Used Text Books Earn Huge Profits For
Online Booksellers

By Joe Waynick

Buying and selling used text books is a very lucrative niche for online booksellers. That's why it's so competitive.

If you become skilled at finding current used textbooks you can quickly resell them for double or triple your cost.

Of course, the trick is finding enough suitable books to make the effort worthwhile. There are certainly enough books available, and you can find a fair number of them if you follow the book scouting techniques found here.

Most independent used book sellers don't know where to begin. Well, you start by learning which textbooks are in demand. Don't acquire books that college and university professors aren't requiring students to buy for class.

Get the ISBNs of assigned books and you'll be ready to begin hunting for inventory for your bookselling business.

Timing Is Everything!

The market for selling used text books is highly seasonal. It makes no sense to try and sell last semester's books in the middle of the current semester.

You'll have to familiarize yourself with the dates when each semester ends and the new ones begin. Start buying used textbooks still assigned for the following semester as soon as the current semester ends.

Buying and selling used text books online is one of the most lucrative business you can start on the Internet.

Conversely, immediately start selling them as well. You'll only have a couple of weeks to buy and sell as many cheap used textbooks as possible so stay focused and be as productive as possible.

You especially want to buy them before students decide to go to a textbook buyback service or to the campus used text book store instead of coming to you.

Specialize To Develop Expertise

Decide which field of study in which you want to become an expert. Preferably, it's one that interests you personally.

You want to start out with one field and eventually work your way up to two or three. This doesn't mean that you don't buy and sell used text books outside your field(s) of interest.

Obviously, you want to buy cheap textbooks whenever you can make a reasonable profit. But zeroing in on a few select disciplines will sharpen your eye and allow you to spot highly valuable books at a glance that your competition misses.

Having a sharp eye and being able to make quick decisions on whether a cheap used college text book has value can mean the difference between making a huge profit or just mediocre profits -- or even losses!

Only Buy Books In Good Condition

Some students are notorious for writing and highlighting their books. While some buyers like books that are already highlighted, in general most don't.

If someone is trying to sell you used text books that have been marked up, you should offer less money. However, you should never offer more than 35% of the retail price of textbooks if you plan to earn a livable wage. Buying cheap text books is the way to healthy profits.

If selling your book to a student means compromising your standards then you're headed for big trouble.

For example, avoid books with water damage like the plague if you want to make good money! Also, stay away from books that reek of cigarette smoke and pet smells. In general, you should avoid uncorrected proofs, but you can still make money if you know how.

It's easy to buy used text books cheap if you're willing to accept junk. Don't do it! You must maintain high standards if you want to build a stellar reputation.

Books that show signs of mold and mildew are serious problems and you should not hesitate to pass on them.

Finally, books with missing pages are useless. When inspecting textbooks, look at the top edge of the book and try to spot gaps between the pages at the binding.

If only one or two pages are missing, it'll be hard to catch. But sometimes several consecutive pages will be gone and you can spot those pretty quickly.

How To Find Books To Buy

Clearly, college and university campuses are the best places to find textbooks for cheap prices. As each semester ends students are eager to sell back text books in an effort to defray the cost of the books they'll need for their next class.

Fortunately, there's a ready market for your used text books. Let students know in every possible way that they can sell books back to you much more easily than the campus bookstore.

Keep looking around until you find free local advertising in at least a dozen places.

For example, one free advertising tip is to leave a stack of flyers in approved designated areas listing the books you have for sale. Have them say something like "Cash4Books!" in big bold letters.

Post notices on appropriate bulletin boards and run small ads in school newspapers. You may even want to refer them to an inexpensive website that lists the books you want to buy as well as the ones you have for sale.

Using a website is especially helpful if you promise free next day delivery for textbook buybacks to college campuses within driving distance of your home.

Offering free delivery will go a long way toward keeping students out of college textbook book stores and bring their used or nearly new books to you for purchase and resale.

It's just one more thing that will help up build a successful and profitable home based business when you sell college text books.

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