Selling books on line
Selling used books on line is an easy way to enter the busy stream of e-commerce or electronic commerce. If you know how to websurf and purchase items on line then you have enough skill to sell your own books. There are many websites available such as Ebay, half.com and Amazon.com where ordinary people just like you sell anywhere from one book to hundreds at a time! Books are easy to sell because they are standardized, rectangular and inexpensive to ship domestically.
To list a book for sale all you need is its "ISBN" which stands for International Sellers Book Number. Look on the front or back of any book for a barcode and the initials ISBN above the barcode. Below the barcode is a long alphanumeric or all digital number which you use to list the book. That's it! You don't need to take photos to list the item or write a descriptive blurb. Some sites ask for a one word description of your item.
"New" means, new, in the shrink wrap, never read. "Like New" means in awesome condition, but perhaps has sat around your house for a while, been read once, but the spine is uncreased and the binding is fine. Good, means the front or back cover may be dinged, or a pages dogearred but there is no highlighting or underwriting in the book. Acceptable, means all pages are intact, but there may be flocking, underlining, or other signs of wear. Don't sell books that smell strongly musty, have pages missing, or the front cover torn off. Don't sell books that say "advance copy not for sale." Don't sell books that say "Library copy," its unethical.
IF you don't want to spend money on paper envelopes you may wrap your books in plain paper or plastic bags for shipment. You can recycle the brown paper grocery bags for this purpose, recycle envelopes people use to send you items, or wrap the books in plain white paper. Books under 13 oz may be shipping inexpensively via the US Postal service first class. Heavier items may be shipped via "media mail" which is slower but very inexpensive. Mark the items "media mail" before presenting them at the counter for shipping. Do not include anything except an invoice. Media mail is subject to random inspection. So if you misuse the service, by including gift notes, personal letters, candy etc. your item may be returned to you postage due!
Where do you get the books? Since the name of the game is making a profit, don't spend money investing in inventory. Start with the books around your house. Hit up friends and neighbors, most are only too happy to pass stuff along. Go to yard sales and make them an offer for a bag of books at a time. Good will and thrift shops have books, but often their books are too old, uninteresting or in poor condition for resale. Some libraries have free book swaps. Have fun!