So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that ten of the books I’ve had lying around the house could net me about £100 on Amazon.co.uk. Before taking your old books to a charity shop it’s worth checking out Amazon’s marketplace to see if they’re worth anything (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/seller/sell-your-stuff.html).
The marketplace lets you sell almost anything in categories ranging from DVDs, books, DIY, music, electronics, home and garden etc. It’s similar to eBay only without the auction, so you can dictate the price. If you don’t get a buyer within 60 days you can relist, possibly at a lower price if you want to make a sale, or remove the item altogether at no cost. It’s free to list your items, but if they sell Amazon takes 17.5 per cent of the selling price. The cut is steep but considering your other option is to give your stuff away, I think it’s worth it. Amazon automatically calculates shipping costs and adds these to the total selling price which is paid by the buyer. Once you’ve got a sale the selling price and shipping costs are paid to your bank account, minus Amazon’s take of course, and all that’s left to do is pop it in the post.
Before you get too excited, check how much your old books or DVDs are selling for on Amazon – popular novels and bestsellers don’t earn a lot, because the market is flooded. My used copy of the fourth Harry Potter in hardcover is selling for an average of £0.85 for instance, hardly worth listing.
Better money comes from selling academic or business textbooks and hard to find novels, biographies or DVDs. Five of my marketing textbooks were selling for an average of £30 each. I want to recoup some cash in the next 60 days so I listed my books at about £5 less than the lowest selling price.
Even if most of your books aren’t worth much, you’ll probably find a few mini-goldmines. I got all warm and fuzzy inside when I discovered my ‘previously viewed’ copy of the DVD “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood,” which I picked up from a video store for £2.99 is selling for £10, who knew you could make money from rental DVDs?
And if you’re the type who loves your books too much to ever part with them, at least you know where to go to buy cheaper – and reused – ones.