If you are like me and find that you have a multitude of books in excellent condition taking up storage room in a closet or drawer, have you ever considered selling your books to make some extra cash?  

Who doesn't need or want extra cash?

I read so many posts from people talking about how they have cut their finances to the bare bones and am still not able to pay all the bills on time.  This is such a puzzler to me because I have a different mind frame.  Instead of cutting things, I try to find a way to come up with extra cash.  I'm retired and living on a fixed income, but that doesn't mean I can't add a bit of money here and there.  

Selling books for cash is one of the things I have done successfully and will continue to do.  

I love to go to rummage sales and I always find such great books at the sales.  The hardback books (that look like brand new) usually go for 50 cents to a couple of dollars.  That's how I find myself in possession of so many books.  I love to read and rummage sale books are such a bargain.  But, once read, what do you do with a book?  I have given books to friends to read but they usually return the book when they are finished.  

So, here's how I sell my books for cash.

If you are selling the right kind of books, Amazon Marketplace is one of the easiest outlets.  Go to Amazon Marketplace and enter the ISBN number, and the photo and description of the book appear. You fill in the condition and your asking price.  (Not every book you have will come up but I have had more successes than failures.)  

If your book sells, Amazon sends you a message, and you must mail the book within two business days. Amazon automatically charges $3.99 for shipping for each book, which in most cases covers the actual postage plus padded envelopes, labels, and tape. Amazon charges you 99 cents per book sold, plus 15 percent and sometimes other fees, and deposits your profit in your bank account.

You can sell DVDs, cassette tapes, CDs, and other items the Amazon database the same way.

Here are a few tips:

  • Don't bother to list books others are selling for a penny. Decide ahead of time what your bottom-line price is - the amount you'd have to earn to cover the time it takes you to pack and mail the book.
  • Send your items, in padded envelopes, via "Media Mail," a postal classification for printed matter, DVDs, cassette tapes, newspapers, and magazines. It's much cheaper than first class except for the lightest items.
  • If you're mailing only one book at a time and have a postal scale, print out the postage at home using Amazon's service. You can then give the book to your mail carrier and avoid a trip to the post office.
  • In general, nonfiction sells better than fiction, and less common books do better than bestsellers.

You won't become a millionaire by selling books but you can make some good fast cash.  

Just like anything else, the amount of time and commitment you put into this venture, the more you will get out of it.  This isn't difficult and, I feel, anyone can make money through book sales.  

At least give it a try and if it doesn't work out for you then you just need to move on to something else.   I can't tell you how good it feels when your very first book listed sells!  It just made me want to sell more and its fun and not time consuming.  

If you decide to make some cash selling books, could you share your results?  Good luck to you!

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Johns

Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blogs! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.