have recently inherited a whole bunch more; need more physical room in my home; and have come to realize that I just don’t have (life)time to read many of these (esp as I will be buying more books in my specialized field in the future). Also – and this is where I really need advice – I seem to have quite a number of old books (but old books mostly in excellent physical condition, books that were never read and sat unused on shelves for 20-40-60+ years) that a superficial glance at their Amazon prices suggest sell for a lot of money (assuming they ever sell …).

    Why are some books bizarrely/obscenely overpriced – and do those hyper-high prices actually sell? How are such prices set? Here is a single example among many. Look at author Don Pendleton’s The Executioner #1 – War Against The Mafia (really, it’s instructive to do so). There is a contemporary paperback of this 1969 pulp fiction actioner priced at about $12 (this from memory). But if you click on “Mass Market Paperback” for this title – which is what I have from my long ago teen years – that edition lists for … $850 (or a little more)!!! How can that be? At first I thought I missed a decimal point. What does that mean? Why would that price be so high, when the exact same novel can be had for $12? And – most importantly – DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY PAY THAT PRICE, or anything like it??! And why wouldn’t sellers undercut each other? I would be delighted in this example to sell my copy for $100. Why aren’t prices bid down to a free market-clearing competitive price?

    Note: I understand that these outrageous prices are for NEW copies, and that most people who bought that particular edition (at some point from 1969 to the 1980s) probably read it such that the copy they now have is no longer “new”. But for me, here’s the deal. I have that entire series (around 20-25, from WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA to SATAN’S SABBATH), but only read fewer than 10. I purchased all of them during grade and high school, but never read many of them. Eventually, before college, I put them all away in a box, and there they’ve sat forgotten for 40 years. They are in pristine condition, other than being 40-50 years old. (And I have many brand new, unread but older books, among the many of mine and ones inherited I wish to sell.)

    Therefore, for at least a dozen of the overall “Don Pendleton’s The Executioner” series I can honestly list them as “new” on an Amazon page. Does that mean I can expect to get the hundreds of dollars for each of them (not every one lists for $850, but they’re all pretty high if “new”) that Amazon and its affiliated sellers list them for? That just doesn’t seem right. I have many other books which Amazon lists for obscene prices, but can’t believe anyone actually pays those (and don’t understand why people don’t undercut each other’s prices …).

    I have some other questions, but before I write any more, I want to see if this one gets answered.

    I’m not experienced in this. Maybe we could even do some kind of deal together? (Of course, as I’m not in any kind of desperate cash flow situation, it might be best to wait to really start selling stuff until the economy picks up, which might not be until the COVID crisis has passed.)

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

      I will try my best to answer your questions.

      All of this still applies, even with COVID-19. Amazon sales are stronger than ever and people are still buying books.

      You do not need to pay Amazon the $40/month if you choose the individual selling account. Though keep in mind, if you sell over 40 books in a month, it would be more worth it to switch to the pro account. With the individual account, you are charged $0.99 per transaction.

      To help give you a better understanding of if these books are actually selling, you need to look at the sales rank. I even suggest downloading the chrome extension “Keepa” as it will show you a graph of the sales history. Each spike in the graph represents a sale.

      For example: if you see a book with a sales rank of 100,000… it sells approx. 1x per day. If you see a book with a 1 million sales rank, it probably sells 1-2 times a month.

      The higher the number, the less it sells. Even though a book might be ranked 1,000,000, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to sell it. If you are going to be selling FBM, you should list every copy you have and let it sit until it sells.

      I would be careful listing any books as “new.” You may be restricted or asked for an invoice/proof that the copy is new and that you got it from an authorized distributor, etc. If you have books in near perfect condition, I would list as Used-Like New.

      I see what you mean with the mass market paperback price. Why is the price that high? I do not know. Do people actually pay that price? Well, you would need to look at Keepa to figure that out. According to the keepa chart for that book, at least 1 person in the past year, has paid upwards of $800 for that book. Why? No idea, but some people will pay a ridiculous amount for certain books.

      Sellers absolutely do undercut each other in price but that often leads to a price war and race to the bottom. If you are selling a book that is currently priced high, it is best to price it similarly to your competition, based on the condition of the book — Especially if the book is actually selling for that high of a price.

      The best way to figure this all out would just be to list all of the books you have as FBM. That way, they can sit as long as they need to before they sell without worrying about FBA storage fees, etc.

      Now, if you have books with low sales rank (below 50,000), FBA would be a great option as well.

      Selling used books is one of my personal favorite ways to sell on Amazon because you can usually acquire them for very cheap and some books resale value is very high.

      I hope this helps!


  65. Hi!

    Is it possible to “buy” eBooks from somewhere else and then sell it on Amazon? Is it even legal? Will Amazon allow that?

    Please enlighten me as I also don’t want to get into trouble with the author or publisher.

    1. Hi Ann,

      Thanks for the question! I believe you can if your business owns the “master resale rights” of the ebook. Not every ebook you purchase will have a transferable license. Do some more in-depth research before jumping in!

    2. Some ebooks do actually come with stated “resell rights”.
      Obviously you need the rights before attempting to sell multiple copies..
      I bought a lot of these a few years back but no longer have the details.
      I had quite a few about pets which I had listed on my pet website, which is no longer online !
      I also had dozens listed on a “Self-Improvement” site I had. I edited each one with my contact details and extra links etc.
      I believe there are still many sites selling ebooks with rights, at reasonable cost, which you can sell continuously.
      Some you are allowed to edit and re-brand with your information.

  66. Helloo..
    I read your article..thanks for all the nice info you shared.I have 3 books written by me and i would like to market them..
    I would lime to have your concrete recommendation how to start moving..
    Looking forward to hear your suggestions
    I live jn Israel…
    +972 54 80 40 424
    Best regards
    David Levi

  67. Please Dave help me to sell my novel it has two years and nobody has viewed. Titled COUGAR JUSTIFIED BY BONIFACE MACHOKI

  68. I have reached my senior years and am having some difficultly getting all that is needed to get my new book on Amazon. Is there anyone who could help me with the details.?
    I need a helping hand!

    Thank you

  69. Hey! I read this article but every time I try to do an individual account, it’s still charging the 39.99 selling fee per month. Did they do away with the feature for people just wanting to sell a few books? Thank you for all the other helpful info! Im wanting to sell but not sure If I have enough to make the $4o fee a month plus profit.

    1. Hi Kylie,

      Thanks for the question!

      They still offer the individual selling account. You can downgrade in seller central.

      Top right in seller central hover over Settings > click on Account Info. On the left-hand side, you’ll see Your Services. Click manage and you will be able to downgrade.

      Also, I suggest contacting seller support and state that you have not used the professional selling account and have tried to downgrade several times. Ask for a refund for the months you paid, they should be able to help you out.

      I hope this helps!


  70. Hi Dave, very helpful advice overall. I am an individual seller, just want sell few books that I own ( less than 35 a month). The difficulty I am facing is that even when I press on the BASIC plan, it still takes me to £25 a month plan! It’s so annoying

    1. Hi Jane!

      Thanks for the comment. If you cannot sign up first off under the individual plan, sign up for the pro plan and contact seller support and state you would like to downgrade and receive a refund. They should be able to help you out.


    1. Hi Anita,

      Do you have physical copies of your book or is it an ebook?

      If you have physical copies, the best way would be through FBA. You can sell your local language book but the listing information will need to be in English.

  71. Hi Dave, I published my own children’s book last year and I want to sell it on Amazon. Is it worth it or even profitable just selling one book or is Amazon best for just selling lots of different books? Thank you, Liz.

    1. Hi Liz,

      You should absolutely list your book on Amazon! Even if you have just one product, it can be worth selling it on Amazon.

      It is worth testing out how it sells.


  72. I found there is a monthly fee for
    Global Selling Promotion
    Pay a monthly fee of 39.99 USD to access North America, Europe and Japan marketplaces.

    I remember that I had an account that I can upload used books without paying any fees.

    I wonder selling books in amazon seller central charges monthly fees?

    is there any amazon website i can upload books without fees?

    1. Hi Joy,

      The $39.99 charge is for a professional selling account. The free selling plan is the “individual account”, but charges you an additional $0.99 per sale.

      You can downgrade in your account settings.


  73. I took a break from selling books on Amazon but now getting back in. When I now list a book, the only description of used book condition is like-new, very good, etc. Previously I could give a better description like “no highlighting or markings”. Now I cannot find how to do that. Is that option gone?

    1. Hi Casey,

      Thanks for the question!

      I think I know the issue. The new layout in seller central has that section hidden. When you are adding your offer, you should see ‘advanced view’. Click that and you will see the condition notes.

      Hope this helps!


  74. Having Amazon do the shipping sounds great but….. If after 6-12 months there are books that did not sell can I request they be returned to me instead of paying more storage fees? Would there be any monetary penalty for that? How then would those titles be removed from where they were posted for sale?

    1. Great question, Cheryl! And yes, if you sell FBA, you can get any books that don’t sell back by creating a removal order. We have more information about what you can do with unsold stock in our Liquidating Amazon Inventory article. I hope this helps.

  75. I Dave I have published a book entitled The Character of Ireland. an enitial
    addition of 1000 books ,Hard back with dust cover selling at 35 euros or approx 40 dollars
    How do you recommend I go about selling on Amazon

  76. Thanks so much for this informative post. I am a graduate student and have an individual seller account and would like to know how to automate pricing so that my books will be priced at the lowest and sell more quickly.
    I see that I can type in a range of prices I will accept, but when I look at my inventory, I see that my prices often aren’t matching the lowest price even if that price is within the range I designated.
    Am I not reading this correctly? How do I make this work on its own so I can just ship them as they sell?
    Thank you!

  77. I have some interest in a few books books that I would love to purchase but they are expensive how could I get them at a lower price if the publishing company just remain at that price target with out dropping the price at wholesale rate that a person can make a profit off these books of interest I know some publishing companies may sell books in bulk are clearance sale you can also explain how this method works when purchasing books to sell them back for profit.

  78. Dave, thank you for the detailed info. I’m a reading teacher with a ton of books I’d like to sell. Won’t it be costly to ship boxes of books to Amazon for FBA? After that shipping cost and fees won’t it be difficult to make a profit?

    1. You’re right, Anna; there is a chance that it may be more expensive to use FBA to ship your books. For that reason, we recommend looking into the FBA fees that you’d be required to pay per order and compare that to the costs you’d incur if you pack and ship your books to customers yourself. Doing that will give you a better idea of which fulfillment method will result in bigger profits for you. Hope this helps!

  79. Great site!
    Two questions:
    a) When I sell a book on Amazon, will they send me an email to let me know it has sold?
    b) I won’t know the shipping costs until the book sells. (I plan to use the US Postal Service.) How do I arrive at a total cost for the book without taking it to the post office first?

    1. Christopher,

      1) Yes, typically you’ll get an email. I recommend getting the Seller app since it’ll send a notification to your mobile device.
      2) You might consider purchasing a postage scale. For media mail, it’s usually $2.57ish base plus $0.50 for every pound over the first.

  80. I was surprised by how well Penguin Classics do on Amazon. At first I spent too much on packaging and postage, but I learnt to pack books lightly. Avoid selling heavy books online!

  81. Thanks for the great info, Dave. I’m looking for some specific advice. We live in the US and have about 3,000 or so books. Most of these are signed or inscribed by the author, with dust jackets in Mylar, that range from Very Good to Like New condition. These range from rare celebrities, 20th century presidents, history and military history, non-fiction, sci-fi, natural history, science, and several volumes of expensive collectibles from Maggs Bros. Ltd. Rare Editions of London.

    We don’t want to donate or give these away, but we do want to get rid of the library so we can downsize to a smaller home quickly, and without a lot of hassle. What do you recommend we do? I don’t want to have to package and ship them. Would Amazon store all these and ship as they’re sold? Would I need to list each book on Amazon? Should I do this as a professional or FBM seller?

    Or would it make more sense to use an estate seller?

    1. Hey Suzanne,

      Great questions all around. If there’s a number of high-value books in the collection, you might find an appraiser and sell it as a lot. If you were looking to do it quickly, Amazon probably isn’t the way to go. Even in my fastest periods of breaking down multiple thousand collections, it took months to comb through the list. And it’s even harder if you don’t have ISBNs (old books, etc.)

      If you do sell it yourself, you’ll have to list them all individually. You should probably do it as a professional seller (since it’s likely you’ll sell more than 40 per month) and yes, you can use FBA to store and ship the goods for you.

      An estate seller likely won’t know the value of the books and will price them as they normally would a large book collection: in the dirt. So be conscious of that!

  82. Hi, I am new in Amazon to sell books. I bought few kids books for $3 CAD each,which is already listed in amazon for $8.99 by other sellers and bsr of books are 50k to 100k. Now, the FBA fee is charging me around $6, which doesn’t give me any profit, rather I am in loss if I sell them. What am I missing here? Should I look for cheaper books or increase the selling price knowing others are selling in less price? Can you suggest please?

    1. Nabila,

      Good question. The profit is always in your buy. For books, I never try to spend more than a few cents. Also, I shoot for collectible books or rare books that sell for $10+.

  83. I just read Brandod D. Wison’s article on selling books on Amazon.
    He made almost $6 after 6 months of selling.

    Here is a breakdown of the fees to sell this one book through the FBA program:

    Amazon Referral Fee: $1.35
    Variable Closing Fee: $1.80
    Per Item Fee: $0.99
    FBA Fulfillment Fees: $4.71
    Total Fees: $8.85

    I can’t see how it makes any sense.

    1. Heya Noor,

      These days, you really have to focus on niche books. Cheap books are pretty tough to sell on the platform since they introduced the VCF. A lot of my success has come from selling collectibles.

  84. Hi! I am from Brazil and want to sell several books (in English) on Amazon, and would rather sell them by FBA. But I have a question. Would I only be able to send my book to Amazon if they were already bought, or can I send them off once they are only listed? For convenience and price of shipping, I’d rather send all of the books I want to sell in one package to Amazon, so they store it until someone buys them, and they dispatch it. Would they accept that?
    Thank you in advance,

  85. Very helpful information to get us started. I would be dealing in American Civil War related books, so my big question is, Does Amazon have a problem with displaying any portion of a Confederate battle flag?

    1. Hey Jim,

      Good question. Doing a quick search on Amazon, it looks like Confederate flags are not allowed. The ones that are on there are labeled as “old school southern states flag” or it’s a historical flag. However, if it’s in a book and it’s a picture, you should be fine.

      The best thing to do is to check to see if the book already exists. Remember: you don’t have to create listings for the books since they already exist on Amazon.

  86. This should probably have some additional information about the buy box. If you are not eligible for (or eligible and not winning) the buy box you are not going to get many sales on books. Also a lower BSR means more competition and a lot of times pricing wars between repricers. Can you make money selling books? Absolutely. Is it as easy as buying books and listing on Amazon? Absolutely not.

  87. I live in europe , its really good opportunity to sell books. But only problem in europe is , do i need to register tax numbers for each country that im going to send my books ?

    i might send only english books and probably my marketplace will be UK , but still if i can find other languages for example german i can even send them to germany as well

  88. Re: “[Bezos] also stated that 140,000+ businesses selling on Amazon made more than $100,000 in sales.”

    Are you saying that each of those 140,000 made $100,000 in sales? Or are you saying that all 140,00 businesses’ combined sales totaled $100,000. I find both interpretations astonishing:
    — If it’s the latter, then each business only made $1.40. 🙁 That can’t be right.
    — But if it’s the former, then all of those business made (what I would consider to be) a TON of money! :-0

    Can you clarify the correct meaning? I can’t seems to infer it for myself because I find both of them fairly plausible. (If the former interpretation is correct, then I need to get cracking on this project! LOL!)

  89. Dear Mr. Hamrick: :
    This article was one of the best I have read in a long time. You really sound like you love your job. If I can get the knowledge and wisdom you have from your article I would be the happiest woman in the world. I have been looking for something to make some money on for a mighty long time now and I think this just be the kind of thing that I can do. In the past I gave up, got taken and lost too much money.
    Two years ago I wrote a book and had it published and it is on Amazon. The Book Co. never did advertise it and did not live up to there helping me do it either.
    Since then a lot has happened to my health and my husband and I ran out of money. I now can hardly walk or leave the house.
    Don’t think i’m looking for pity, that i’m not. I have worked all my life and want to help my husband with the bills and make myself worthy of getting up each day.
    I love books and would be a good way to get books to people that really like good books.
    Thank you, Oh I forgot do you have to have the tools right away to get started.? Hope you don’t mind I copied your article. Thanks Maudie B. Dussault

    1. Hey Maudie,

      When I started, I just “dipped my toe” in the water to make sure it was something I wanted to do. From there, I saw the advantage of having the tools and built out from there. These days I publish my own books.

  90. How to I get around of paying the 39 dollar fee? Do I have to do international? I don’t have a lot of money to start and this would be a side job… I do have book inventory though

  91. Great article! I am looking to sell some books FBM but was wondering what is the least expensive way to package and ship a book. Can you provide some details on how you packaged books when shipping FBM? THANK YOU!!

    1. Hey Michelle,

      Awesome question. There’s a few methods, but I’ve found two that I particularly like.

      First, you can buy bulk bubble wrapper envelopes. I purchase mine through a company called fastpack.net which is not only the cheapest I’ve seen online, but their turn around time is crazy fast (hence the name). I usually buy 10 x 15 as they’re a good catchall for all sizes. For smaller books, I just stuff the book into the bottom of the envelope, fold it, and print.

      I’ve also done the cardboard shell method. You can buy a roll or corrugated cardboard from Uline or Fastpack, then wrap the book and staple it together with a high powered stapler. While marginally cheaper than envelopes, it is slower. Plus, the staples can sometimes stab your mailman.

      Hope that’s helpful.

  92. If you are listing books FBM, can you suspend your account for a few days/weeks if you go on vacation or have an emergency and cannot ship right away? thanks.

    1. Jane,

      Awesome question.

      Yes and you absolutely should. Amazon is very particular about their late shipment rates. Failing to ship books on time can get your account suspended. So make sure that you’re setting your account to away mode when you’re away.

  93. Best information ever!!! I’ve been on the fence, but will now continue to completely climb over and hit the ground running!

    Thank you sooo much!

  94. This information was very helpful to get me started on selling some of my books… I assume paperbacks are the way to go, although, I do have many hardcover books. Not sure if it is worth selling those.

  95. Hi Dave , my name is Frank and I’m from NY. I’m A senior citizen and in desperate need to make some extra money to supplement our social security and to avoid foreclosure on our home. Im very interested in this opportunity but just not as sharp as I used to be. I’m inquiring to see if There is a simpler way to try and understand this process and realistically make about $500 a week. I’m a go getter and have been all my life but I need a good coach at this point in life. Like I said I’m very motivated to try this but could use some assistance, is that possible to do. Look forward to your response .

    1. Hey Frank,

      Books are a good place to start as an Amazon seller, but if you’re concerned about expenses, I recommend finding a method that won’t have a lot of upfront costs. We’ve got a few articles coming up over the next couple weeks with different methods to earn an income on Amazon. I personally write my own books these days and use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform which doesn’t cost me anything more than the cost to purchase a copy of my own book.

  96. How do you start an Amazon Seller Account ?

    Also, can you start as a personal account at Amazon, then switch over to the Pro accunt, fairly easy?

    1. Hey John! Glad you reached out about this as you can start an an individual seller and upgrade to a professional account. In case you need it, here’s a link to an Amazon seller forum thread that explains how to do just that:


      And here’s a link to our post explaining how to set up an account:


      Hope this helps!

  97. Hello Dave,

    I read your post about a few weeks ago and tried to follow the tips outlined in it.

    Using it as a guide I was able to secure 16 different titles with BSR’s below 250,000 (10 copies of each with the exception of one that I was only able to get 7 copies of) for an average price under $1. However, some of those BSR’s have changed since I got my inventory and listed them.

    I signed up for an Amazon Seller’s account and shipped my stuff in for FBA.

    I started on Dec. 5 and have made 2 sales.

    I was hoping by following the tips in your post I would sell through my inventory in one month and then re-invest my profits in more inventory using the same model.

    Right now I’ve spent about $200.

    I’m disappointed in my results and was hoping to get some more in depth advice. I wanted to see if you’re available for a quick consult on exactly what I’ve done but, couldn’t find a better way of contacting you to find out if you offer consulting services.

    Could you please let me know via the email address I left when making this comment?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Heya Andrew,

      I won’t be available for a consult, but maybe you can give a little more information on the books! We’re also currently in the middle of updating this post as Amazon has made a few changes in the last year.

  98. The area that I am confused about is how and when to ship and placing labels on the book and the shipping container. Should I list the book on Amazon before I add it for sell or ship it first then list it? I heard that I need to add an Amazon label covering the existing bar code on the book, also what is the process for printing the shipping labels to place on the shipping box that will be sent to Amazon? What is the estimated time frame for all of this to take place in the process? Please advise and thank you so much.

    1. Hi Edward,

      Often, the listings will already be on Amazon. So when you go to sell a book on Amazon, you’ll enter the ISBN and see the preexisting listing. This is different than a site like ebay, for example, where you would have to create a separate listing.

      Once you’ve put your own offer on the listing and you are ready to send inventory to Amazon’s warehouses, you can place the stickers directly onto the book. Then you put the shipping label on the box.

  99. Thanks for this! I’ve been in and out of Amazon Advantage a few times selling my own book. I recently pulled it out because they wanted to charge me a 15$ penalty for the post office covering up a label…but now I’m wanting to put my hardcover books back up there to sell the rest of the books I have on hand and they won’t let me back into my Advantage account, so I may try FBM…I don’t have too many left though…the paperbacks are already printed, sold and marketed by Amazon and move pretty quickly, so now I’m hoping to perhaps sell signed ones via marketplace for cheaper than the list price? Can I do that? Do you think this would work?

    1. Hey Danielle,

      If they’re your own books, you can definitely do that. For signed books, you might also see if you can qualify for collectible books, since that tends to be where signed books go.

      If you’re an author, I also recommend making your own books through KDP. It’s super easy and lucrative.

  100. I need to unload a large collection of all types of books probably one time. What do you need first and where do I take them? Thank you very much. Franz

    1. Hey Franz,

      If you’re not interested in selling them piecemeal and only selling them one by one, I recommend doing so with Ebay and selling them as a collection. Otherwise, you can list the books individually and ship them all to Amazon fulfillment center where they’ll be out of your hair for the time being. 🙂

  101. Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so
    I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Terrific blog and terrific design and style.

  102. Dave, an excellent explanation of the Amazon book selling business. But this is for sellers selling books generally. I am an author who runs a publishing company and will be selling my own books, therefore no serious competition. What do you suggest I should do differently?

    1. Hey Peter,

      It depends on the volume you’re selling. Personally, I use Kindle Direct Publishing for the books I write since they do both Kindle-friendly books as well as printed paperbacks. It usually ends up being cheaper than sourcing them overseas, too.

  103. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for all the info. This is actually a great article! Very informative. I’m starting my journey this weekend. I’ll be following a lot of your tips!

  104. I volunteer at a thrift store and am trying to help them turn over their used book inventory. How do help the thrift store become an Amazon Vendor that can sell directly to Amazon?

    1. Hi Madelin,

      Good question. Unfortunately, Amazon selects their vendors on a case-by-case basis and typically the vendors must be doing millions in sales in order for them to be considered. However, your store should qualify to sell their used books as a third party seller.

    1. Hi Kimberly,

      As long as you’re in the US, you can ship your books directly to the nearest fulfillment center, even if it’s out of state. For example, I live in Oklahoma, and up until recently we didn’t have our own FC. I had to send everything to Dallas. But I’ve sent goods as far as Wisconsin before.

      Amazon’s shipping rates for inventory are pretty inexpensive.

  105. I’d love to start selling books on line using Amazon. How do i get started and where can I buy books cheap and get them sent to Amazon?

  106. thanks for the information I’m very interested but have this question. How can I know best selling books if I want to do FBA method in order to make sales.

    1. Hi Ndifor,

      Generally speaking, you want to find books that have a best-seller ranking (BSR) below 100,000. That means roughly 1 book sells every day for that product listing.

  107. You really skipped over the part about the fees. Good thing I read the other comments! Can you explain all about the fees associated with each FBA transaction and exactly how shipping is paid for?

  108. I have a large number of books to sell; all are from my own library and ALL in “like new” condition. Because I have always paid full price for my books I hesitate to donate them to a public library who will just turn around and sell them for 25 cents each. Having kept them in “pristine” condition, I feel I should be able to recoup some of the money I spent on them. I’m just not sure how to go about this.

    I have read the above article and feel it’s more than I need to know. I just want to get rid of the books I have, not start any kind of business. I am 81 years old, retired and downsizing. Although I love all of my books, I know I can’t take them with me when I go. I would appreciate some help and/or advice. Thanks so much.


  110. Hi Dave,
    I am Stephen Kazungu from kenya.
    thanks for your good advise about selling books on Amazon. I personal am still trying to sell out my books. I wanted to sell them on Amazon.
    But it’s been a hustle as am in Kenya. Now, through your well explained in details, i will stry some tips and see if I can as well get onto Amazon.
    Thank you.

  111. Very informative info. Does this apply to Canada? I have only fiction books (soft and hard cover to sell. Many are in like new condition. If this does apply to Canada, how do I get started? Thank you

    1. Hey Sue!

      Not sure about Canada. I do know that you guys’ shipping costs tend to be a bit higher than they are in the US. We have media mail here, which means we can ship for as low as $2.77. I’ll dig around and try to find some resources for you.

  112. I would like to sell my own book and have Amazon fulfill the orders. Amazon, unfortunately, doesn’t have coated heavy paper, the kind I want for the inside of the book. So I will need to go to an outside printer. So I need to know if I can have the printer ship to Amazon to fulfill, since the book can’t be printed and sold though the regular Amazon KDP method. Can I do that?

  113. Very informative makes me a little more comfortable just starting out with inventory from my home to see how effective and profitable it could be. Encourages me to think that it may be worth a shot! Thank you very much

  114. What app do you recommend for scanning books? I am a retired early childhood teacher and I have tons of books that I need to let go.

    1. Jane,

      I know a lot of folks have used profit panda. When I used to sell books, I just bought in bulk for super cheap, then hand-typed them into Amazon using the ISBN’s (it’s the # right above the UPC on the books).

    1. A newbie to Amazon – I would like to know do Amazon take all their fees when they sell each book that you list (do they take it out of the actual book sale profit) or do you pay for the fees separately eg: are you billed the fees afterwards? Thank you

      1. Hi Simon,

        Great question. When you make a sale on Amazon, you aren’t paid directly like you would be with Ebay. Instead, Amazon puts everything into your available seller balance which you can view in Seller Central. Then, once every two weeks, you’re paid by Amazon minus your fees.

  115. First of all, thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    I have a question. When shipping the books to the nearest fulfillment center, I only need to put all books (in bare condition) into a moving box without any extra packaging for each book? Do I need to have any protection for each book to make sure the books won’t be worn out by transportation when they get to the fulfillment center?

    Thank you!

    1. Hai,

      You can book extra packaging in, sure. Personally, I don’t unless the books are ultra-rare. For example, I sent a first edition first print of Stephen King’s It to a fulfillment center and I made sure to wrap it up. Also, for super rare books you might consider fulfilling them yourself.

      For books of G – VG condition, it’s probably not a big deal if they’re extra protected.

      Hope that’s helpful!

  116. Hello Dave or whomever. I hope you can advise me as I am scared to death to do this. I have never done anything like this before. We are trying to downsize and need to move some books out. I am not talking about starting a book selling business I am talking about 30 how to books (mostly) to sell. I have no idea what would be the best option for me as I find it all very confusing just because I don’t understand the process. Most of the books are in excellent condition. I am a doll artist, painter and miniaturist so many of the books have to do with these subjects. What would be the best option for selling them on amazon. Or is it even worth it?
    I have an account with amazon as I buy many books, hahahha! I only buy on amazon as of the past few years. I would appreciate any advice as I have no idea which would be the best option for a temporary situation.

    1. Hi Katherine,

      If it’s a temporary situation and you’re just looking to unload your book for a bit of extra cash, there are other options besides Amazon. I’ve personally used Sell Back Your Book and Bookscouter. I compared the quotes on both and ended up shipping some books to one and some to the other. Shipping is free and they provide the label. You just need to enter the ISBN (the 13-digit number on the barcode that begins with 978) of the book to get a quote.

      If you don’t get very far with those, then you can consider setting up an Amazon account for your niche subject books.

      Hope that helps you get started!

  117. How much in shipping your books FBA do you spend and how does that count against your profits? IE: Purchased a book for $1 dollar, cost you $1.00 to ship it, but made $3.00 on the book. You only received $1 on that book.

    1. Hi Just Wondering,

      Shipping the books in bulk to Amazon costs me roughly $10 per every 50 lbs of books.

      When Amazon ships the book, it’s usually $3-$5 as they use media mail. That includes the cost for them handle it and pack it, too.

  118. In order to have the professional seller account on Amazon and start selling used books, do you have to already have a business name and logo? Also, since you have done both selling used books and now do private label, did you have to have separate accounts? What if you wanted to have a different name for your private label from what you had for selling used books. Thanks!

    1. Hi Melinda,

      Great questions!

      I’m not sure about a logo, and as far as I’ve seen you only need to have a DBA, which is pretty cheap.

      I’ve done it all through the same account. 🙂

    1. Hi Edward,

      Truthfully, there is no standard set of rules to determine this. It really depends on the book and author. Is it a first edition? Is it a scarce signature? Those contribute to a higher value.

      Otherwise, you’ll see signed books in bookstores that go for the same retail price as unsigned books. Thus, they are not worth any more with a signature. I’d search around ebay and Amazon for the book you’re trying to sell to see if there are other signed copies out there and how much they are going for.

    1. Hello Ms. Hilton I am Robert Briley and you can find me on facebook. Robert Briley in sarasota, Fl. I have been looking into finding, buying and selling books on AMAZON. I would like to talk with someone about the possibilities of doing this before I jump into the process.. Please take a look at my FB page and if you feel comfortable drop me a message or FRIEND ME and I will accept your friend request and I sure would like to get some advise from you on the matter.Respectfully Robert Briley

  119. Hi!
    I have a ton of college books that I am looking to sell on Amazon using the FBA method. Could you tell me if Amazon would provide cash for the transactions or just place the money in my Amazon account? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Amazon pays you on a bi-weekly basis, usually every two weeks after the day you started selling on Amazon. For me, it’s every other Wednesday.

      Usually, the money sits in holding until then to ensure that all the transactions go through.

  120. How do go about selling a book on Amazon The book is worth $400 dollars There are 4 other listings and they all list the same book for $400 dollars
    I am willing to pay all fees Thank You

    1. Great question, George.

      You list the book. The fees don’t come out until after the book sells and you’ve made the income.

      So if you sell a book for $400, Amazon will take $60 in listing fees, then $1.80 for media fee, then $3-$5 to ship it. You’re left with the remainder.

      Hope that’s helpful.

  121. You didn’t mention price, and I am wondering: isn’t there a price point below which it isn’t worth selling the book? Additionally, what are the fees (I assume there are some) for FBA? I’ve been selling the occasional book on amazon, but I have gotten a lot of new info from this article–thanks!

    1. Hey Amy,

      Great question.

      In my opinion, I’d say you probably shouldn’t sell any book under $10. Amazon takes 15% for their listing fee plus a $1.80 media fee. And then there is the cost to ship the actual item. So with a $10 book you’ll end up spending about $6.50 in fees. You’ll be left with only $3.50 or so in net profit.

      Your best move is to look for niche books that bring higher prices, like textbooks and rare books.

  122. What about books that are 100+ years old, or signed (and hand-coloured) by the author? Would amazon be a good place to sell, or would you suggest a different approach?

    1. Hi Cherry,

      I would suggest getting older, rare, and/or signed books appraised by an antique dealer. There are ways to first check this out online (I’ve used Biblio.com before) before finding a local appraiser, but if your books have a lot of value, there are more specialized channels to sell them in for what they are worth, rather than through Amazon, in my honest opinion.

      Hope that helps give you a start!

  123. You are very good at ‘selling’ the idea of selling books on Amazon! Congratulations! I will have to read the stuff a half dozen times..but I will get the feeling for it! Thanks for the ‘touching’ account. Namaste! May all readers adore the texts so obtained!

  124. Thanks for all your great info ! You mention…

    “An app on their phone cross reference’s the book’s BSR as well as the book’s lowest sales price and lets the seller know whether or not the book is worth purchasing.”

    What are the apps you recommend or can refer us to use?

    1. Hi Siobhan,

      It’s been a few years since I’ve done Retail Arbitrage (I do most of my purchases online these days), so I’m not sure I’d be a good source for which apps to use and which not to. I think the name of the one I used to use was Profit Panda or something like that. I’m not sure it’s still around, although, I think I did see it in Seller Central’s app store not too long ago.

  125. How do I add taxes and shipping cost to my books or will Amazon do all of this? I want to have Amazon do everything and I just mail in the books. I own a thrift store and I have thousands of books.

    1. Hi Darrell,

      Amazon will collect taxes and shipping costs on your behalf depending on how you sell it. If you sell it by Merchant, Amazon will tack on $3.99 shipping charges to every buyer which you’ll earn. If you sell it as an FBA seller, you’ll have to build the fees into your price. For example, if the FBA fulfillment cost is $3.00, then you need to raise your price enough to account for that.

      Tax is always collected on the back end.

      Hope that’s helpful!

    1. Hi Darrell,

      Usually, once you’ve listed it, it appears in your inventory. Then, you just wait for the product to sell. If you’re fulfilling your own, you’ll get a notification. For stuff fulfilled by FBA, Amazon quietly does all the work for you.

  126. Question–I have a new book being published October 8th. I am professional DTC marketer and plan on selling the book via social media ads and affiliate sales. I will be a FBA for sure. My question is do the sales from MY store count for NY Times bestseller list? Sales from Amazon direct do–any idea? I know sales from my list count toward Amazon rating…IF you don’t know, who should I ask at Amazon?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Tobin,

      That’s a great question. I’m not sure how the NYT lists are calculated, but I do know that it usually takes a few thousand to get up there. I’ll doublecheck with Melissa who used to work in the publishing industry and see what she has to say.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      It depends on where it’s going and how you send it. Don’t send it flat rate, though. Under your seller central, Amazon will give you the option to use one of their partners, usually UPS. In my experience, sending ~50 lbs of books to Dallas (2 hours from me) cost about $7 – $10.

  127. You wrote that you wouldn’t list books higher than 200K BSR, but if I have a niche book for a not so popular hobby such that it’s higher than 200K BSR, but #75 in that hobby’s category, should I list it?

    1. Doug,

      Good question!

      Yeah, a lot of it depends on the competition and how patient I feel like. We recently got data that shows Amazon dominates the first 500,000 or so BSRs.

      Really, you’re likely to sell books if you’re just willing to wait. Once you start getting past BSRs 1,000,000 or so, it could take a month or longer to make a sale.

  128. How are shipping fees handled? Should my price be set to include or not? Space here in France, it is a flat €2.99 shipping fee- who pays that? Thanks!

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      Great question. Unlike Ebay, Amazon actually sets a standard rate of shipping for all of its customers. So once the item is sold, Amazon collects the shipping and sends it to you.

      I hope that helps answer your question.

  129. Your explanation isn’t clear. When you began selling books where they your own books that you bought and read or maybe books you bought but never got round to reading?

    1. Hi Pauline,

      Great question! And sorry for any confusion. The books I started selling were a combination of my own books (a lot of graphic novels and Dungeons & Dragons books). Then, I’d buy large lots of books from estate sales, specifically looking for those in scholarly fields since they tended to carry more non-fiction which tends to sell better on Amazon.

  130. so if you look up the majority of used books on amazon they are selling around 5 bucks…So how do you making money selling a 5 dollar book that cost you 5 dollars in shipping and amazon fees. The math doesn’t add up…and sure you can say well just sell higher priced books. But are not those higher priced books like finding a needle in a haystack?

    1. Hey Joe,

      Great question! You hit the nail on the head. You can’t and won’t make money selling $5 books. The companies that do that use those books as a loss leader–or they’re sellers who have a poor business strategy.

      The best method to look for books to sell is to target specific niches. For me, it was Dungeons & Dragons books, estate sales (especially from scholars), and underpriced FBM textbooks I’d buy on Amazon to resell on Amazon.

      Also, the profit is always in the buy. The books you’re buying to sell on Amazon should cost very little. I was paying $0.50 or less on average for my inventory (which included “throwbacks”). Shipping the books to Amazon cost roughly $0.10 each. So my total out-the-door cost was $0.60 per book.

      You have three fees to contend with on Amazon. Media fee, which is $1.80, $3.00 or so for FBA fees, and then a 15% variable fee (minimum $1.00 last I checked).

  131. Hello
    Your information is very informative and I thank you for sharing.
    I have done all this. Even though I’m yet to list any books i’m told by Amazon my account have been deactivated. I do not understand why this is the case. Amazon is not giving me any reasons what so ever why this is the case tried as I have. I’m told to wait and it’s been weeks and so far no resolution for me so I can start listing. I find it frustrating that they won’t tell you what the problem is so you can rectify and move forward.
    Do you have any advice for me please.

  132. Thank you Dave.

    I was thinking to begin selling used books on amazon, after reading your article i can’t wait to get started.

    I have two questions.
    To begin like FBA, how many books do you think is a good number for a first send? Do you have an ideal number for a single box to send?

    Do have you any experience with books in other languagues, I was thinking in spanish and french books?

    Thanks a lot and I wish you a lot of success in your business.

    1. Ricardo,

      Amazon lets you send boxes weighing up to 50lbs, so any time I used to send books, I filled a box with that number. The fee for sending products is going to be more or less flat, so might as well reduce your cost of goods as much as possible. 50 lbs of books usually adds up to 30-40 in my experience.

      And no, I don’t have much experience with other language books! So long as there’s a market–the BSRs will tell you that–you should be good to go.

      Hope that’s helpful!

  133. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this article (and share it the info!).
    I have a few questions:

    Do you have to take photos of every book you ship to Amazon for FBA? Or, do they provide stock photos of the books? If they do provide stock photos, what about those times when you’re selling a book and there is no stock photo?

    You made the comment “After all, Amazon would be storing them. And so long as they didn’t hang out in the FCs too long, I’d avoid most late fees.”

    Do they charge you after a book has sat there so many days without selling?

    When you sell using FBA, wouldn’t you have to make a note on any duplicate books of what condition you consider them to be in? The Amazon warehouse workers would need to know which one to grab if you were selling multiple copies of a book (and one was in “like new” condition while another was in “very good” condition). How does that work?


    1. Hi Andy!

      Thanks for writing in!

      1) No, there’s stock photos. So it’s not like eBay. If there’s no photo, it’s okay. You won’t have to provide it unless you want to.

      2) Yes. There are storage fees, short and long term. So be conscious of those. For books, though, they tend to be very inexpensive until you get to long term storage fees (12+ months of sitting at an FC).

      3) Yes, you do. You make a note with each book you add in, though. And then the data is kept in your seller screen under your inventory. Amazon knows which ones to pull and which ones not to. Also, as long as your condition is correct, they may just use another available copy and pay you the same either way. Only collectible copies are they specific on which one goes out.

      Hope that’s helpful!


  134. Thank you for sharing, that is very helpful, I have a question, I am in talk with a book trade Co that wants to sell me a software that will help facilitate my searches and my sells on Amazon, it is quite expensive, a big one time lump sum payment and then a monthly payment, should I go for it? Isn’t it what Jungle Scout does for only the monthly fee? Do I need the software?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Yves,

      It all depends on you and what works for your business. Book selling is a very different mode of making money on Amazon, so that particular program might work for you. Starting out, however, I suggest you get a feel for the process first, then make a decision based on your experiences before jumping on a program.

      When I started selling, I just sold 1-2 books my first couple days. Then I made the decision to pick up software (which, IIRC, I didn’t do until six months after I’d been selling).

      When I did get a program, it was, in fact, Jungle Scout. But I switched to Private Label selling at that point.

      Hope that’s helpful!

  135. Great info! Got any ideas for selling unique clothing items, my brand is Chesapeake Baybes, and a books I copyrighted for parents & boomers about reading and writing with their kids?

    1. Hi Dee,

      Great question!

      Selling unique clothing items probably lends itself better to platforms like Ebay and Etsy, whereas Amazon is a bit better for Private Label selling and Wholesaling (which is what books kinda falls under).

      I hope that’s helpful!

  136. I need a step-by-step tutorial of how to list books on Amazon that don’t have an ISBN. I have tried twice and get to the place to put an ISBN by this product doesn’t have one, and there is no relevant help offered by Amazon.

    1. Hi MC,

      Great question!

      If you’re selling books that don’t have an ISBN, the best way to go about it is to simply do a search on Amazon for the book in question. Then, when examples come up, pick the listing that matches yours the best. You may have to use the book’s copyright data to find the exact book, too.

      Interestingly, non-ISBN books do very well on Amazon because so many sellers skip them.

      Good luck with book selling!

  137. Thank you for your article and sharing your experience, I will try to sell all the books I have now and don’t need 😉

  138. Thank you so much Dave!!! Selling books it’s always been my dream job as a stay home mom. This article was really helpful i really préciate that you take your time writing this, i will definitely give a try. God bless you

  139. Hi

    I left a comment recently asking about the most appropriate FBA BSR goal for Canadian used book sellers in Canada. I would like to know your opinion on this please, however, you can just delete the 2nd part of my question which was with regards to why it took so long for my inventory to get off “backordered at FBA” since I found out why this happened that one time, it was due to the fact I had Amazon do the labelling. I did my own labeling and now it’s way faster, almost instant.

    1. Hi Kris,

      Great question! Canada is definitely a different market and does only about 1/10th the volume that US does. Which also means it has much less competition. Were I to sell in a place like Canada, I’d probably look for books with much lower BSRs. Maybe as low as 5,000.

      I hope that’s helpful!

  140. Thank you for all this succinct and informative information, it was very helpful to me! Great insider tips and goals to follow!

  141. Do you have any advice for sales rankings to aim for in Canada? I’m selling books in Canada, and I am a Canadian, and the used book selling market in Canada is slower / smaller than in the USA. Would it be advisable to aim for a sales ranking of 250K or less for books, and 1 million or less for textbooks? Or should I go lower?

    Also, it took quite a few weeks for my FBA used books inventory to finally become available on Amazon.ca – it showed as “back-ordered” for a number of weeks and so was not available for two-day shipping until quite recently. Is this normal?


  142. Hi,

    I enjoyed your article on selling books on Amazon. Very informative. I have 2 questions that hopefully you can help us with:

    1. Would Amazon be a good pl