How To Sell a Book on eBay

Online Auction-Selling Is Fun, Easy, and a Great Way to Make a Bit of Pocket Change

Selling items on eBay is easy, fun, and will make you a bit of pocket change along the way. eBay's got everything, from everyday useful items to the most outrageous listings you could ever imagine available for your viewing pleasure and purchase, but books rank among the most popular selling items.

Once you've worked your way through the process of listing a book on eBay, you will be hooked.

But, first things first. If you do not have an account with eBay, you will need to register by simply signing up with a user name and password. You will also want to have an account with PayPal to assist the purchaser in easily paying for the book. There is no cost involved in gaining either account, and once you are all set up, buying and selling is at your disposal.

So now you are ready to sell a book. For this, let's use the example of selling one fiction book.

Step 1

Set Up The Basics

  • Log into your account.
  • Click on the “Sell” tab at the upper right hand corner.
  • You may have to follow a couple more “sell” or “start selling” clicks before you get to the meat of selling.
  • Once the window opens up for you to “select a category,” type in “fiction book” and click on Search.
  • A window will appear listing possibilities – put a check mark in “fiction books” and continue.
  • A window will open up for “find a product.”
  • Type in either the ISBN (which can be found on the back of the book, usually starting with a three-digit number and labeled ISBN), or the title, or the author's name, and click on Search.
  • A window will open up showing the book, or different versions of the book, and asking you to “select.”
  • Once you have selected the correct book (either paperback or hardbound), a window will open up showing details regarding that particular book.

Step 2

Promote Your Book 

  • After you have review the above information, scroll down to “describe the item you're selling.”
  • Type in any pertinent information that will help the buyer in choosing your book over any other copies of this book on sale; i.e., condition, a brief review of your thoughts on the book, suggest the buyer check out any other listings you may have, etc. In this text box, you can play with the font type, color, size, bold or italicized – anything that will help draw the looker's attention to your listing.
  • Scroll down, browsing each section to see if you want to add anything additionally, and arrive at “choose how you'd like to sell your item.”
  • Add a “starting price” or a “buy it now price.” Starting out a book at $.99 works to catch the buyer's eye.
  • Scroll down to “give buyers shipping details” and choose Media Mail and $3 to cover your cost of packaging and shipping. Be informed though – if you send something through U.S. Media Mail, it can only be the book – no letter or note.
  • At the bottom of the page in “additional checkout instructions,” it is suggested you note something to the effect “shipping costs will be recalculated for multiple purchases.” This may give the buyer incentive to purchase more than one book from you.
  • Once you are satisfied with the information you are providing, click on Continue.

Step 3

List Your Item

This last page, before listing your item, asks you to review your listing and possibly upgrade exposure – read carefully, then click on List Your Item when you are finished. 

Your book has been added and you may now look at your listing.

Helpful Hints:

  • You may edit your listing up until the point there is a bid placed.
  • In the text box describing the book, you might want to mention that your item comes from a “smoke-free environment,” if that is applicable. Many purchasers are highly sensitive to this issue.
  • During the seven-day long auction, be sure to answer any questions as quickly as possible to keep the interest up by the purchaser.
  • List as many books as possible for that week and you may get one buyer purchasing most of your books – makes packaging and shipping that much easier.


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