Make Money at Home With Your Own Online Book Business

Are you looking for a low cost, relatively easy to start online business venture?  If you answered yes, then perhaps starting an online bookstore is the right thing for you.

My husband and I stepped into the eBay game by chance back in 2000, when we sold my brother’s vintage Johnny Lightning metal lunch box for almost $70.  We were hooked instantaneously on how a hidden treasure brought so much cash (and my brother gave the money to our daughter, who was so excited!)

After our twins arrived, I went full blast with eBay, selling things around the house, from my mother’s house and what I found at yard sales.  Diapers and special formula for my preemie twins were a fortune, and I was not returning to full time work.

Passive Income With an Online BookstoreCredit:

Along the way, I discovered Friends of the Library book sales, where local branches sold withdrawn and donated books to the public.  I bought many for the book lots I sold, and when the bag sale came on the last day, I loaded my mini van up with hundreds of titles.

After weeding out the winners for eBay listings, I still had lots of inventory left over.  It was then that I decided to take the plunge and start listing these items on

My business was born!

Where to Find Your Inventory

Look no further than your home!


As I mentioned previously, Friends of the Library book sales were a great place for me to find lots of books for very little money. If you are a member, you can go on the preview night, but be warned that the professional booksellers will be there with an army of help and their scanners. They are on the hunt for textbooks, which can be resold for a lot of money. My husband and I actually sold his 1980’s textbooks, which were propping up the décor on top of the cabinets, for some easy cash.

Your home, of course, is a place for finding books to sell.  You might be happily surprised at what you find on your shelves or in cartons where they are stored.  Some of my Early Childhood books, which are no longer in print, made me some great diaper money back in the day!

Another source for books are from other people.  A young man who worked for my husband had a wife in graduate school.  At the end of each semester, we sold her books and gave him half the profits (we told him to sell the books himself, but neither her nor his wife wanted to be bothered).  

Yard sales are another place to find hidden book treasures.  Once you acquire a certain knowledge base, you will be able to see what is really a great out-of-print book.

My favorite place to where I have found books is the curb!  Several years ago, my husband and I took the double stroller out after dinner to walk and pick up our older daughter from cheerleading practice.  A person had a huge carton of books on the curb for trash day!

We loaded up the stroller basket and later listed the books, almost all of the self-help variety. The next morning, one had sold for over $25.00!  Later that day, two more sold for similar amounts.  From that time forward, I have always checked the curb for treasures!

How to Store Your Books

When I began my online bookstore, storing the books was easy, as I only had a few.  As I acquired more and more, I needed to create a system where they were stored safely and my kids could not get to them, as well as be found quickly and easily.

My husband devised a system of storage bins in our basement storage room.  We had ten, divided alphabetically, based on how many books we had. When we were emailed that a sale had been made, one of us pulled out the book and placed it in the envelope to be mailed. This worked out for us for many years.

How to Package Your Books

The first impression a buyer will have is how you package your book.  After all, a customer spends her hard earned money to buy your product, so do not cheap out on mailing it properly. It needs to packed in a protective envelope and labeled clearly so that it can be delivered as it was intended.  If you do a poor job packaging your book, it can get damaged along the way.  This in turn, will turn into a poor buyer experience which she will gladly share online with other potential customers.  Your business can be harmed because you did not want to spend a few cents on a good envelope.

The Right Mailers Make All the Difference

Amazon Price: $16.02 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 20, 2015)
Do not get cheap with your will damage your book and your online reputation. Padded mailers are the way to send books both hardback and paperback. This small investment will yield great returns.

What's Your Price Point?

What is your time worth?

Credit: www.pixabay.comOnce you get your books home, you will need to see if they are valuable or only worth 75 cents, the lowest price you can sell an item on Half's website.  I made the decision to list it at 75 cents because there were very few books listed or the ones at that price point had little competition in that book’s particular condition.  With the postage, I was still making a profit of over one dollar.

Yes, I sold many books to make a buck.  Why?

During that period of my life, I sold on eBay regularly and was even a Power Seller at one time.  I had to make three or four trips to the post office each week, sometimes with a double stroller loaded down with cartons and a diaper bag full of sweet treats to keep my kids quiet. It was no big deal to add one more package, as I was going to mail other things I had sold anyway.  

Once I stopped selling on eBay, I kept my bookstore fully stocked.  But then something happened…I got annoyed at making a trip to the post office for a dollar.  It was no longer worth my time.

So I removed those items from my inventory, made book lots and sold them on eBay.  The remainder were donated. Now every book I have in my storage room is valued at $10.00 or higher, which is worth a trip to the post office for me!

Creating your own online bookstore is easy and a way to make money without too much time and effort.  It is a simple way to create another passive income stream.  Once the book is stored in your home, you do not have to do anything until you pack it up and mail it at the post office.  It really is an easy way to earn money online!