How to Make Money Selling Used Books Online for Extra Cash

How to Make Money Selling Used Books Online for Extra Cash

Whether fiction or nonfiction, books can be a source of inspiration, insight, and wisdom. Beyond the value of the knowledge they share, book collections can also have tremendous monetary value. Whether you’re tight on cash, downsizing, or handling someone’s affairs, selling a used book collection online is a good option for liquidating that asset.

Why Do People Want Used Books Anyway?

It turns out that some people want to purchase used books for a variety of reasons. Many people who purchase used books do so because used books are often discounted compared to new editions. Some people prefer old books to new books. There’s something about the smell of an old book that many book lovers find intoxicating. In some cases, the old books have an antique cover art or binding. In our case, Cash For Your Books purchases books as an investment, and that’s the kind of book buyer you should look for if you’re hoping to make some extra cash from your book collection.

Valuing Your Collection

Valuing a used book collection can be a tricky process. There are a variety of factors that impact the value of the individual books and the collection as a whole. Consider a book that holds sentimental value for someone, for example. The sentiments and emotions that are attached to that book may make it invaluable to that individual. To someone else, that book may not even be worth the money that was originally paid for it, since they have no attachment to it. It’s the same book, but the two individuals measure the value differently. Subjective and sentimental opinions aside, there are objective standards that make some books more valuable.

The condition of a book always impacts its value. Typically, the more pristine a book is kept, the more value it has. There are a variety of things that go into evaluating a book’s condition. The condition of the bindings will be examined, as will the dust jacket if it has one. Damage done to the pages or cover will decrease a book’s worth, as will stains and discoloration. On the other hand, genuine author signatures, notes, and annotations can have the opposite effect, bringing an increase in value to the book. This is, of course, dependent on their authenticity. Forgeries do not enjoy the same valuation.

As a general rule, the older the edition of a book, the more valuable it will be. As new editions are published, edits are made to the book’s content, even if only slightly. Many people see first editions of books as being closer to the author’s original intent, giving it greater contextual accuracy and better insight into the author’s mindset.

How important and impactful a book is can also seriously affect its value. For a comparative example, the first-ever copy of the Twilight series won’t ever be as valuable as William Shakespeare’s first folio, which is valued at as much as $8.86 million, adjusted for inflation. Even signed first editions of the series about sparkly vampires haven’t gone for more than four figures. While age is a factor, the importance of the works stands in stark contrast to one another. One is a collection of plays considered by many to be one of the most influential published books, and written by a man who is credited with inventing nearly 2,000 new words that are still used today. The other is young adult fiction with its foundations in a dream, and although Stephanie Meyer has made quite a name for herself, she has yet to reach Shakespeare’s level of influence.

As you can see, there is a lot that can impact the value of a used book collection. You can try to value it yourself, but you’ll probably do better to have a valuation done for you. Hauling in your collection to have it valued may not be feasible, especially if you have a large collection. And given current circumstances in 2020, it’s entirely understandable if you don’t feel very comfortable inviting someone into your home to appraise it there. Your best option is likely to take pictures of your collection and the individual books in it, and let us give you a quote.

How to Photograph Used Books

When getting a quote for your private book collection, there are some things you need to take into account. First, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. A camera with the right lens can make all the difference in the quality of your photos. Consider conditions such as the lighting, how glossy the surfaces of the book are, and the background your books are against. You want your pictures to be detailed and clearly show the quality and condition of the book. For this purpose, natural lighting is best. Avoid using the flash feature on your camera, as this can distort colors and create glare, especially on glossy covers or pages. Use plain backgrounds for your photos. The book should be the focal point, not the background. These recommendations will help you take proper photos, which will improve the accuracy of the quote you’re given.

Selling a used book collection can be rather involved, especially when it comes to determining the value of the collection. Ultimately, books are worth what someone is willing to pay for them. A few things can impact that price point, but with very little in the way of standardization for valuing books, it can be a tricky process. Take quality photographs of your books and collection to help with the valuation. Although the whole process can take some time, it’s not a bad way to earn some extra money.