How to sell books on Amazon

The Ultimate Guide: Selling Books on Amazon (2021)

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In 1994 Jeff Bezos founded Amazon and started selling books. According to Statista, the category is Books in fifth place in the most sought-after categories in the United States.

As you can see in the figure below, Amazon had total sales of $ 258.22 billion in 2018. The revenue share of the category Books / music / video was 11.9%. In total, that's $ 30.72 billion.

But why am I telling you this?

There's a simple reason for this: you can tooMake money on Amazonby selling books.

Selling books on Amazon can be a good idea, especially if you are thinking of buying oneBecome an Amazon retailer.

A key reason for this is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to first buy goods that you want to then resell. There is no risk of losing a lot of money because books are not particularly expensive.

By selling books on Amazon, you can save up start-up capital that you can then use to order your first goods Private label product can use.

You will also gain initial experience selling books on Amazon. If you want to bring your own product onto the market later, these experiences are worth their weight in gold.

Whether you're just getting rid of a few old books or want to start a real business, it's always a good idea to sell books on Amazon.

If you want to know how you Sell ​​books on Amazon then this article is for you.

These are the contents of this article:

  • Why you should sell books on Amazon
  • How to Find Books to Sell on Amazon
  • How to Sell Books on Amazon
  • frequently asked Questions

4 reasons to sell books on Amazon

Some want to get rid of a few old books. The others want to sell professionally on Amazon.

No matter what your goal is. This section is about four really good reasons why you should sell books on Amazon.

Reason 1: You can make money by selling (old) books on Amazon

This is the simplest reason: You can make money selling books on Amazon.

Dave Hamrick from Jungle Scout claims that he built a business on Amazon selling used books that makes thousands of dollars a month.

It's also a great way to save some budget for future investments. For example if you later withAmazon FBA want to start.

Reason 2: people want to buy books

There are now ebooks, digital magazines and almost everyone searches for information on Wikipedia instead of in an encyclopedia.

One would think that the demand for books has fallen dramatically in recent years.

According to Google Trends, this is not the case. People all over the world have been searching for books on Amazon for five years and the number is not changing.

I think the demand for books is really huge. The Net sales in the US book sector in 2018 were 25.93 billion. USD. USD 10.28 billion of this was sold in bookstores. And, as we all know, bookstores sell printed books, not ebooks.

In addition, read the Americans 12 books a year, and the typical American has read four books in the past 12 months.

Reason 3: Amazon is a good marketplace for selling books

Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world. 59% of 16 to 36 year olds go to Amazon before any other ecommerce website.

Here are a few facts about Amazon:

  • Net sales 2019: $ 280.5 billion
  • Amazon monthly traffic: 209.7 million
  • Active customer accounts: 300 million

If you want to sell online, there is actually no way around Amazon. Some people think eBay is better, but I don't support that statement.

You can read our article on Selling on Amazon vs. eBay to get your own impression.

Reason 4: Amazon makes your life easier

You have three options for selling your products on Amazon:

  • Processing by you (FBM): You list your product on Amazon, pack it and ship it to your customers.
  • Amazon Vendors (AMZ): You sell your inventory directly to Amazon.
  • Processing by Amazon (FBA): You list your product on Amazon, but Amazon stores, packs and ships your product to your customers.

Amazon FBA is a good option, especially for new sellers. That's because FBA dealers only have to worry about selling products.

In the beginning, you can weigh up which option is better for you. As soon as your business starts rolling on Amazon, I recommend switching to FBA.

How to find books to sell on Amazon

Since it is not a good idea to include books Alibaba or Aliexpress to buy, let's talk about where and how to buy books.

Two things are important when looking for books. That's the Best Seller Rank (BSR) and the Net profit after deduction of all costs and fees.

The BSR tells you how quickly a product sells on Amazon. The higher a product's BSR, the slower it sells. This number shouldn't exceed 100,000.

The net profit after deducting all costs and fees should be at least 2 euros for books. 3 euros are better.

You can use the net profit Helium 10 Profitability Calculator to calculate. Here is a screenshot of it:

Here you can register for free.

It's really important that every book meets these two criteria.

Method # 1: Search for books offline

Searching for books offline is a very popular method. It works like Retail arbitrage.

You should look for places that have heavily discounted books. Prices should be between € 1 and € 2 per book.

Such places are for example:

  • Bookstores (often also offer heavily discounted books)
  • Book flea markets (Here you have to pay attention to the quality)
  • Libraries

A good option is to ask bookstores whether there are certain promotions, fairs, etc. I think these people are very knowledgeable about the subject.

Once you've found a few good places, you'll need to find books that match the criteria above:

  • BSR lower than 100,000
  • Net profit more than € 2

Searching for books offline can even be fun. You will see that there are tons of books out there on tons of interesting subjects.

Method # 2: wholesale

This is another way to find books for sale on Amazon. Instead of looking for individual books, you buy many books in one fell swoop.

Of course you don't have complete control with this variant, but you can buy the books for a much lower price.

Here are places where you can buy lots of books at once:

  • Flea markets
  • Bookstore closures
  • Real estate sales

At such events you can always get hold of very good goods for little money.

Dave Hemrick from Jungle Scout reports that this enabled him to purchase books for $ 0.25. However, Dave got stuck on a couple of books using this method, so he ended up paying $ 1 for each book.

Method # 3: Online Arbitrage

Online arbitrage is based on the same principle as retail arbitrage, but with one important difference. You don't buy books offline, but on other online marketplaces such as eBay.

Here are examples of such marketplaces:

How to Sell Books on Amazon

Step 1: Choose a procurement method

The first thing you need to do is decide on a procurement method.

  • Are you creative and do you like the thrill? Then the offline method is the right choice.
  • Are you a tough businessman? Then wholesale is the right choice.
  • You don't like going out to do business? Then try online arbitrage.

Step 2: get the books

If you choose the offline method, check out libraries or bookstores. You can also speak to the staff to see if there are other places to buy books.

If you choose to do wholesale, I would also speak to the staff at a library or bookstore. Of course, you can also search Facebook or Google for places where you can buy books in bulk.

If you want to buy books online, check out these marketplaces:

Step 3: Create an Amazon Seller Account

In order to sell on Amazon, you need to create a seller account. I already have a very detailed article on the Creation of an Amazon seller account written.

Above all else, it is important that you choose the right type. There are two different types:

  • Individual seller account
  • Professional Seller Account

The Individual Seller Account has a fee of € 1 per sale, while the Professional Seller Account costs € 39 per month and does not have a fee of € 1 per sale.

If you sell more than 40 products per month, the Professional Seller Account pays off.

This is how you do it:

1. Go to Amazon.

2. At the top right, next to the search field, you can log in. If you don't have a normal Amazon account yet, create one.

3. As soon as you have logged in, your name will appear in the field next to the search entry (see picture above). Now click on this field again, this will take you to your dashboard.

4. Scroll down and click the "Your Seller Account" option.

5. You will be redirected to the following page. Click on "Sell Now".

6. Then you can create your Amazon seller account. Now you also have to decide whether you want to have an individual or a professional seller account.

If you can afford it, I recommend setting up a professional account right away. If not, switch to one as soon as you can afford it.

Step 4: analyze costs and profits

If you don't just want to sell a few of your old books, but have the goal to make a real profit, then there is a high probability that you will lose track of the books you have bought.

You probably won't be able to remember how much money you spent on each book, so you won't know which books are profitable and which books are in the red.

There are tons of tools to analyze the costs and profits of your business on Amazon. Here are the best:

Jungle Scout Sales Analytics

Jungle Scout Sales Analytics tracks all sales data so you can focus on profitable and cost-saving strategies.

Price: Not available individually, bundled $ 49 per month Jungle Scout.

Helium 10 Profits

Helium 10 Profits analyzes all data, both positive and negative. Ultimately, you need to minimize any negative factors that cost you money. With Helium 10 Profits you can get the maximum profit out of your Amazon business.

Price: $ 37 per month with the A la carte plan, Otherwise with thePlatinum plan $ 97 per month.

Step 5: Put your books on Amazon

Enter the ISBN of the book in the Amazon search bar and click on "Offer a book for sale".

You will be taken through a simple process of providing some information about your book.

You will also need to provide information about the condition of your book. There are five possible states, which are explained below:

You will get more information here.

Step 6: Use Amazon FBA to sell your books

If you don't want to send your books yourself, then you have to Amazon FBA use. In this case you have to send your inventory to the nearest Amazon department store.

You can learn more about it in our article Selling on Amazon for Beginners.

Step 7: analyze your costs and profits

As soon as your books have reached the Amazon department store and as long as you have rated your books correctly and selected books with a low Best Seller Rank, your books should sell.

From your first sale, you should be taking your profits with you Jungle Scout Sales Analytics or track Helium 10 Profits.

Step 8: Mind Reviews

With books, customer service is a bit easier than with normal products. Since you didn't write the books yourself, you don't have to worry about the reviews.

However, you should look around Amazon reviews care about the quality of your books.

You have to correctly state the condition of a book. If you report a better condition than it actually is, you will likely get bad reviews.

frequently asked Questions

How else can I get rid of books?

Donate books

One of the easiest ways to get rid of old books is to donate. There are organizations such as Oxfam. Oxfam has over 50 stores across Germany and accepts old books in good condition. In return, you will receive an invoice that you can deduct from your tax.


Another option is to sell your books to bookstores that sell used books. It's next to no hassle and you get a little money for it. The downside is that most bookstores pay little money even for great books.

Sell ​​books on eBay

Of course, you can also sell your books on eBay. However, I prefer selling books on Amazon. This is mainly because the demand on Amazon is greater and you can use the best seller rank to determine how quickly a book sells.

How much does it cost to sell books on Amazon?

Like most online marketplaces, Amazon also charges fees for selling on the platform. Here is an overview of all the fees you have to pay if you want to sell books on Amazon:

Amazon Seller Account Fees

You have to pay fees for your Amazon seller account. There are two different accounts:

  • Individual seller account
  • Professional Seller Account

There is no monthly flat fee for the Individual Seller Account. However, you have to pay a fee of € 1 per sale. The Professional Seller Account comes with a flat monthly fee of € 39, but there is no fee per sale.

Which plan you should choose depends on the number of books you plan to sell on Amazon each month. If you have more than 40 books, the Professional Seller Account is worthwhile.

Referral fees

Referral fees apply when you sell a product on Amazon. This fee is 15% for books.

Closing fee

There is an acquisition fee for media products such as books, DVDs, CDs and Blue Ray. For books, this closing fee is EUR 1.01 per sale.

Shipping charges

There are two ways to sell on Amazon: Fulfillment by Merchant andFulfillment by Amazon.

If you choose Fulfillment by Merchant, you have to pack and ship your products yourself. You will then have to pay for your carrier's shipping costs, resources, and labor costs.

If, on the other hand, you choose Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon will take care of all of these tasks. For that you have to have one Fulfillment fee Pay to Amazon.

In most cases, this fulfillment fee is less than the normal cost of shipping. However, you need to check for yourself Amazon FBA is worthwhile for your business or not.

Can I sell books on Amazon for free?

Yes. Amazon has a program called Amazon Trade-In. It allows you to exchange your old books for Amazon credit. The downside, however, is that Amazon is very picky and you won't get a lot of credit for your old books.


Here are the most important lessons learned from this article:

  • Books should have a Best Seller Rank lower than 100,000
  • After deducting all costs, the profit should be at least € 2
  • You can search for books offline and online
  • You have to buy books at a low price
  • State the correct status to avoid negative reviews

Remember to save money to start an Amazon FBA business.