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Guide To Selling Textbooks on Amazon

How to Sell Textbooks on Amazon

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If you’ve ever studied before, you know just how expensive textbooks can be, and once you’re done with your course, you’re often left with them laying around.

Thankfully, Amazon lets you sell used textbooks and other types of books so you can make some money back when you’re no longer using them.

How do you sell textbooks on Amazon?

To sell a used or new textbook on Amazon, you’ll need to create a Seller Central account and ensure that the book you’re selling meets the requirements. From there, it’s as simple as making a new listing, setting the pricing, and then inputting the relevant information.

Whether it’s your old college textbook or a hardcover collectible you want to sell, it’s easy to do on Amazon.

This guide will answer all of the commonly asked questions about selling books on Amazon and give you some tips that’ll ensure you make the best profit possible.

Why Sell Books on Amazon?

Why Sell Books on Amazon

Books are one of the few categories that you can sell on Amazon in a used condition, so it’s worth taking advantage of this.

As well as selling your old textbooks, you can sell comic books, children’s books, hardcover collectibles, and regular novels, all in used condition, as long as they meet the selling guidelines.

Anyone who’s purchased a textbook before will be able to tell you how expensive they are, and once your studies are complete, you rarely have use for them anymore.

If it’s been a couple of years and you’re certain that you won’t rely on the textbook for information, selling it on Amazon can be hugely beneficial for others who are hoping to save money on their studies.

There are loads of benefits to selling books on Amazon, including being able to start selling immediately without approval, getting rid of old books that you no longer read, and choosing how to fulfill orders, including using the FBA program.

It’s a great way to make money and share the power of knowledge with others, making it hugely beneficial.

What Happened to Their Buyback Program?

Rent Textbook

Amazon users of the past might remember the Amazon Textbook Buyback system that the online marketplace used to run, allowing people to sell back their used textbooks once they’d finished with them.

Commencing in 2011, the system was successful and made it easy to get rid of old textbooks without going through as many steps as creating a seller’s account required.

In 2020, Amazon suddenly ceased the Textbook Buyback system without any prior warning, and very little information was released to the public.

Although the online marketplace never released its reasoning for it, most people assumed that it was due to the rise in counterfeit textbooks and the increase in popularity of textbook rental services that caused their program to fail.

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Selling Used Textbooks on Amazon

Selling used textbooks

One of the biggest categories for used books on Amazon is textbooks, largely because of the price of these books and how they usually aren’t held onto for many years.

Once Amazon halted their buyback program, they made it a requirement to have a Seller Central account before you could sell them online.

There are certain guidelines to follow about the conditions of a book that should be adhered to when listing one, so make sure you’re truthful about whatever books you sell and place them into the right category.

You’ll also need to locate the ISBN of a textbook and input that when creating a listing, as this identifier is essential for all kinds of book sales.

Additionally, you’ll have to pay set fees to Amazon to sell your book, depending on whether you have an Individual or Professional plan.

The referral fee for a standard book is 1% of the sale price plus a $1.80 closing fee, and those with a Professional subscription will have that on top of their costs as well.

Tips for Amazon Book Sales

Tips for Amazon Book Sales

Amazon first got its start by selling books, and they want to make it easy for their third-party sellers to do the same.

If you want to start selling books on Amazon and need some tips for turning a profit, follow these bits of advice:

Check the edition

Right timing

Textbooks are constantly being updated with new and relevant information which makes the previous editions of them obsolete.

You’ll need to make sure you list the right edition and publication date of the textbook you’re selling so people know exactly what they’re buying. Likewise goes for collectible books where people must know their publication date, so give as much information as possible.

Timing is everything

The type of book you sell will dictate when the best time to sell it is, so you have to be smart about it.

For textbooks, Amazon states that these sell best during spring and fall each year, as these align with when people start studying. Being smart about when you sell could potentially earn you double what you would otherwise.

Be honest

The easiest way to get a returned item or poor review on Amazon is by not being honest about the product listing.

With books, you get the option of selecting their category from New, Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable. If you’re unsure, ask for advice from someone else to see what condition they would rate your book as.

Check the best sellers list

Each book comes with a Best Seller Ranking on Amazon, and if just one copy of that book has been sold it’ll appear there somewhere.

If you’re looking for the most profitable and high-selling books to list, this is a great place to get started. This is the best next step for anyone looking to purchase other second-hand books and sell them on Amazon.

Be a good seller

How to sell books on Amazon

If you want repeat customers and good reviews, you need to put in the effort for your customers.

This includes shipping items on time, being available for customer support, and pricing your books competitively. All of these things can build your seller reputation and get you a better organic ranking in the search results.

Package carefully

Books can get easily damaged during shipping, despite their sturdy exterior. The packaging process for books is a little different then, and it requires you to protect edges, corners, pages, and covers.

Consider wrapping the books in bubble wrap or something similar before boxing them up and sending them.

Buy around town

Once you’ve sold all of the books in your house that you no longer read, check out some places around town for a good bargain on used books.

Goodwill stores, yard sales, online marketplaces like Facebook and eBay, and donations from others can help you build up a good collection. Check out the best sellers list on Amazon for some inspiration on the types of books you should be looking for.

A Lucrative Way to Get Rid of Textbooks

Amazon makes it easy to sell your textbooks

Textbooks are an imperative part of studying but once you’re no longer learning from them, they just start to take up space.

Amazon makes it easy to sell your textbooks and other books to recoup some of your costs, so check out how a selling account can help you earn some cash on the side.

Related Questions

Amazon has a selling category for just about anything you can think of, including books, and as an e-commerce store that got its start by selling books, it makes sense.

There’s a lot to learn about selling your old or new books on Amazon though, so read on for a few commonly asked questions that’ll teach you the basics.

Can You Sell New Books on Amazon?

It’s difficult to sell new books on Amazon and they usually prefer this to be done by wholesalers, publishers, and distributors, or someone who has large quantities of books to sell.

The best way to sell books on Amazon is by selling used books, which has fewer regulations on how this must be done.

Can You Sell Books Without an ISBN on Amazon?

Amazon requires that all books must have an ISBN, EAN, or JAN to be sold on the online marketplace.

If you’re trying to sell an older book that doesn’t have one of these numbers, you may be able to apply to Amazon directly for an exemption, but they’re not always approved.

What Is an ISBN?

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number which is a unique identifier that can be found on the barcode of a book or inside its dust jacket.

Any book printed after 1970 will usually have one of these codes, so it can be harder to sell these in a used condition without it.


Infinite FBA
Infinite FBA
The ultimate resource for all things Amazon FBA. learn the tips and tricks to success as an Amazon seller or retail ads marketer from our team of experts