If you’re just starting down the path of selling your things for cash and want to tackle that pile of books you’ve been hoarding in the attic, how do you know where to go to sell them?
I’ve used a combination of all of the above, because each venue serves a different purpose. But I’ll tell you first and foremost that I favor Half.com for selling all of my media.
- I already have a seller’s account with eBay (in case you didn’t know, Half is owned by eBay so their accounts are one in the same).
- I find the user interface incredibly easy.
- The fees are much better than on Amazon.
To illustrate the point on fees, here’s a quick comparison.
Say you sell a hardback book for $10.
Amazon Fees & Shipping Credits
- <$0.99> – transaction fee
- <$1.50> – 15% referral fee
- <$1.35> – closing fee for books
- +$3.99 – shipping credit
- <$2.99> – actual shipping cost (hypothetical)
Net earnings = $7.16
Half Fees & Shipping Credits
- <$1.50> – 15% sale fee for books less than $50
- +$3.99 shipping credit
- <$2.99> – actual shipping cost
Net earnings = $9.50
See what I mean?
Okay, now let’s go through the process of listing. If you have a large box of books, chances are not all of them are worth selling online because they aren’t worth your time to do so.
To illustrate how I weed out what gets listed and what doesn’t, I’ve created this lovely flow chart.
Just kidding. If I lost you above, here’s the gist of my fancy flow chart. It’s not really as difficult as it may look.
1. I always start out at Half.com with the intention of listing my media there.
2. If, upon first glance, I see there are copies of my book selling for less than $1.99 (even bad quality copies), I always put it aside in the “other options” pile. It’s not worth investigating further because I’m not going to get a worthy return.
3. If the going rate is around $6.99 or higher, I’ll consider listing.
4. But wait! Before listing, I always open a second browser window to check the pricing on Amazon. Sometimes pricing can get inflated in the Half.com bubble. You may get excited that your copy of The Official Preppy Handbook is listing for $99.00 on Half, only to find that it’s selling for $9.99 on Amazon.
5. If the pricing looks comparable, then you are clear to return to Half and set up your listing (hey, I have a guide for listing on Half too). Be sure to price your book so it’s competitive with the prices on Amazon as well as Half.
I mentioned above, that if my book has copies listed for less than $1.99, I don’t list it. Here are some other reasons I wouldn’t list a book on Half.
- When they don’t have my book in their database. You can put in a request to have them add it, but I’ve never been patient enough to go through that process.
- Comic books, graphic novels, or books with suspected value. Oftentimes, graphic novels and comic books sell better on eBay than on Half. It’s worth checking out. (See my guide for finding out what your stuff is worth on eBay for help on that).
So what do you do with the books you don’t sell on Half?
- Is it eligible for Amazon Trade-In? My husband has recently purged quite a few books from his collection using Amazon Trade-In. This is a program where Amazon lets you send them piles of qualifying books in exchange for Amazon credits, which is always good for a book-lover.
- Sell it on Amazon. If you have a seller’s account on Amazon, or you’re adventurous and want to set one up, by all means sell away.
- Take them down to the used bookstore. You may only get $25 for a huge box of books, but at least it’s something. We’ve used this option several times.
Do you have any tips to add? Or questions? Are you going to print my flow chart and frame it on your wall? You can, you know.
Are there any of you who prefer to sell with Amazon over Half? Do you want to duke it out? ;)
Further reading: The cheap way to wrap your books for mailing