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Is it profitable to sell books on eBay in 2024

I love going to library book sales, there are great deals to be had on practically new books and I’m also supporting my local library in the process. At the last sale I decided to pick up some books to flip on eBay and see what kind of profit there was to be had in 2024. For this example I choose a “like new” condition hardcover that was a popular book released within the last year. I paid $1 for the book from the library book sale. You can find free inventory if you want to experiment with selling book on eBay by looking for book boxes around your town called free little library.

Here is the breakdown of expenses, fees and profit after what I paid for the book:

I charged the buyer media mail shipping rate instead of doing “free shipping” as most booksellers do. However for media mail rate ebay collects the exact amount of the weight and dimensions that you enter in the item listing so you don’t make a little extra from the shipping to pay for packaging materials or to cover costs.

That means after the $1 fee at the library book sale I made a total NET PROFIT of $2.04 after all the fees. That’s only 19% profit margin of the total sale price. Books are also typically slow sellers, heavy to ship and can be difficult to store. Unless you get a huge inventory of mint condition popular titles for pennies, I would steer clear of selling books online in the future.

K.B. Helm - 100simplebooks.com