Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Books Selling eBay vs. vs. Amazon

Today I sold my first book with! At the beginning of this month I decided to start selling whatever I can to help fund my $900 a month goal. One thing I have an abundance of is books!

First I starting listing books I that no longer need on Amazon. It is actually a very easy process to set up a store and begin selling. Unlike my sales with eBay, however, it is a very slow process. eBay auctions end (typically) in a week, meaning that you can watch the bidding and see what will happen in just seven short days. (Click here to read about my experiences with eBay on non-book items.) With book sales it is different - you throw them out there and wait for a bite. I've been selling one a week or so on average.

On Catie's advice I decided to also take a look at - eBay's answer to an online book/music store. Like Amazon, it is fairly easy to set up an account and start selling, in fact, they have much of the same process; even down to the fact that both pay directly into your checking account twice a month.

Neither Half or Amazon is really set up for vintage or antique items. To list on their websites you should have the ISBN#, and older books don't have those. In those situations the item isn't really being sold as a "book" - it is being sold as a collectible. In that case eBay is your best bet.

As for Half and Amazon there are pros and cons to each. Amazon is older and more established... with all that that implies. As one of the largest book sales websites on the web, they get a ton of traffic. It means you have more potential buyers, but it also means you have more potential sellers. There hasn't been an item that I have posted yet that I haven't had a ton of competition on - and in almost every case selling the book for less than I wanted too.

Half is less established, which means there is less competition. I notice that when I review the prices, they tend to be higher than on Amazon. A book I may be selling for $4.00 on Amazon, might be selling for $6.00 on Half. This is not always the case, by any means, but I would say the majority of the time.

My solution has been to list books on both sites. This does open the door to a potential problem of selling two copies at once, but at the speed in which they are moving, I am willing to take the risk. I will continue to post updates on my success with all three sites and let you know about how smoothly the transactions progress.

Are there any online sales websites that you love? Either as a seller or a buyer? Let me know and I will check them out!

Read More About My Online Selling Adventures:

Selling Books Online with Amazon, Half and eBay

Garage Sale vs eBay, Which is the Best Way to Sell Your Junk?

Selling Books, CDs and DVDs with Amazon and

EDIT: Looking for more information on online book selling? I am compiling all my articles about my experiences in one place. Check them out at The Online Bookseller.

Photo from austinevan.


Anonymous said...

Half is arguably more established for used book selling than Amazon. It's a survivor from the dotcom era, and was extremely successful before their acquisition by eBay (around 2002).

Dawn said...

Anon - I agree, however, I have to say that sales-wise I sell far, far more books on Amazon. I love for shopping myself, but Amazon seems to have stronger name recognition.