Author Topic: Good places to sell books/DVDs?  (Read 7041 times)


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Columbus, OH
Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« on: October 25, 2012, 07:26:29 PM »
I have been using paperbackswap and swapadvd to get rid of old items.  It has been useful on occasion when there were specific items I was looking for.  However, you have to pay the shipping costs and I am tired of heading off to the post office to mail items.

I have tried Half Price books, but they don't pay all that much for the books we have.  The last time my son took in three books from a series (Terry Brooks) they only paid him a dollar.  Has anyone had much luck with Craigslist for these items? 

Any advice would be great!  I would love to get some of our items cleaned out of the house


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 08:19:22 PM »
We cleaned out all of our DVDs by trading them in at Amazon.  The DVD funds were used over the course of a couple of months to buy budget bulk groceries (e.g., 6-packs of cereal boxes) on Amazon.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 08:57:58 PM »
You can also sell your things straight up on Amazon, if you think that would get you a better price than trade-in. Fees for books and DVDs are $0.99/sale plus a 15% referral fee. That's probably better than what they're offering at Half-Price Books, but you'll still have to go to the post office.

I would guess that C-bus Craigslist is too small of a market to get a good price on anything.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 783
  • Location: Manhattan
  • Achieved FI @ 30
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 10:31:49 PM »
I also sell through Amazon, though usually only books priced north of $20 in the used market (i.e. enough to make wrapping and mailing it worth my time). In any event, by looking at the "used" price on Amazon, you'll get an idea of what they're worth. For most mass market paperbacks, that's unfortunately not much.

You might consider lumping similar books into lots, and selling them through craigslist that way. For example, "20 gently used young adult fiction titles, $40." That's a great deal for someone who buys their kid a lot of books, is probably more than you'd get from most used book sellers, and eliminates the hassle of having to deal with them on an individual basis.


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 221
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Southwestern PA
  • Jeopardy! loser since 2010
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 06:08:14 AM »
I had a pretty good side business going on last year selling books on Amazon. I'm actually going to pick it back up here shortly, because I want to save up to attend the national meeting of my hobby group next year. I've also sold stuff to Half-Price Books (HPB) in the past. Here are some things that I have learned from this process:

 - Mass market paperbacks are worth almost nothing on the secondary market. It doesn't matter if they're part of a series or if they're in great shape, they have almost no value. Getting $1 for three of them at HPB is pretty darn good. The exceptions to this I've found so far are anything A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones, etc) and anything by Terry Pratchett, for some reason. To recognize these, the cover price is around $7.99.
 - In contrast, trade paperbacks are sometimes quite profitable. These are the books that have a cover price of $14.00, $16.00, or some other round number. I buy some of these for $1 at Goodwill and resell them for around $4 or 5. Non-fiction sells better than fiction, but sometimes you get lucky and find something that people really want to read.
 - The books that I've had the most success with on Amazon are textbooks (found a brand-new calculus book at Goodwill for $2, sold it the next day for $65 with expedited shipping), "creepy Jesus books" (books about how Jesus is the one true way and you will only achieve true happiness through Him), weird old art books, and anything on a niche subject.
 - The sales rank of an item on Amazon will give you an indication of how quickly or likely something is to sell. I've found the following intersections of sales rank and time to sell to be generally true:
  • 10k or less: 24-48 hours
  • 10k-50k: 2 to 4 days
  • 50k-100k: 1 week
  • 100k-1million+: anywhere from a month to a year
- Also, you want to make sure the book you're listing is worth enough to make it worth the trouble of listing it. I use the following criteria for my book sales:
  • $3.00 - 40k or lower
  • $4.00 - 60k or lower
  • $5.00 - 80k or lower
  • $6.00 - 100k or lower
  • $15.00 - 500k or lower
  • $20.00 - 1,25million or lower
  • $25.00 - 3million or lower
  • $40.00 - 4million or lower

Now I like looking through books, so I'm willing to spend the time hunting them down. For the books you have in your house already, you should examine their sales rank on Amazon to decide if you should list them or not. List the ones that are at the appropriate intersection of price and sales rank and don't bother with listing anything that sells for $0.01. Take the rest to HPB - a full reusable grocery bag should net you about $20.

The really nice thing about Amazon is that you don't pay any fees until your item sells, and you can print out the postage right from your computer. When I was really cranking books out, I would pack the books at my house, print out postage, and simply drop everything at the post office. Or in a mailbox near work, if I couldn't get to the post office before I went to work.

Let me know if you want to know more - I'm full of advice on this topic. :)


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 06:27:56 AM »
We have had good luck selling on and to You can list anything on Half with the ISBN and pop them in an envelope to mail when they sell. Powell's will choose which books they want and you send their picks to them with a prepaid label. But if the condition isn't as stated they may not pay you and you won't get your books back. So don't say your books are "like new" when they are stained and the spine is broken.


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
    • Kiva - Change the world with a $25 loan
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 06:50:33 AM »
I double or triple list my items on, amazon, and ebay.  When an item sells one place, I delete it from the other sites.  Things tend to sell a lot fast that way!


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Columbus, OH
Re: Good places to sell books/DVDs?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 09:38:29 AM »
Thanks for the help everyone!  I will puruse some of these options this weekend and see what works best. 

Time to clean out the bookshelves!