How To Start an Online Bookstore For Just $500

Selling Used Books Online

Selling Used Books Online

Selling used books online is a profitable and rewarding way to make an extra income or start a new career. As a poor economy continues to weigh on everyone’s mind, more and more people are buying books used, and they’re finding the internet is the place to go to pick up the titles they’re looking for. Best of all, it’s quite easy to start an online bookstore and fairly inexpensive. In fact, you can get yourself in the used book business for under $500.

The best and easiest place to sell your used books online is When most people look for books online, they turn to Amazon as a reliable source, so as a bookseller this is most likely where you want to set up your online bookstore. Best of all, there is currently no startup costs or fees until you sell a book, and those fees are quite reasonable, just a small percentage of the total sale price.

Now you’re ready to buy some books! Unless you’re drawing from your personal collection, you’ll most likely need to purchase a lot of books. Estate sales and garage sales are excellent places to find a lot of books cheap. Consider offering a deal to the seller, such as, “I’ll take all 50 books for $75,” as this way you’ll get a lot of book for inexpensively, instead of buying them individually.

Wholesalers are another way to get a large amount of books for a low cost. Companies such as A1 Overstock and Book Depot sell large quantities of books for incredibly low prices, such as $1 a book. You usually have to purchase a minimum amount, such as $200, but this can be another valuable resource for your stock of books.

Next, you’ll need plenty of shipping materials. In most cases, a bubble envelope will work the best for shipping a single book. If you’re shipping a more expensive item, you might consider purchasing a product called Easy Fold Mailer, which is made of cardboard that can adjust to a book’s thickness and provides better protection than a bubble envelope. In most cases the bubble envelope will work just fine, but if more protection is needed, then you might want to consider the Easy Fold Mailer, available from

Most customers will choose “standard shipping,” which means you’ll be mailing the book using “media mail.” Because most books are over 13 ounces, you cannot simply drop them off at the post office, but instead will have to wait in line. To save on this time, you might consider using a postage meter. Pitney Bowes offers one called the E700 Personal Post that is perfect for the small volume bookseller. Another option is to purchase postage for your book shipments online at Of course you have to pay for shipping too, but it is usually less than the standard Amazon shipping allowance, which you keep.

For just $500 you can be on your way to starting a successful online bookstore. Purchase the books and shipping materials, and you can be in the used books business before you know it. To learn more about selling used books online, read Used Books Into Gold.