Hi, my name's Elizabeth and I REALLY love books. But not like people lie about on dating apps. Or in the way Joe does from You. (Yikes.) I love 'em and I've come to own a lot of 'em.
So I sold dozens of my beloved books. And here are the tips I think will help anyone mulling over doing the same:
1. Know from the start that you're not going to even get CLOSE to recouping your book-buying costs.
2. Set aside a weekend afternoon or some other large chunk of time (at least three hours!) to sort through your books and run 'em through the selling possibilities.
Put on a true crime podcast, rewatch a season of Real Housewives, whatever. You'll need something to keep you occupied in the background and make the task go by faster.
3. Use Bookscouter.com to see where your book will earn the most dough. You simply scan your book's ISBN (through the app) or type it in to look up where you can sell it.
BTW, this is where you can find the ISBN on your book.
4. Many buyback sites have minimums for sales. For example, Powell's requires a minimum of seven books or $9 total for a buyback bid. So you can mix and match your selling bids with different sites to meet shipping minimums.
5. Some sites give you the option to earn more money in site credit than cashing out. But the difference is very small, and I recommend going for that cold hard electronic PayPal cash.
6. Lots of books that you think are perfectly desirable will get you $0.00 on these sites. And that's fine!
7. You won't get paid until the books are shipped and their quality is assessed by an actual person.
In total, I had three books deemed to have "water damage" once all was said and done. Which means that the retailer kept the books and recycled them or did whatever it is they do with them. All three were paperbacks, so make sure those paperbacks are in excellent condition!
8. Skip trying to sell your unsold books at an IRL bookstore.
9. Donate your unsold books to a local charity book shop or other deserving organization! You already emotionally parted with them, so there's no use in holding onto them.
I had a *hefty* tote bag of books that I hauled to The Book Cellar, a local book shop in my library branch that's run by the friends of the library. I'm there most every Saturday, picking up a new hold and dropping off books I've read. So I was thrilled to realize that I could help out my branch and offload books I was no longer enjoying.
Some resources to explore at your local level include local friends of the library chapters, shelters, and schools, just to name a few possibilities. Ask around!
And if you itemize your taxes, get a tax receipt if the recipient organization offers it!
And in case you're wondering, here are my totals by site of books I sold (all found through Bookscouter).
- Powell's: $23.25 (16 books)
- eCampus: $10.30 (4 books)
- SellBackYourBook.com: $17.17 (22 books)