How does one make money selling books?


I’ve posted a bunch of books for sale in the past week - and they are selling quickly! But is seems that the fees being charged by Amazon eat up the profits. How does anyone make any money selling their used books? Thanks!



We often find that new sellers do not understand the fee structure on Amazon.

Below is a link to the fees being charged. Books is near the bottom.

Amazon Fee Schedule


By selling them at profitable prices. If you can’t sell them at a profitable price don’t list them.


Most sellers have realized it’s not worth it to sell low price books on Amazon.


Don’t sell books below a certain price point, otherwise you will find yourself working for Amazon and not yourself. Most sellers that I know have a minimum of six dollars or more; ten is common. My minimum is currently at 12, and thinking of increasing to 15.

These are minimums. The average sale for many booksellers is around 20. Mine is over 30.


Well - that’s obvious! I’m guessing that most people selling books have the pro account and their fees aren’t as high. Thanks!


Apparently it isn’t obvious.

Pro sellers pay $39.99 a month and don’t get charged individual seller fee of $0.99 per item. So depending on volume they are likely to pay less. All other fees are the same.


That’s true Picks by Nisha…

This is my first month selling books and I have made a decent profit, however, it came with many learning curves, losses, and use of extreme profanity in some cases. I have now learned how to better price, source, and account for postage in determining which books I list. I have over 300 now, which is not many by Amazon standards. I found that the more I list, the more I will sell. I spend time researching how to price and reprice, and ensuring I buy only books that have true potential for making a profit by using different apps.

I buy really low, and refuse to spend over $2.00 for a book, and only if I know it will sell through Amazon or other platforms fast and easy. I source everywhere! And I mean that literally. I dream of books now, to a point where as a bibliophile, I’m even looking at my own bookshelves! But seriously, making money with books, can be done with Amazon. It may take some time and building a solid inventory of books that will give you a steady profit margin. I am still in the new stages, still amazed at some of the books that actually sell, and also still wondering why Amazon is like the IRS, where the more I make, the more they take!

But I decided to stick it out as a MFS for now, and scale it up to a level that I am comfortable with while remaining profitable. I am set to add up to 500 books through a unique opportunity I found and I am super excited. So, to answer your question, build your inventory, have a set minimum price that you stay at to make a profit (usually around $10), and don’t give up to soon. People still love books, and will buy them, if you have them to sell.


Most are not making money selling off “their” used books; they are buying books that they can resell at a good margin.
I average paying under $1.50 per book, and my average selling price runs right around $20, although I’ll buy a book that I think I can sell for $12; less than that, I leave it.
The vast majority of books that I’ve owned (as well as books that are given to me) are not worth listing, even if I consider them free.


See on ebay, fees are cheaper and less competition


Sell better books with better profit margins. Most books aren’t worth selling on Amazon.


Less competition, but also fewer buyers.
And fees aren’t all that much cheaper.

Although the big advantage is that you can bundle books, something not allowed on Amazon. Sometimes that can make selling cheap books worthwhile (for example, I sold several books by one author, none of which would get more than about $6 on Amazon).

Edited by: Picks by Nisha on Dec 6, 2017 7:39 PM

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