How To Sell Used Books On Different Platforms


For those of you who are looking for a means of earning a residual income, selling used books online can be a profitable sideline or full-on business. Potential places that are interested in used books include schools, shelters, senior citizens centers, and public/private libraries. There are multiple avenues designed specifically for sales/purchase of used books. 

This article will break down different platforms where you can sell used books. So, let’s get started.

Different platforms to sell used books

Here are the top websites and online marketplaces where you can sell used books.

Powell’s Books

You bring books into their stores for evaluation, but if you’re not close to their physical location, you can sell to them online. They prefer to only take books in excellent condition. Just enter your ISBN to the form on their site and they’ll send you a price quote and a shipping label. You can get money via PayPal or you can get store credit.

Your Local Independent Bookstore

It’s always worth checking out your local independent bookshops when you want to sell any type of used book. Most of them offer cashback or you can usually get a good deal on store credit.

Look up online or check for their physical bookstores. Call ahead and check their requirements. Once the preliminary details have been discussed, you can drop off your books in a box and get paid.


Blackwell’s specializes in academic books, and they offer a great service where they buy back your used textbooks in return for cash. They have a stringent set of requirements for books they’ll accept. What price they offer you depends on the condition of your books. The book you’re selling must be the current edition. If your books are accepted, you’ll receive up to 20% of the selling price on on the day of purchase, paid either via a Blackwell’s gift card or to your credit/debit card.


Bookscouter is a great place to sell used books. This site gathers data from over 30 other bookselling websites to show you how much each of them is willing to pay for the books you want to sell. It will help you to quickly compare rates and determine who will pay you the maximum amount. It’s convenient when you don’t want to waste time testing individual websites when you want to sell your books.

You just need the ISBN numbers of your books to join Bookscouter. Then they’ll tell you how much each store is offering for your used books and where you can get the best deal. If you like an offer, you can continue to the individual website to sell your books.


Amazon is easily the world’s most popular online marketplace. The only way to sell books via Amazon is to sell directly to buyers and make sales yourself. The Amazon textbook trade-in program that quickly became popular among students was shut down without notice or explanation in 2020. 

Now you have to create a seller account and add listings for your books, setting the price rather than accepting whatever Amazon offers you. This option has the potential to be more profitable,  as you have more control over your earnings. 

Tips on how to sell used books

If you’re looking to sell used books, remember these few tips:

Be honest about the condition of your books

Buyers won’t be happy if you’ve not been honest about the state of the book and could report you to the website you’ve sold through. If there is some shelf-wear on the book, say so.

Be careful when shipping

If you’re going to do a lot of bookselling, you might want to invest in some shipping envelopes and other packing materials. Make sure you’re using something water-resistant, and also ensure that you wrap it carefully.

Don’t forget to make note of the tracking numbers. The bookselling site sends you a shipping label, but you’ll still be responsible to ensure that the book arrives at its destination, and you’ll need the tracking number to connect with the post office or shipping company.

Consider Donating

If your books are not worth much or it seems like an annoyance to list them, you should just donate them. Local charities are always looking for these items and it’s easy to drop off a box of books when you’re passing them by.


Used books are one of the most difficult items to sell, as most buyers want new or rare editions, but there are plenty of websites that will make it easier. However, not everyone will offer you the money you expect, and some will flatly refuse to purchase your books. The list of platforms stated in this guide, however, are useful platforms for the sales of used books. 

If you have any comments, queries, or suggestions regarding this article, please state them in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.

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