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How to Flip Books on Amazon

This is a fun way to make a little pocket change while downsizing. Don’t expect much more unless you have more space and time – at least a spare room and a couple of years.

I did this to get rid of extra textbooks from my university days, and for the church where I worked to raise money for the local food pantry. This is a great on-going organizational fundraiser, because the books are donated by the membership.


Open a seller account on Amazon and do what it says. Open an individual account ($1/transaction), not a professional account ($40/month). If and when you get going big-time, you can upgrade.

Enter the ISBN into the “Add Inventory” or “List a new Product” slot.

When your book comes up, click on “Sell Yours.” More than one listing may come up. Click on the first one, even if it’s got the most listings. The rest are duplicate listings generated against the rules to attract other buyers. These will eventually be shut down. Play by the rules.

Some listings are restricted to certain classes of sellers. You may be able to sell these on E-Bay. If your book doesn’t come up, use your Amazon phone app to scan it or enter the title. Nothing? Dump it and move on. Unless you really think it’s worth something and are willing to spend the time and effort necessary to “create a new listing.” Check Etsy & E-Bay for prices.


“Sell Yours” will yield an information page. If the sales rank is 2 million or above, dump it. The sales rank is how many other books are moving faster than this one. 1 million = 1 year. You decide how much space v. how much time you have.

If you have an extra room or shop or barn, great! You can list everything, and just sit on it. Many books have a low rank because of a limited market, yet command high prices. If you have space and patience…

Fill in the Quantity and Condition. Be honest about the Condition – people are really picky. There’s an advanced setting for dust jacket condition, signed by the author, first edition, junk like that. : ) You can also list any marks, blemishes, or highlighting. Look around on Amazon and see how others are doing it.

Set your price. This is really important. Decide on the lowest price for which you would bother and add 35% for expenses. My rock bottom is $8, and I get about $5. Don’t worry about the 99 cent books. Those are high volume sellers that make money from the shipping overages. Also people don’t trust super-low prices.

If the lowest price is above your rock bottom, meet that!

Figure out a way to retrieve the books when you’ve sold them. Nothing worse than making a sale and not being able to find the product!!! Alphabetical by title (not using “A” or “The”) works for me.

You will need: A good, reliable shipping scale, bubble shipping envelopes in medium and large, a tape gun and tape, and a printer.

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