How to Sell Books on Amazon in 2023

The article about %%Keyword%%, which is currently a popular topic of Q&A Book, Is attracting a great deal of focus, isn’t it? Today’s date, let’s explore some How to Sell Books on Amazon in 2023 that you may not know about in this article on Camille Di Maio!

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2023 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 2023.

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.

Selling books on Amazon is a fantastic way to make some cash — and even to start building an Amazon business. 

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 can I sell used books on Amazon?

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

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

Watch more videos on the same topic : How to Sell Used Books on Amazon 2023 | BEST Side Hustles

Video Description

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1. How will you fulfill orders?

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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.

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Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

With this method, when you make a sale, 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).

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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/em>

3. How do you find books to sell on Amazon?

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.

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1. Sell your own books

This one is probably the simplest way to find books to sell and it’s how many sellers get started. Look around your home (yes, second-hand, Marie Kondo-

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

2. Book sales

Book sales 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 picks that would be good to list on Amazon. By using a Bluetooth scanner along with a book scanning app, you’ll be able to find profitable books much faster than the competition at these sales.

Need help finding local book sales? Check out

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3. 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 for a low price, wait for it to arrive, and then list it on Amazon for a higher price.

4. Bulk purchase/wholesale

You can often buy entire lots of books online for super low prices. You can buy full lots of used books

If you go this route, make sure you’re buying books that have not been sorted or scanned. If so, you could be buying another Amazon seller’s “duds” that are not profitable for Amazon.

5. 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. Typically, you can make offers on entire collections for pennies on the dollar.

To find local estate sales, visit

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6. 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. 

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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 hundreds of copies per day. Meanwhile, a book ranked #1,000,000 might not sell a single copy for months.

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 a week or so – depending on how many other sellers are on the listing.

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 and some that will show you your potential profits.

  • 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.
  • Jungle Scout Extension. The Extension shows you the sales history for a single product but the estimated sales for an entire page of search results as well. The Extension also features a graph on the product detail page

  • 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.
  • Book Selling App: If you are serious about selling books on Amazon, many sellers use a specific book scanning app to help them find profitable books to resell. Paired with a bluetooth scanner, you’ll be able to sort through hundreds of books in a short period of time.

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!

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How to list your book on Amazon

Once you become registered to sell on Amazon,

The easiest way to do this is to go to the actual product detail 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.

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.

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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:

  • SKU: This is your own personal code for the book. This can be whatever 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 pricing the book based on its condition. For example, books of “Acceptable” quality usually sell for less than books of “Very Good” value. Don’t automatically match the lowest price as it may cause a “race to the bottom.” If your book is in good condition, it will usually sell even if there is a cheaper, lower-quality option.
  • 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. I don’t recommend ever listing a book in “New” condition — even if it is in perfect condition. This is because you may be reported by the publisher or Amazon may request an invoice.
  • Fulfillment Channel:
  • 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. 

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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!

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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.

  1. Inventory: 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. BSR: 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. Traffic: 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.

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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 collection 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.
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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 is 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:/li>
  • 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 booksellers 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.


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How much does it cost to sell books on Amazon?

Like most online platforms, Amazon has certain fees

Individual fee or subscription fee

As mentioned above, individual sellers are sellers who sell 40 or fewer 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.

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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. 

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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.

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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). 

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

An 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 via 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.

Back to Top

As the final touch to your Amazon bookselling prep, make sure to watch this great video from our video team:

What books are you going to sell on Amazon?

Now that you have all the right information to sell books on Amazon, what are you going to sell? Have you sold books on Amazon before? What tips do you recommend for people just starting out? Share your ideas and tips in the comments below — we’d love to hear them!

Frequently asked questions

How To Sell Used Books On Amazon For Free

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