How Much Money YOU Can Make Selling Books Online

It’s definitely possible to make a good living selling used books online. However, the amount of money you can make selling used books online can vary greatly. this depends on a few key factors. In this blog post, I’m going to break down what those factors are and give you some tips on how to maximize your earnings.

First things first, let’s talk about your niche

In the bookselling industry, NICHE IS EVERYTHING.  It’s not that you cannot (or should not) sell a broad variety of books. But general interest books tend to be the ‘low-hanging fruit’ of the sales world. Developing a couple of niches that go beyond the surface will lead to finding more gems. 

Try to find a specific niche that you’re passionate about and that has a reasonable demand. You want something that has a demographic of passionate enthusiasts, but not necessarily collectors. For example, I knew a bookseller who had a niche on books about card games, like whist and bridge. By focusing on a specific niche, you’ll be able to become an expert in that area, which will allow you to source and price your books more effectively.

Next up is sourcing methods. Sourcing refers to how you find and acquire the books you’re going to sell. There are a variety of methods you can use to source books, including thrift stores, garage sales, library sales, and online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Some booksellers even partner with other businesses to buy and sell books in bulk. Whatever sourcing method you choose, it’s important to be consistent and persistent. Keep in mind that the more books you have in your inventory, the more opportunities you have to make a sale.

Profit margin is another important factor to consider. This refers to the difference between the amount you paid for a book and the amount you’re selling it for. In order to make a profit, you need to ensure that your profit margin is high enough to cover your expenses (such as shipping costs and fees). A good rule of thumb is to aim for a profit margin of at least 50%. However, this can vary depending on the demand for the book and the condition it’s in.

Now, let’s talk about volume and turn. These two factors are crucial to making a reasonable income from selling used books online. Volume refers to the number of books you sell, while turn refers to how quickly you’re able to sell them. In order to make a decent income, you need to be able to sell a high volume of books and turn over your inventory quickly. This means pricing your books competitively and being willing to adjust your prices if necessary.

What is Inventory Turnover?

So, how much money can you expect to make from selling used books online?


Well, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can expect to make a reasonable income.  $40,000 – $60,000 a year after a few years of learning the ropes. However, if you want to make millions, you’ll need to be able to successfully scale your business. This usually involves building a team of assistants who can help you with sourcing, inventorying, prepping, packaging, and shipping the books out to customers. Central Virginia Prep has extensive experience with many of these tasks.

For tasks like customer service you might be tempted to hire a virtual assistant. READ THIS before going down that road so you don’t end up with a horror story of your own. If handled well a VA can be an excellent asset to your team.

Building a team can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. Start by outsourcing small tasks, like bookkeeping or customer service, and gradually work your way up to more complex tasks like sourcing and inventorying. By building a strong and experienced team, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business and increasing your profits.


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