Choosing Most Profitable Used Books To Sell Online

How To Sell Profitably On Amazon - Buying Used Books Based on Sales Rank Vs Potential Profit
By Steve Johnson

New sellers of used books often get wrapped around the axle trying to find a shortcut to making fast money selling on Amazon.

When you sell used books working from home, easy money can indeed be made. But the euphoria of your initial sales is probably because you priced your best books too cheaply. Savvy buyers snapped up the bargains, or else you listed a book that someone else has been keen to purchase for a long time, and there it finally is. Poof! It's gone and sold.

But this isn't always the case.

Sometimes, successfully selling on Amazon means that good used books simply wait and wait and wait before they turn you a profit. That's the nature of the business.

Some bookseller gurus say you need to simply buy low sales rank books at certain price ceilings so as to assure yourself of a guaranteed profit.

But there are no guarantees in life.

Keeping Eye On Ultimate Goal: Making Money Online

Sometimes you have to make an educated guess in the used book business without ever going to school.

There really is not a hard-and-fast rule guaranteeing any real correlation between low sales rank and high probability of a sale. Or Vice versa.

What you really need to be focused on is sales rank vs. potential profits.

With used books reportedly now representing one-third of all book sales online, whether that is due to better pricing or a lowered expectation of what a book represents to the ultimate book user/reader/collector, it's probably best to stay focused on your own goals and expectations.

The goal: to make extra money.

The realistic expectations: Most good books will eventually sell.

The problem: Can you wait that long?

How To Determine Sales Rank

The sales rank of any particular book is found in the "Product Details" of each listed book, CD, DVD available at

That number, however, is fluid. Recent sales or lagging sales can indeed shift that number up or down dramatically. So if you happen to log on to Amazon Marketplace to check pricing on a day when that book has had a decent number of recent sales, you'll likely be basing your 'buy' signal on an elevated reading. You'll expect a quick resale. And, when that doesn't happen, you get frustrated.

The experts have their say. But Amazon ain't talking. So you have to make a gut decision.

Complaints in the ranking process are quite common. Booksellers find that the Amazon ranking of any particular book is skewed; however, most do agree that a book with a low ranking typically will sell faster than a book with a high ranking.

Now, this is not rocket surgery. It's common sense, in my opinion: if you have the space to warehouse all the books you can buy at a good profit, disregard the sales rankings, take the plunge and buy the books so you can have them ready to ship when the order comes in -- whether it is this week or three years from now.

But if space is tight, do pay attention to the sales rankings, and don't buy any book with a sales ranking higher than 100,000. You'll have fewer books to sell and make less money. But the books won't take up much room in your house or apartment -- they probably won't even fill up one bookcase -- and you'll likely sell what you buy rapidly, and for decent profits I'd assume, too -- so sourcing books will be an ongoing task.

Book Sales Rank Only One Piece Of Puzzle

Just remember this: booksellers have reported that they've experienced finally selling a book with a high sales ranking, and then, when they return to check the sales rank on Amazon after that sale, almost by magic that same laggard book is now ranking as a quick seller.

It is owing to this reality that it appears sales rank is more heavily influenced by recent actual sales transactions and is less likely a barometer or gauge of probable future sales.

Bottom line: Nobody who knows what Amazon rankings really mean is talking. It obviously would not be in Amazon's best interest to release the finer details of how their sales ranking computer algorithm works to determine a book's sales ranking, because if it helped them in any way be more competitive or make more money, you can be certain they would have done so by now.

Steve Johnson's newest e-book "How To Make Easy Money Selling Your Old Used Books On Amazon" (read free sample chapter here) is now available in the Kindle E-Book Store at Amazon.

Article Source: Steve Johnson