A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Books from Thrift Stores for Reselling on Amazon and eBay


How To Sell Books On Amazon: The Complete Guide To Successfully Buying, Listing, And Selling Used Books On Amazon

A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Books from Thrift Stores for Reselling on Amazon and eBay


In the digital age, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have revolutionized the way people buy and sell books. Books, being one of the oldest and most cherished forms of knowledge dissemination, continue to be in demand by avid readers and collectors worldwide. For entrepreneurial individuals seeking a profitable venture, reselling books can prove to be a rewarding endeavor. One of the most cost-effective and accessible sources for book reselling is thrift stores. This article will provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to buy books from thrift stores and effectively resell them on popular platforms like Amazon and eBay.

Research and Preparation:

Before diving into the world of thrift store book hunting, thorough research and preparation are crucial for success. Here are the initial steps to take:

a. Choose a Niche: Decide on the niche or genres you want to focus on. This will help you streamline your efforts and target a specific audience.

b. Set a Budget: Determine the amount of capital you are willing to invest in purchasing books from thrift stores. Having a budget in mind will prevent overspending and ensure you stay within your financial limits.

c. Familiarize Yourself with Book Conditions: Learn about different book conditions, such as "new," "like new," "good," "acceptable," and "damaged." Understanding these conditions will help you assess the potential resale value of a book accurately.

Locate Thrift Stores:

Finding thrift stores in your area is essential to building a reliable supply chain of books for reselling. Here are some ways to discover nearby thrift stores:

a. Use Online Directories: Websites like ThriftStoreListings.com and Yelp provide comprehensive lists of thrift stores, including addresses and contact information.

b. Ask for Recommendations: Seek advice from fellow resellers or online communities. People familiar with the area might suggest hidden gems that you hadn't considered.

c. Check Online Marketplaces: Look for thrift stores on online platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist.

Understanding Thrift Store Pricing:

One of the main advantages of thrift stores is the low pricing of their items. Books, in particular, are usually sold at a fraction of their original retail prices. Understanding the pricing structure will help you identify the best deals. Here are some factors to consider:

a. Categorization: Thrift stores often organize books into different sections, such as fiction, non-fiction, children's books, and more. Check each section to find books suitable for your niche.

b. Discount Days: Some thrift stores offer special discounts on specific days of the week or month. Take advantage of these deals to maximize your savings.

c. Bulk Discounts: Inquire if the thrift store offers discounts for purchasing books in bulk. Negotiating a bulk price can significantly improve your profit margins.

Book Selection Criteria:

To ensure you choose books with high resale potential, keep the following factors in mind:

a. Bestsellers and Popular Authors: Look for books by well-known authors or titles that have made it onto bestseller lists. These books often have a higher demand in the resale market.

b. Limited Editions and Collectibles: Books with limited editions or those considered collectibles can be valuable finds.

c. Older Editions: Some older editions of classic books can be valuable, especially if they are out of print.

d. Scarcity: Look for books that are hard to find or have limited availability.

e. Book Condition: Always inspect the condition of the book carefully. Minor wear and tear are acceptable, but avoid books with significant damage.

Pricing Strategies:

After procuring your thrift store haul, you need to set competitive prices for your books on Amazon and eBay. Here are some pricing strategies to consider:

a. Competitor Research: Check the current prices of similar books listed on Amazon and eBay. This will give you an idea of the market rate for your books.

b. Factor in Fees: Keep in mind the selling fees, shipping costs, and any other expenses you may incur when setting your prices.

c. Price Flexibility: Be open to adjusting prices based on market demand, competitor pricing, and seasonal trends.

Listing Books on Amazon and eBay:

Listing your books accurately is crucial for attracting potential buyers. Follow these guidelines for effective listings:

a. Detailed Descriptions: Provide comprehensive information about the book's condition, edition, publication date, and any unique features it may have.

b. High-Quality Images: Use clear, high-resolution images that accurately depict the book's condition.

c. Competitive Titles and Keywords: Optimize your titles and descriptions with relevant keywords to improve visibility in search results.

d. Competitive Pricing: As discussed earlier, ensure your prices are competitive to attract buyers.

Shipping and Handling:

Once you've made a sale, it's time to ship the book to the customer. Efficient shipping and handling will enhance your reputation as a seller. Consider the following tips:

a. Packaging: Use appropriate packaging materials to protect the book during transit.

b. Timely Shipping: Ship the book promptly after receiving the order to provide excellent customer service.

c. Shipping Options: Offer different shipping options to accommodate various customer preferences.

Customer Service and Feedback:

Maintaining excellent customer service is vital for establishing a reputable online presence. Respond to customer inquiries promptly and address any issues or concerns they may have. Positive feedback and reviews can significantly impact your sales on both Amazon and eBay.


Buying books from thrift stores for reselling on Amazon and eBay can be a profitable and fulfilling venture. Through proper research, careful selection, competitive pricing, and outstanding customer service, you can build a successful online book-selling business. Remember to stay adaptable, continually learn, and keep up-to-date with market trends to maximize your chances of success in this thriving industry.

Resources and Sources:

ThriftStoreListings.com - https://thriftstorelistings.com/

Yelp - https://www.yelp.com/

eBay - https://www.ebay.com/

Facebook Marketplace - https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/

Craigslist - https://www.craigslist.org/

Amazon Seller Central - https://sellercentral.amazon.com/

"The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay, or Your Own Web Site" by Steve Weber

"Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed Explanations and Insightful Tips" by Eileen Figure Sandlin

"The Complete Idiot's Guide to eBay" by Lissa McGrath

"eBay Business All-in-One For Dummies" by Marsha Collier