Selling books on Amazon

My First Disabled Business Idea Amazon bookselling

My most reliable small business Idea during my time of illness and infirmity has been selling used books on Amazon, a simple process of finding books, buying them, listing them waiting until they sold, and then posting them out to customers.

Amazon used book sales
Amazon used book sales

I had a few requirements and still do with any business I took on, these were specific to me and everyone will have differing needs, You must think it through carefully because you could waste lots of time and energy setting up the wrong thing where you have no chance of success.

I have a bad back (Ankylosing Spondylitis) which means I can get lots of pain that can keep me immobile at times so I cannot work in the business all the time. I also was having kidney dialysis three times a week which left me tired and unable to think clearly.

I needed a business I could turn off during times of long hospital stays and one that I could work on when I was feeling ok.
Amazon used-bookselling was the disabled business Idea that I chose.

choosing books

It sounds very easy and it is, once you have gone through the process a few times it gets easier and provides a great little-added income for doing some relatively simple things. The good thing is that if you become too ill to do this you can simply turn it off within a few seconds on your computer.

I managed to run this business with help when I was in the hospital and also when I was confined to bed.
As long as you have someone to find the books and take them to the post office you can do this when you are immobile.
person ill on sofa

First, you need to download the amazon app onto your smartphone or a mobile device this has a search facility that you use to scan the barcode on the back of the books. These are the ISBN codes this will bring up the used selling price of that book. If the barcode does not scan you can enter the 13 or 10 figure manually.

Depending on which country you are in Amazon customers pay a delivery charge to you, If your books are small and light you can actually make money because the actual postage price can be below the Amazon delivery price.

used book shop

Generally, books you find around the average home do not have much value. These are usually gardening books, recipes, DIY and most fiction books, paperbacks etc, the books that have a higher value are niche books, travel guides, books about a particular health problem etc usually the more diverse the better. These books can all be checked before you buy the book.
I usually try and find smaller paperback books (lighter less postage) any over $5-8 value. Through experience, I have found that the cheaper the books are on your shelves means you have to sell lots to make a good profit, I try to keep less stock of more expensive books.

library books

The best place I have found to buy your used books are library book sales its also a great place to look for other disabled business ideas.
I have a back problem and books are heavy so I invested in a foldable wheeled box that holds lots of books. This saves wear and tear on my back.
Charity shops are another good place to buy, and also Ebay, people sell their old text study books, you can see the titles so can price the books before you make a bid.
There are often collections of old or specialised magazines for sale, these are not really sold on Amazon but you can still earn with these I will cover this in another article.

Once you have the books home you need to list them on Amazon for sale, you will need to open an Amazon sellers account type in the ISBN code into the description and fill in the details.
Amazon its self-has videos of how to start an account there are lots of videos on youtube.
book sale

Amazon has guidance on the condition of the books and how to describe this, as a rule of thumb err on the side of caution. I always put the condition a little less than it is? Under describe, over deliver, and I have excellent seller ratings. If the book is excellent I will put very good then the buyer is not disappointed, as descriptions are very subjective.
condition of book
Usually library books have stickers etc inside I leave the sticker on but carefully take loose added pages out, look through the books to see if there has been and writing or underlining on the pages ,pencil marks can be erased carefully, any remaining marks or highlights, you must point this out in the book description.

Students often have lots of books to buy and even a water damaged or heavily highlighted book will sell as long as its readable and all the faults are listed honestly.

You then need a dry place to store the books preferably on a bookshelf for easy retrieval, I have mine in the garage in kitchen cupboards. You will need a supply of padded envelopes I use two sizes,G and E2 these seem to fit all.

Then its a matter of waiting for your orders, pop the book in the envelope and send it to the buyer, I send all my books second class but try to send the books as soon as I get the order, I have not had any complaints of late delivery to the contrary I get lots of early delivery compliments.
You must test your own postal service.
When Amazon has taken their cut your portion goes straight into your nominated bank account usually after a few weeks.
books on shelf
With around 400 good Priced books you should be able to earn $150 per month with little trouble. Often you find high-value books, In the past few days, I sold a $50 book that cost me 50cents.
This was a book about handmade middle eastern carpets. I have found boxes of books at auctions I paid $22 for the box for around 20 books and have sold around half for over $300.
batch of books

I’ve bought books in hospitals, church jumble sales, garage sales really anywhere. I did buy a huge collection but it had already been searched through and I did not find many good books. Try not to buy without checking the value first. and remember big heavy books will cost you more in postage so you must factor in this amount as it comes from your profit.

Amazon has a facility (fulfilled by Amazon) where you can pack your books, label them, and send them to Amazon for them to store and send out when you have a sale. I tried this but found the extra cost to be prohibitive for anything less than more expensive books.

The benefits of this Disabled business idea is you can buy your stock when you are having good days, and with a little assistance can still run your business on your bad days.
You can turn the business off when ill or away.
I hope you enjoyed this article any questions or ideas or feedback please get in touch.
Thank you.