Starting an Online Used Book Business in 6 Easy Steps

6 easy steps to starting an online used book business

Six Easy Steps

Selling used books is a great way to start a new business or just make some extra income. The used book business is booming as more and more people are buying used books to save money. The internet is one of the best places to buy books, and because of that, you don’t have to have a physical bookstore to see the profits come rolling in. is one of the top places to sell your books, so we’ll use that to show you how. Best of all, starting your online used book business is really quite easy. You can be on your way to success just by following these 6 easy steps:

1. Set up your business

It’s important to decide the legal structure of your business, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation. Each choice has different risks and liabilities. Most book sellers choose the simplest structure, such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company. Then get any required local business licenses.

2. Gather Books

Whew! Got that legal stuff out of the way. Now you can start buying books. Unless you’re using books from your personal collection, you’ll most likely have to go out and buy some books. Estate sales and garage sales are an excellent way to get a large number of books at reasonable prices. Wholesalers are another popular way. A1 Overstock and Book Depot are two excellent sources for bulk purchases of books. You often have to buy a minimum amount (such as $200), but this could be well worth it as a great way to get your used book business off the ground.

3. Grade and Price Books

When grading the condition of your books, be as honest as possible. To keep customers happy, keep those grades accurate and truthful. When pricing your books, don’t feel like you have to make your prices the cheapest around, especially if your book might be in better condition than some of the cheapest ones listed. One of the best ways to figure out your price is to discard the lowest and highest price you see on Amazon and then average the rest.

4. Buy Shipping Materials

You’ll need to buy a lot of bubble envelopes for mailing your books. If you’re mailing more expensive or fragile items, consider using an even higher level of protection. In most cases the bubble envelope will do just fine.

5. Sign up on

After you’ve gathered your books and shipping materials, you’re ready to begin selling your books! Sign up on by finding the book you wish to sell and clicking on the “sell yours here” button. Once the sale is made, ship the book promptly. Do this and you’ll be on your way to success as a used book seller.

6. Stay Organized

Lastly, stay organized. Develop your own system to keep track of all your books, so when a sale is made you don’t spend hours looking for the right book. You want to ship those books as quickly as possible, and having to go on a chase to find the book will only slow you down.


That was easy! In just 6 simple steps, you could be on your way to success in the used books business. To learn more about becoming a successful used book seller, read Used Books Into Gold.