Book Scouting Tips

Guest Post By SealW

Book scouting is the process of searching for books that are typically purchased by Internet booksellers for resale or trade.

There are many resources that are helpful in determining where to find books.

But the best way to begin learning how to be an expert book scout is to start with the books in your very own home.

It's a risk free way to get your feet wet.

That's the beauty of Internet bookselling. You can start on a shoestring and begin making immediate money online selling your personal library of books right away.

It doesn't matter how much or how little you have to invest. You can build an extremely profitable business right from your own home!

Let's Get Started

You might be surprised to find that there are hidden treasures on your own bookcase right now. All you have to do is look them up online and determine the value of old books or even new ones.

When I first started I found several hundred dollars worth of books right under my very nose. And these were books I forgot that I even owned! It's one of the best ways to make quick money that I know.

Once you've exhausted the books in your home, you'll have a little experience in how to find the value of books. Eventually, you'll want to begin book scouting outside the home. It's best to start in your own neighborhood.

Once you’ve learned which books bring the highest returns, always keep a sharp eye out for them while you continue picking up common bread-and-butter books.

Local garage sales are a great starting point because you're more likely to find inexpensive books that sell for great prices online. They're an excellent way to build up your inventory with minimal risk.

You'll find and outstanding strategy for maximizing profits from garage sales in Internet Bookselling Made Easy!

How To Find Lots Of Used Books

There are books everywhere, but certain places have them in abundance and that makes it easy for you to find valuable books when you're book scouting.

Some of those places are buy used books are local thrift stores, swap meets, library book sales, estate sales, flea markets, and used book stores.

There are many other places to find used books and to receive an eMail when book sale events occur you want a free account with to receive an email of the new book sales in your area.

Book Scanning For Profit

When you venture out you'll find that other book scouters are using a scanning device to search for new books to buy.

There are various types of devices; some use old fashioned cell-phone look-up software to punch in ISBNs, some use a PDA bar code scanner, and more recently, SmartPhones with a Bluetooth attachment.

If cost is an issue, you may be able to use your own existing cell phone with a service like ScoutPal if your phone has Internet access. You punch the ISBN located on the back of the book or on the copyright page into your cell phone keypad.

Your display screen will show you the title, ISBN, and price the book is currently selling for online.

To find books faster you can use a PDA scanner with a service like MediaScouter. You'll also need a few scanner accessories to help you get the most value out of your equipment.

Instead of punching ISBN numbers into your cell phone, you simply wave the scanner over the barcode on the back cover of the book and instantly access the information you need to make a buying decision. You can easily scan 10 times more books than keying in the barcode.

In a typical day of book scouting you will find books with high values ($25 or more), medium values ($8 - $25, what I call bread-and-butter books), and low value books (below $8).

Concentrate on books with a low Amazon sales ranking. Don't go crazy and buy a lot of books. Juat buy a few books at a time until you're reasonably comfortable picking valuable books.

You also want to be aware of the condition of the books you buy. Customers like their books to be in as good a condition as possible. Don't buy books that show excessive shelf-wear, have torn covers or dust jackets, smell musky or like cigarette smoke, or have been wet.

Also, try to avoid buying advance uncorrected proof books. Sometimes, you'll buy one accidently, but don't worry; you can still make money if you know how.

Engaging The Competition

When you start book scouting you'll eventually come face-to-face with another bookscouter. Don’t let that rattle you – just keep scanning! In fact, use this opportunity to do a little corporate espionage and discretely glance into your competing used book dealers shopping cart and see what kinds of books he or she is buying.

Your goal is to find books to re-sell. A little intel goes a long way to increasing your online bookselling knowledge.

Create a book scouting route to maximize your book hunting time each day. Soon you'll learn which locations produce the most books, and even on which days are best to visit those locations. You may have days when you'll be all alone at a store or sale and you'll have the pick of the crop.

Those are the days a bookscout dreams about.

At the end of your day, you have to sort your purchases by condition and list them online for sale. Determination and persistence is the key. Stay positive and don't let slump periods stop you from finding those treasures.

Good luck!

* * * * *

Return To Top: Book Scouting

Return to Home Page: Making Money Online Selling Used Books

Would you like to comment on this article?

Has this article been helpful to you and/or your business? Would you like to add a point or two I may have missed?

Use the form below to create your own webpage on this site and share your thoughts about the article. You can even write an entire article of your own! In fact, comments consisting of 300 words or more receive priority consideration.

Blatant commercial messages will not be posted. In addition, SPAM or inappropriate comments or pictures (in my sole opinion) will be ignored.

Nevertheless, a SHORT promo for your business and a link back to your website at the end of your comments are permitted.

Share this page:

What’s this?

Enjoy this page? Please help spread the word! Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.