Make Money Selling Used Books on Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – My $7.95 Book Experiment

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Even though I’ve been selling on Amazon FBA for a about a year now, my sales haven’t been all that impressive. But to be honest, I haven’t been putting that much effect into it either. As I transition from working outside the home, to being a work at home mom, I decided I wanted to ramp up my FBA inventory and start sending more items into their warehouse.

A few weeks ago I went to an auction and got 36 free books that someone didn’t want. I knew I didn’t want to try and sell them one by one on eBay so I figured FBA would be the best option. It’s a great way for me to free up space in my house as well as see if I can increase my inventory.

As I was scanning the books to check the sales rank and the current price, I realized that most of the books were ranked really high (in the 1 million or above range) with few FBA sellers, really low (under 100k) with a lot of other sellers or in the middle.

When checking the current price, it seemed that most were in the $5 range. I figured in order for me to see some sort of profit after Amazon takes their fees, I wanted to try and sell them for at least $7.50. A few books I priced a little higher to match the lowest price. The inbound shipping charge to Amazon was $16.04. After FBA fees and shipping, I should net about $1.66 per book. Obviously this is nothing earth shattering. But since the books were free, I’d be happy with any profit.

My objective with this experiment is:

  1. See if these books will actually sell at $7.50, even if there are books priced lower
  2. How long will it take for the books to sell?
  3. How much money can I make off of free books?

I’ll be checking back in over the next few months with any updates. Do you sell books on Amazon FBA? Do you have a certain minimum price point regardless of sales rank?

4 thoughts on “Make Money Selling Used Books on Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – My $7.95 Book Experiment

  1. I have a rack for Amazon stuff. Generally it’s books or sealed CDs. If there’s a large sales rank, I’ll let it sit since I’m merchant fulfilling it. I think that’s the key since you don’t pay a fee until you sell it!

    For me if I’ll make $5 on a sealed CD, I’ll list it. It takes about 2 seconds when they’re new and sealed! Books take a little more but it’s still not a big deal compared to eBay.

    • I’ve merchant fulfilled some items before. But I want to be able to free up space in my house as well as have my products available for Prime.

  2. Nice post! My minimum price threshold varies depending on the sales rank of the book. If a book is ranked 10k and is selling multiple copies a day, I may sell it for as low as $7 (depending on what I’m paying for it). If it’s a 1MM ranked book, I want to be able to sell it for closer to $10. As ranks go up to 3MM or 4MM, I want to see prices around $30 and $40, as a general rule. Good luck with the book finds! I’m curious where you are finding your liquidation lots for books?

    • I’m still experimenting with books and debating if I want to set my minimum threshold a little higher. I got a liquidation lot at I think it may be while before I see if it’s really going to pay off. But looking at the books initially, it doesn’t seem that I’ll make a serious profit. I have started sourcing at my local goodwill outlet. The books are .89 a pound and 1/2 off every Friday (which is the only day I go). I’ve sent some shipments in and one was better than the other. I bought about 20 books one time, without scanning them, right before they were getting ready to close. I only paid around $10 so I wasnt too upset I didnt get a chance to check the rank. I believe only one has sold so far. My last shipment seems to be more promising. I’m hoping to try and send in at least 100 books a month from the GWO alone.

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