How To Make A Profit By Reselling Books

By Tony Lam

Books have been around since time immemorial. Some people love books genuinely. Others love to hate books. However, currently, most people prefer eBooks to classic books.  Blame the Internet and the technological advancements made in that field.

Meet the rare group of book lovers. Their main responsibility is reselling books. What about reseller books?  How viable is this venture? Is it profitable? Apparently, the market for reseller books is dwindling with each passing day. This does not mean, however, that it is not a profitable venture. Books covering specific niches tend to sell.

What are some of the techniques that can be used to resell books?  For most sellers, it is a trial and error venture for them. If one to aims to earn$8000 annually from reselling books, how best can they do? This article will discuss some of the workable techniques. Are you willing to share some of your reselling experiences or have any questions in the same regard? Kindly leave a comment at the end of the article – we will highly appreciate it.

book reselling

Books That Will Earn You A Profit

They say experience is the best teacher. From experience, I have learned that there are certain books that sell though they may not fetch a lot of profit. This can be attributed to the fact that the initial buying price is very high, or they cannot be found easily.

Here is a list of books that sell easily and fetch a lot of profits. They include:

  1. Complete set of Encyclopedia as long as they are in good condition

I have managed to sell several encyclopedias such as the:

  • University of Knowledge Wonder books Vol 24 1st Edition for $289
  • 11th Edition 1910-1911 Encyclopedia Britannica Handy Volume sold at $249.

These are just but a few vintage books that book collectors and lovers may be looking for.

  1. Vintage high school yearbooks with celebrities who graduated from that school

I earned $121.74 from selling Abraham Lincoln High San Francisco CA 1948-1049 yearbook to a buyer located in Germany. The book contained pictures of Barbara Eden while in high school.

  1. Vintage books signed by the author or first edition books

If you want to make a killing, consider selling books that are personally signed by the author. Better still, a first edition book, a book written before 1950. There is a certain level of pride and accomplishment associated with owning such books. The buyer feels attached to the author of the book. Aside from that, such books are rare, and they are always in high demand. While listing the book, indicate that it is the first publication, and it will enable it to sell fast.

List of books sold

  1. Books that have few published copies

Some books have very few published copies out for sale. If you have tried to conduct an online search for a specific book and you were not successful, the chances are that the books may have a few published copies. Selling such a book at a high price will not scare away the potential buyer. For instance, after selling the signed copy of “ The Murder of Henry Auker”, I earned a cool $49.9.

  1. Old Reader Digest books

Reader Digest books have always been a classic. They are a favorite of many book readers. The best part is that the books can be obtained for free or a lower price. Selling the books in a lot other than individually  will earn some good profit. In addition, the writers of the digest book have always written quality content.

  1. Vintage books older than 70 years( should be in good condition)

History lovers will love you if you find them a vintage book that is in excellent condition. For instance, I once sold a children’s’ picture story for $100. The book was published in 1927.Owning such an original and old book elicits some reaction to the reader. It will give you a perspective of issues in the past years. Owning such a book is a privilege.

You may check my Pinterest board for more details of some books I sold in the past.

Where to sell books and strategies for attracting buyers

There are a million and one sites on the Internet where people resell books. Some of the common sites are Amazon, eBay, and eBay is the commonly searched site for people looking for vintage books. All that you need to do is to dress up the title, make a listing that can be easily searched and wait for buyers. This is a strategy that always works.

As a matter of fact, I sold most of the vintage books in my possession on eBay. For Amazon, dictionaries and textbooks tend to sell faster as compared to other books. For sales to be successful on, it is recommended that one search the exact listing books by entering or scanning the ISBN barcode, then sell your own copy with a competitive price (or lowest price if you want to sell fast) based on the book conditions. The profit realized from is very meager. It is not worth editing and creating a list on the site.

The murder of Henry Auker

How to make the most profit on books

The aim of any business is to make a profit. The business of reselling books is no different. By the end of the day, the seller has to make a profit.

So, how can a seller make profits from reselling books? Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Always ensure the books are in good condition. Tattered and dog-eared books are an eyesore. Book lovers can testify to this. In addition, a brand new book or a book in good condition will fetch a lot of money compared to defaced books. A book that is appealing and well maintained is attractive and pleasing to the eyes.
  • Conduct an online search and learn the current market price of that book in relation to other books in similar conditions. It will give you a selling price estimate. The book may be sold at the same price, slightly higher or lower based on the current prices.
  • For those dealing with high school or college yearbooks, do research to check if any celebrities graduated in the same year in the same school. Locate the pages numbers and highlight them at the title or descriptions.
  • Sometimes selling books in bulk rather than individual copies is economical and will fetch a lot of cash. In addition, there may be one or two fast-selling books while the rest are slow moving. To avoid being left with the slow moving books, for whatever reason, avoid selling individual books.
  • However, in some instances, selling individual books may be ideal. Such decisions will be made based on the judgment call made by the seller. It happened to me once. I got 40 Britannica years of book and listed them as a price for one. However, I still had the option of allowing the buyers to pick a year or several of the years of publications as they pleased. Finally, I sold them all with a higher return than the initial Can you figure out how much profit I made by using that strategy?  I was smiling all the way to the bank.

reselling vintage books

Where to buy books

Where you purchase books is crucial for anyone in the book reselling business. Purchasing books at a higher price will translate to higher selling prices.  That, in turn, will reduce the profit margin. This can be attributed to the fact most people will shy away from buying highly priced books unless they totally need them. It is therefore recommended that one should find ways to get free or cheap reseller books.

Here are a few tips that work:

Estate sales

This is one of the places where one can find a wide array of vintage books and encyclopedia that are still in good shape. The books are sold per book or per bag. Purchasing the books in either way may not be profitable. This is because some books sold are not resalable. For instance, there are books on certain topics or subjects that may appeal the readers.

For beginners, it is important to visit several estates sellers and ask them to allow you to purchase all the books at a time. While at it, compare the different prices for different books. In most instances, the estate owner may be more than pleased to get read of the old books that may eventually end up in the trash can. If you can buy books in bulk at a lower price, chances of making a super normal profit are very high. Once I bought a full truck of books ( two to three hundreds books) at $40 !


Open your browser and search for Craiglist. Sign up on Craiglist and keep track of free book offers.  Signing up is free. Ensure that your particulars are carefully filled in. While at it, sign up for the email alerts. Email alerts are the most ideal. As soon as free books offer is available on the listing, you will get notified immediately.

Recycle group in your area

Join recycle group found in your area at There are people who will always give away books for free. I got several resalable textbooks from other people in the past. This is one of the easiest ways of obtaining books at no cost. However, the major challenge lies in the fact that not all books given will be in a good state. The appearance of the book will depend on how the initial owner maintained it.

 libraries book sales

Friend of library sales

Being a member of the friend of library sales is one-way o obtaining books at affordable or no cost at all. This is a practice done in most states. For instance, those in California can heck the link here and join the “friends of library” at different public libraries. You will get notifications whenever book sales are available. You can able to buy whole bags of books for as low as $5. How affordable and convenient is that!

Inventory keeping and quick book retrieval

After purchasing the books, what happens next? How do you keep the inventory? How do you ensure that a book can be easily retrieved with ease in case it is needed? Here are a few workable tips:

Put the books in moving boxes and clearly label the boxes. Carefully place the boxes on a rack. After carefully stacking the boxes, put the identification number (in relation to the box arrangement) of the box next to the title of the listing. In the event that a book is sold, one can easily identify the location of the box holding the book.

Packing books with the least shipping weight

What happens when you need to ship some books yet the weight of cargo is the major challenge? Trying to pack books in a manner that can assure safe shipping without any possible damage may be a bit daunting.

Here are a few tips:

Personally, I purchased some self-folding mailing boxes from eBay. One of the challenges I faced was the heavyweight. The heavy weight associated with the books resulted in additional shipping costs.

One technique that works is using the bubble wrap , and ship in poly mailing bags instead of self-folding boxes.  self-folding boxes.    Aside from protecting the corners of books with bubble wraps, one does not incur additional costs associated with weight.  I got constant free supply of bubble wraps from a furniture company owner at my local freecycle group. You may try to see if you find one too.

Handling books that did not sell

What are you supposed to do with books that did not sell? This is a major headache faced by book resellers. Very bookseller hopes that all the books in his possession will get sold. In most instances, very few people manage to sell all the books they have.

Here are some tips that can be used to handle books that did not sell:

Making donations to thrift shops is an ideal move of getting rid of unsold books. Giving donations to thrift shops may be ideal, but not all shop owners are for that idea. It may not be favorable to them.

One can also donate or give the books as gifts. Maybe you have that friend who always wanted a certain book from your collection. For some reasons, that particular book did not sell. Why not gift that friend or make a donation?

Libraries never disappoint and there are reasons to support that. Libraries, especially public libraries will gladly accept the surplus books. Some libraries may stock the books or resell them in the bid to raise funds for their operations. Personally, I prefer to donate books in bulk to libraries where people treat my books in a better way comparing with Goodwill and other places.

In summary, reselling books will be time consuming but it’s worth your effort if you discover your ways to handle them nicely and efficiently. I spent two years venturing about different methods of make money in reselling books and came up with above tips. Hope they help your business too.

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Thermal Printer Zebra LP2844 for shipping labels

By Tony Lam

Thermal printers are extremely useful for those individuals who run an online business, such as eBay sellers (like me), where there is a constant need of printing shipping labels. You see, with these types of printers, which have taken the industry by storm, you’ll never again have to worry about dealing with low ink matters.

There are countless of thermal printers out-there in the market; this can cause a great confusion when it comes to deciding which one is your best bet. At the moment, there is one thermal printer in particular that is causing a great amount of buzz for its high rating reviews on popular sites where consumers often rate their most recent purchases, such as Amazon: Zebra LP2844. I’m an eBay seller myself who was tired of buying ink for my HP printer. For that matter, I opted to purchase this model one year ago to see if it lived-up to the hype and to bring you the following review.

This innovative printer is perfect for us eBay sellers who regularly ship through USPS. This little machine can save you a lot of money and time. It can hold large rolls of labels and requires absolutely no ink to function. Since it has less moving parts, I noticed that it is a lot less noisy than the majority of ordinary printers and has fewer risks of breakage or malfunction. You’ll literally be able to print thousands and thousands of labels with absolutely no type of issues.


With this cheap printing unit by the well-known brand Zebra, you can print domestic shipping labels at eBay, Paypal and using Chrome browser under a Window 7 environment. You will definitely find it easier to print invoices and receipts using a thermal printer than an ordinary printer, such as a laser printer or inkjet printer.

The Three Top Benefits of Zebra LP2844

Economic Advantage

This printer is just an alternative to printing needs, but it has been proven that there are more advantages to this form of printing, especially from the economic point of view, as you will never have to purchase ink. You see, there is a color change of the thermal paper that is used for printing, which is what makes it possible for thermal printers to operate without ink; therefore, you can save a lot of money, as you won’t need to be purchasing ink like you would do with an ordinary printer.

Flexibility Advantage

This device is very portable so you can take it with you wherever you head in life. The mechanism of thermal paper removes a lot of features of printing machine, such as ink pot; therefore, this thermal printer is less massive and lighter than an ordinary printer.

An Easy & Fast Advantage

This thermal printer is quite easy to operate and is faster than any other ordinary printer. This is because the heating up of thermal papers and the reaction that is causes on it occurs quite fast.

As you can tell, the Zebra LP2844 is definitely your best bet if you want to forget about buying ink ever again in your life. It will save you thousands of dollars, which is money you can use to invest in your business. There are a handful of places where you can purchase this device, but if you want to attain the best deal possible, buy a brand new one just like I did on Amazon LINK or opt for a used one that is in good conditions on eBay LINK. These two places are your best to attaining this innovative printer, which lived-up to the hype in my book, at an attractive price tag.

Open a Estore using Shopperpress Shopping Cart theme

By Tony Lam

Do you want to create your online Estore in additional to your eBay store ? I just finished mine. I spent the past few weeks to revamp my broken website into a Estore with shopping cart and secure payment gateway for my eBay items as well as new items : eBook & training course. My old website was a static free HTML website created under Office Live Small Business (OLSB). Unfortunately, OLSB was closed down in April, 2012 and I was forced to move out my site. After moving, some web links were found broken that leading to error pages when clicking on them. It is so embarrassing that I am always looking for a chance to get a completely facelift.

I started my research this month for a WordPress theme that can able to build a estore. I hope to get the Estore up running with minimum or zero monthly charge. In the meantime, the WordPress theme should be constantly maintained with adequate technical support when I have questions. After trying a few different free WordPress themes, finally I picked Shopperpress Shopping Cart theme. It is one of the premiumpress themes for online Estores. I am impressed by their quick technical support service. Every time I came up a problem, I filed a support ticket and ask for help. I asked 10 questions and some are quite stupid. 9 of them were replied within 24 hours. I am going to show you the main steps of setting up the Estore .


Estore :

nicom supply Estore

Investment : $75 Shopperpress theme (multi-license)

Monthly hosting fee : $0 ( addon domain with under Bluehost)

Payment gateway monthly fee : $0 ( Paypal & Credit Cards via Paypal)


A) Install WordPress and upload Shopperpress theme

(under my primary domain

1) Install WordPress theme under “www. Primary domain/new_website_folder”

Note : new_website_folder is the name of the folder holding the wordpress theme of new Estore.

2) Click “WordPress” under SimpleScripts installations in Bluehost’ cPanel

3) Change the default password in the “Edit my profile”

4) Install WordPress Plugin “Admin Renamer Extended” to change the administrator account name from from admin to something else ( prevent possible hacking !)

5) Upload the Shopperpress shopping cart theme zip file (around 15.96 MB) to the new_website_folder/wp-content/theme using cPanel (the zip file can’t be uploaded through admin because of max file size limit in the hosting configuration). Then, extract the zip file within the folder. This Youtube tutorial show how to do it.

6) Pick the Shopperpress shopping cart theme under Appearance > theme. Click the ShopperPress at left menu to open the license key page. Enter the license key which is your payment receipt ID.


B) Set up “Under Construction” page while you are working on the site

7) Install WordPress plugin “underconstruction”. It will blank out the website with message “ http://new_Estore_domain_name is coming” while you are working on the website. You will see the actual site but all other viewers will send under construction message.


C) Basic Set up favicon, permalink, callback, template of the site

8) Generate a custom favicon for your site here. I used a violin image for my Estore favicon.

9) If you put your domain as addon domain to the primary domain, Change the Settings/General , WordPress (URL) and Site Address (URL) from (For example : to

10) Go to ShopperPress/general Setup/ Page to correct the page/button links to the new permalink

11) Go to ShopperPress/general Setup/image to change the storage and WP Storage link to the new permalink

12) Make sure the links of Callback pages in the Payment options (Return URL, Cancel URL, Notify URL)are changed from permalink http://primary_domain/new_website _folder to http://new_domain (if you are using addon domain)

13) Pick a template styles at General Setup. For my site, I picked Classic Shop with Golf Shopper template. Then, I create my own banner images with Paint.NET and replace the banners at Display Settings/Home Page. The banner combines layers of background, text, and images of Paypal and a guarantee badge. I will giveaway a whole bunch of images of quality badges, shield guarantee badges and premium badges in the coming newsletter. If you want to get them, sign up our newsletter group.

top long banner

D) Add shipping options, Footer links, payment options etc.

14) USPS shipping plugin is not available for current version of 7.1.4. You can set up UPS shipping option to calculate the shipping fee based on the weight of each product.

15) As a work-around for shipping with USPS First Class Mail, I provide free shipping or include shipping charge into the product price. For heavier items, I select UPS option based on the shipping weight.

16) You can print the USPS/UPS shipping label via Paypal since all payments including credit cards are via Paypal.

17) Set up Footer menu to show store policies at General Setup/Page/Footer Links.

18) It is free without monthly charge for Paypal payment option. As to the credit card payment, I use Paypal too but include visual instructions at the side banners to let the buyers know how to select credit cards at Paypal secured page.

Credit card payment instructions


E) Import product information from eBay listings, add Youtube video & buyers’ feedback

19) Import product images, price from eBay/Amazon. The links are affiliated links and will direct the customers back to eBay or Amazon sites for payment. You can delete the buy link at Products/Manage Products/Listing Options/Affiliate Settings.

20) Also, I add Youtube videos at the home page and product pages to increase the dwell time of the webpage for SEO purpose.

21) Because the imported thumbnail images from eBay are too small to show details , I replace the thumbnail images with the images hosting at Inkfrog, and add more photos at the gallery images.

22) Add feedback from eBay buyers to the product descriptions via feedback selector.


F) Add a digital download product and an affiliate product

23) I added an eBook (digital download product) and a ukulele online lesson (affiliate product) to my Estore. It is a new trial for me. As confirmed from the support team, the version 7.1.4 can’t support automatic email with download link for the digital product. I have to send the eBook to the buyer manually.


Here list the Check list of WordPress plugins I have used

Admin renamer extended : changing admin user name for security purpose

Under Construction : show underconstruction when I am working on the Estore

WP Better email: to change the sender name from “wordpress” to “your company name”

Ultimate TinyMCE : Add user friendly buttons, e.g. insert youtube, to the visual editor

Back Studio TinyMCE Widget : beef up visual tinymce editor with advanced options at your widgets or side bars

Sitetree – show both XML sitemap and HTML site map page


Limitation of Shopperpress 7.1.4

1) No USPS shipping option

As I said, Shopperpress theme is not the best and it has a lot of limitations. I need to find workaround methods when I encounter problems. There is no USPS shipping available for the current revision. A freelance worker at the Premiumpress freelance job forum quoted me $120 to add the domestic USPS plug. I have no budget to spend and I may wait for the new revision upgrade in future. For the time being, I offer free shipping or fixed shipping fee for shipping weight less than 2 lbs.

2) No international shipping calculator

There is no way to calculate the shipping charge for international buyers for current version. I have put note at the international shipping page to inform buyers to get a shipping quotation for out-of-country shipments.


Future action plan :

This is only a start for my Estore. There is a lot of works to be done. In order to improve the Search Engine Optimization(SEO), the Estore will be constantly updated with contents, including products, articles or blogs, backlinks and social media links. Backup and security plugins will be added to safeguard the store from possible hacker attack.

Overall Conclusion :

I’m satisfied with Shopperpress Shopping Cart theme for my online Estore. The advantage of comprehensive features, excellent technical support, and reasonable price outweigh the shopping limitations. Also, the price is for multi-license, I can use the Shopperpress theme again make many Estores with unlimited technical support.


Similar posts from other bloggers :

1. how can i show an “under construction”; working with wordpress?

2. Is ShopperPress Any Good? Review.

3. WordPress Ecommerce Theme – ShopperPress Review

4. ShopperPress — Shopping Cart Review

5. ShopperPress Review – Easy to Use WordPress Shopping Cart Theme

6. Shopperpress Review I Could It be This Easy to use

A New Start

By Tony Lam

As mentioned in my last post, I was thinking whether to continue my blog or not. When I started this blog, I just want to share my experience in selling on eBay and hope to help others to earn some money while staying home. It was until lately that some bloggers talked about the consequence of sharing trade secret to the competitors. I was hesitated to write more about my trade secret and I started to pray. Thanks God who answered my prayer. I am enlightened to move forward to a new start.

I am aware that I am not the owner of my possessions but a housekeeper for my Lord. I hope my experience is a blessing to others. Starting from this month, I will use this blog as a new start to further my expedition on new business ideas. They may be new categories on eBay, new sourcing methods, or other marketplaces such as Etsy or Poshmark. To make it a win win situation for you and me, I will add affiliate links in my posts. You can still get the latest trend of home business opportunities, and new product ideas for re-sell, at no additional cost to you. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase via the links. If you want to get advance training or freebies from me, please join my free monthly newsletter group.

new start

A new start eBay journey from zero to 110 feedback

If you are new to eBay or don’t know how to keep up to speed with selling on eBay, I’m going to show an example of my eBay journey starting from scratch. My goal is to get 500 positive feedback within a year. I intentionally keep a thin or zero profit margin just to get the ball rolling. As long as I receive orders every day, my zest will not die down and I can practice the skills of packaging, handling customer inquiries until I become familiar with the process. In this way, I can handle them easily with minimum effort, like driving and swimming.

I started an eBay account “tonysellertools” on 9/10/12 with a selling quota of 10 items per month. After selling for a month, my positive feedback is 10 and the selling performance is :

Total items listed on past 31 days

Number of items sold : 13,

Number of active listing : 2

Total amount : $30.84.

I requested a higher selling limit on 10/21/12 by filling out some personal details. eBay allowed me to sell 100 items max. per month with a higher selling limit of $5000.


On 1/24/13, my positive feedback raise to 69. In January, 2013, 50 items were sold with amount of $453.58, and active items were 21 at a total value of $181.62. The seller dashboards figures are as below:

Item as described: 4.96,

Communication: 5,

Shipping time: 5,

Shipping and handling charges: 4.97

Open cases 0%

Then, I further requested a higher selling limit. eBay asked me about my product categories ,where to get the products and the name of the wholesaler. Then, they raised my limit to 220 items with selling limit of $6000 per month.

Up to 3/7/13, my positive feedback score was 110 with 6 active items.

In conclusion, my approach is to acquire experience in handling customer complaints with automated re-listing of auction items (making use of 50 free auction listing). After testing, I switched three best sellers from auction to BIN fix-price lists (@ $0.5 listing fee per month). I am selling low-price but high-quality items. I offer one-day delivery and quick reply to any customer inquiries. Such super-valued items with excellent service are unlikely to receive customer complaints. To reduce returns due to high expectations from buyers, you may start with cheap items at a selling price less than $10. As I mentioned in my newsletter, Daiso wholesale online store is a good source for high quality household items. My goal is to earn credibility as well as selling skills in the learning period from 0 to 500 positive feedback. I will further report my status later.

Am I too dumb to share my trade secrets for free ?

By Tony Lam

I am pondering about my friends’ advice from day one when I tried to share my experience in selling on eBay. They reminded me to be careful that my competitors will take my ideas to attack me.  I didn’t  take the advice serious until lately when I read some stories from other bloggers about the consequence of disclosing trade secrets to the competitors.

I was not born to be a seller. It was my friend who helped me out to start this business in 2009 when I was out of job. My friend was taught the nitty-gritty by a veteran eBay seller who spent more than 10 years in selling eBay. With detailed step by step coaching from my friend, I could be able to jump start my own business and avoid a lot of side tracks and hurdles that prevent me from moving forwards.

trade secrets

trade secrets

In the business world, everything is changing very fast. New products and new business opportunities arise every day. As long as profitable ways to make money are discovered, people will rush to follow suit and hope to get a share of the gold mine. As more and more people get into it, the earning opportunity becomes more difficult.  In most of the time, the business trade secret behind contributes the key factor for success, such as the secret formula of Coke. If the trade secrets of a company once opens to public, it’s privilege position in the market will disappear and it will take some time to brew another profitable ideas.

Questions to be answered

In my posts, I tried to share my own experience to earn money on eBay. They include viable tools, business ideas, and feasible ways of working by showing testing data and result. This is my success model or blue print to get the proven result.  I helped two sellers last year to start their eBay businesses from scratch. They have no idea about the ways to make money on eBay such as price set up, packaging and handling customer complaints etc. By following my suggestions, one got more than 500 positive feedback within a year. The other got a few hundred positive feedback without actively working on it. They put up only a few listings (less than 10) and repeatedly selling them. I noticed that my business share dropped because of this. I don’t mind the loss in business since they are my friends. What if they are my competitors whom I never heard of. Am I too dumb to disclose my trade secrets and let them to take away my profit?  If you were me, are you willing to do so ? Are there any good reasons ? I’m open to your input regarding to this topic.

Shipping Large Items