Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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If you’re like me, you’ve managed to collect quite a few books over the years. 95% of them you’ll never read again. 20% of them you’ve never read in the first place. So why not clear up space on your bookshelf and convert those dusty old tomes into cold hard cash?

There are many options for selling books but my favorite is on Amazon. You can box them up and send them directly to Amazon but you’ll make exponentially more if you list and ship them yourself. Here is how.

1) Go to Amazon.com/sell

Scroll down to select the option for individual seller account. With this option, you opt to pay a higher fee per item sale rather than the $40 per month business account fee. Our goal here is to just turn the books we have in our home into some easy cash, so we’re not interested in the business account. The process for setting up an account is very easy and self-explanatory, so let’s move on to the process of actually selling and shipping the books

2) Gather the books that you want to sell, and find the ones worth listing


Once you have a pile of books that you would be willing to let go, log into your newly-created seller’s account and start typing in those ISBNs. Once you type in the ISBN, you’ll see the going prices for that particular book. Some books are simply not worth listing because of the shipping cost and the competition (more on that in a bit). Since you’re not a high-volume seller, you’re looking for books that will sell for at least $2.00 + $3.99 shipping.

3) Get your shipping materials in order

You need a few things to be able to ship your books to the people who buy them from you. The best package for a book is the bubble envelope. If you’ve ever bought a book online, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I buy mine from Wal-Mart in packs of 10, and the cost comes to about 40¢ per envelope.

You will need a printer to print the postage that you’ll purchase through Amazon’s system. Being the good coupon-printing Southern Saver that you are, that shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll need tape to put the label on the package. And you’ll need a scale so that you can enter the weight of the package to buy the postage. I use my digital kitchen scale.

4) Check out the marketplace, and list your book.

If you want the quickest sale possible, then you can simply list your used book for a penny less than the lowest other copy. If there are only a few used copies of the book, and Amazon’s prime price is a good bit higher than the used copies, then you can list higher than the lowest entry. Once the lower-priced copies sell, then (theoretically) yours will then become the lowest-priced copy; that is, if nobody comes along and undercuts your price in the meantime.

Honestly, I usually just list mine lower than the lowest to get a quick sale. When listing your used book, be honest about its condition; you can choose between Like New, Great, Good, and Acceptable. I’ve sold (and bought) “acceptable” books before, so don’t think that nobody will! Be sure to include a note for books with excessive highlighting or notes.

5) Check your email, and ship your books when they sell

Don’t be surprised when you actually start selling these books. You’ll get an email when you sell a book. There’s a link in the email that will take you to that book’s page in your seller account. First, print the packing slip. This goes in the envelope with your book. Then, get your book and scale ready and click “buy postage”. Amazon will present you with a lot of different shipping options with UPS, FedEx, and USPS.

Let me save you some time: for what we’re doing here, the USPS “Media Mail” option is by far the best option. It’s always the lowest price, and you can just stick it in your mailbox to ship it. Print the shipping label, tape it on (don’t tape over the bar code!), and send it ASAP.

6) Link your bank account to the seller account, and get paid every month.

It’s that easy. Amazon takes fees, and there are costs for packaging and shipping, but as long as you’re listing books at right around the $2.00 + $3.99 shipping price point we talked about earlier, then you’ll make money– even with the individual seller account.

Do you have experience selling books on Amazon? Do you think it’s worth the time and effort? Have you found some surprisingly valuable books in your collection before? Let me know in the comments.

    • Tammie

      Clarify: are you usually selling more than 1 book to the same person? I don’t understand how you can make money when shipping is 3.99.

      • Alison_V

        You are selling to everyone who shops on Amazon. I am assuming you probably price shipping to be a little more than you spend to help the profit. I would like to know the difference, too.

        • Mary S

          You don’t set your shipping charges; Amazon charges everyone $3.99 for standard shipping. Here’s an example from a couple days ago: I sold a book for $2.99 + $3.99 shipping – $2.79 Amazon fees – $2.70 media mail (1 lb) = $1.49 profit. I frequently buy books from third-party Amazon sellers, so I reuse the packaging those come in so I don’t have to buy mailers. You won’t get rich selling books for that little, but it’s a very simple process and better than dropping them off at Goodwill. I’ve had some books that were worth more, so I’ve made a few hundred bucks over the past year or so. Save even more time by getting the Amazon Seller app so you can scan the ISBNs instead of typing them in.

          • Dale Hollinshead Ruiz

            question can we also sells mag that are more like books such as David Bowie or Prince etc ?

      • Betsie

        Media mail is super cheap if you are mailing one book, particularly a paperback or not-too-thick hardcover.

      • Dale Hollinshead Ruiz

        I would think you get your shipping back as the buyer pays it “back”

    • JJ

      The best thing is for you to first familiarize yourself with the process by actually purchasing a used book on Amazon from a third-party seller. Then read the FAQ’s on Amazon about selling. Do your homework. :-)

      • Dale Hollinshead Ruiz

        sounds good thanx

    • Ykea

      Do they charge you for setting up the individual account?

    • Kelli

      My experience is that selling books (CDs, DVDs…) is a whole lotta hassle. Did this for awhile. Maybe I net $2-3 per book. I now donate books to our local library or senior care facilities. Today I read ebooks almost exclusively. No resale value there.

      Just FYI… Last year I discovered “Love Packages” which accepts Christian book donations and ships overseas to those who don’t have access to, or can’t afford, spiritual resources. Check it out.

    • I want to say thank you for this post! I’ve sold four old college books so far, and I like the easy shipping options.