Small Business Ideas: Flipping Used Books

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

Flipping used books allows you to make an immediate profit and requires very little money up front. It’s the same idea as flipping a house or any other product. With the right tools, you can even guarantee that you’re going to make a profit before you buy anything.

Benefits of Book Flipping

The only equipment you need to start a book flipping business is either a computer or a smartphone. Your startup costs are however much you spend on your first order of books, which can be as large or as small as you want. Since each individual book typically only brings in a small profit, most booksellers focus on volume. As your operation expands, it’s easy to start purchasing larger amounts of books to boost your profits.

Finding the Books

Options for finding used books to flip include eBay, thrift stores, and private party sales. EBay is the way to go if you want to sell textbooks; go through enough listings, and you’re likely to find some excellent deals where you can make a solid profit. You may also be able to find textbooks through private party sellers, particularly if you live near a college. Check on Kijiji for classified ads about book sales.Thrift stores have long been the main stomping grounds for product flippers, and that’s also the case when you’re flipping books. You can find all kinds of books at low prices. If the store often needs to get rid of unsold books, you may even be able to get that excess inventory for free if you offer to take it off the store’s hands.

Checking Prices

You can eliminate any risk from your purchases by comparing the price you’re paying with how much you can make from a book. One tool that’s popular among booksellers is BookScouter, which is available as a web app and a mobile app. You just plug a book’s ISBN into BookScouter, and it tells you how much vendors are willing to pay for that book.BookScouter works best with textbooks – you can look up auctions on eBay, compare the auction price with the highest offer you see on BookScouter, and make a profit without even leaving the house. For other used books, you can often make more of a profit by sending them to Amazon and using its Fulfilment by Amazon service, since you’re selling directly to the customer instead of to another vendor. If you’re purchasing books at a thrift store to sell yourself, you can use a bar code scanner app to check how much a book currently sells for on Amazon.Book flipping is a low-risk venture, but it can also take some time to make much of a profit, especially if you start slow. Once you have a strategy in place, you can apply it on a larger scale to make more money.

References & Resources

Related Articles

What’s Changed in the New QuickBooks

The new QuickBooks Online bookkeeping software has gone through quite a few changes. As…

Read more

Financial Analysis: How to Calculate Variances

Variance analysis is a financial analysis technique that looks into why your…

Read more

Get Paid On Time The Complete Guide to Invoices

For freelancers and self-employed people, invoicing is an essential part of your…

Read more