You'd like to sell your used books; they're in great condition, and you want to get a decent price for them. But you don't want to schlep them in a box all over town to second hand book stores and be offered pennies, and you can't compete with the penny sellers on Amazon or don't want to pay fees in an online auction. So what can you do?

You can sell your used books online through online book buyers who can offer you a reasonably decent price for your books, including used textbooks, deposit the money into your PayPal account and even provide you with free shipping labels. No waiting for auctions to end, no listing fees, no paying for postage. You can even complete the whole process in one day, without leaving your house and arrange for the United States Post Office to pick up the package for shipping. What could be easier?

So gather up your used books to sell, take a minute to read this article and you might see a nifty payout in your PayPal account.

Things You Will Need

PayPal Account
Used books
Sturdy packing materials

Step 1

Inspect your books.
Look for tears in the covers, torn pages, worn bindings. Most used book buyers accept some minor wear and tear on the used books you're selling, but they won't accept those with tears, rips or stains, or missing dust covers on hard cover books. Be critical in your inspection; you're being offered a premium for your books, so be honest in your assessment.

If you do send books that are later rejected by the buyer, they can return them to you and charge you for the shipping, so don't assume you can sneak in a few tattered copies and think they won't notice.

Step 2

Do an online search for book buyers.
In any search engine, type in "sell books online." You'll find several sites that offer to buy books online.

Step 3

Find and enter the ISBN number from the back of your books.
Each site functions in basically the same way in identifying your books by their ISBN numbers. The ISBN number is found on the back cover of your books, above the barcode. Enter all the numbers from your books on the site, and if the buyer is interested in buying your books, you'll receive a price offer right on the site. If they're not buying at that time, you'll be told that as well.

Step 4

Set up an account.
If you find the buyer is interested in your books, and you're satisfied with the offer they've made, set up an account and accept their offer. You'll need to enter your PayPal information at this time, so they can send your payment after they receive and inspect your shipment.

Step 5

Follow their email instructions.
Most sites function the same way after you accept their offer. They'll send you a confirmation email with an order number, an inventory list of the books you're selling, and instructions for shipping to them. Many also offer free shipping (some require you to sell a certain number of books, or reach a certain payout amount first) and will send you a link to print labels, or even send you labels, if you don't have access to a printer.

You usually have a week to send your books to the buyer, otherwise the order expires. Each seller is different, but they should be very clear in their confirmation email as to when they expect you to ship by.

Step 6

Package and ship.
Securely package your books for shipment. Use sturdy cardboard boxes and packing materials to keep the books from moving. DO NOT use peanuts for packing materials. They break down and get between the pages of the books.

Remember to put a copy of the book order in the package, either printed from the email or directly from the site.

Tape the box securely and attached the mailing label to the outside of the box. If the pre-printed labels don't already include the information, add your return address and the order number.

Step 7

Ship the box.
That's're done. Take the box to the post office, or leave it for your mail carrier to pick up, or call the Post Office to arrange for pick up. No postage is required by you. You can complete the entire process from your home.

After the buyer receives your package and inspects your books, your payment will be deposited in your PayPal account. It's as simple as that.
So if you're looking for a little extra cash in your PayPal account, but don't want the hassle of dragging your books all over town, try online book selling. You may find you have some valuable books lurking on your bookshelves. You may also find a new hobby...seeking out good quality used books at estate and garage sales for resale online. Just make sure they're in excellent condition.

Tips & Warnings

* What books sell best? Mass produced popular paperback fiction, the type sold at the check out line at the grocery store, do not sell well. Book club editions are usually not accepted. Textbooks, reference books, and quality paperback and hardcover books usually do well. Once you enter a few ISBN numbers, you'll get a feel for what is or is not selling.
* is a great place to compare prices between several different sites and to see who's buying what. It saves time if you have a lot of books or just want to make sure you're getting the highest price.