(Guest Post by Kylie Ofiu, as part of our Side Hustle Series)
I am an at home mum (now also author) with various side hustles, but one of the easiest ones I do is selling second hand books. I once bought a book for $24 and resold it for $85! I knew I would get a big price for it, which is the only reason I bought it. I started with just selling what I had, then as they sold easily I decided to research more about what was popular and sell that.
Where I Find My Books
I source my books from second hand/thrift stores, garage sales and very occasionally buy them online to resell them online (weird, I know!) I have researched a fair bit to know what books sell well. I have found the best ones in my area are about money, frugal living, self sustainability, pregnancy and parenting as well as a few select cook books. I have found the popular titles by seeing what is popular or talked about in forums I visit and by checking what has sold on eBay and for how much.
I look for slim books as they are cheaper to send. In Australia postage is very expensive in comparison to other countries. In fact it is often cheaper for us to purchase from overseas and pay that postage than to pay to have something posted from the same state as us. Slim books usually only cost the price of a large letter to post, whereas books that are slightly larger, weigh more or are hardbacks often cost $6 – $15 to post, which is often more than the price of the book.
Where I Sell My Books
I sell my books mainly through book sites, eBay, private groups on facebook and yahoo groups which sell to each other as well as some classified sites. It took a bit of time to work out which books do best where, but now I know, it’s easy.
For the most part, the books just sit on a shelf I have and as I sell I buy more as well as saving some of the profits. I do keep the books I am selling separate from my personal books as it is easier to keep track. I also keep proper records of everything with a spreadsheet listing the book, cost price, sale price, fees, postage, profit, where it sold and how long it was listed. This helps me see what has been worth it as well as what sells quicker than others.
How Much I Make Selling Books
I don’t make enough for it to be a full time thing, but then I am also not trying to make it a full time job; I just do it for fun. It’s also a great way to read books I am interested in, then sell them. Some weeks I make a few hundred, other weeks $10; but it averages out to be a few thousand a year. If I listed more than a few books at once or wanted to spend more than 10 minutes a week on it I could definitely make more. Seriously, I only spend 10 minutes a week on it or a few hours a year. Not a bad return on my time.
(Photo by somegeekintn)