Second Hand Books - What are they really worth?

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What is my second hand book worth?

It is often hard to know what to sell a second hand book for on ebay. I've found the following are quick and easy ways to get a good idea if your book is worth selling and what to sell it for.

  • Seach ebay for the same book. Is it selling? What are people happy to pay for it?
  • Don't forget to look at international sites as well - especially the UK and USA.
  • Go to and This is a very easy way to see what the same book sells for on the second hand market.

At the end of the day, a book is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. Don't expect good prices for mass produced fiction, but don't be surprised if something from the back of your bookcase is now out of print and that there are people out there who really, really want it.

How do I convince a seller to buy my book?

A few extra minutes work will help you to sell your book. One of the best things about selling published work is that professionals have already done a lot of the hard work for you when it comes to describing and selling a book.

  • Books need a good description. Tell your buyer a bit about the book or the story.  Ask yourself - "Why did I buy or read this book?'
  • Make your description personal. Perhaps a line or two about why you liked (or even didn't like) the book
  • Use the copy and blurbs from the back and inside covers. It only takes a couple extra minutes to type it out. Or scan it .
  • Go to other websites to find reviews. and are always a really good start.
  • Many authors have their own websites filled with glowing reveiws from happy readers.
  • Please acknowledge your source if you do decide to use a review or comment from another site.
  • Be careful that reviews don't contain "spoilers" or any thing else that will give away anything crucial about the plot.

Other Tips that will help your sales and reputation

  • Include the ISBN number (on the back cover of most)
  • Be honest about the condition of the book. If it has creases and spine damage - say so. We all appreciate honesty.
  • A picture of the book will always help the buyer to make up their mind.
  • A piece of bubble wrap will protect the book during postage and make your buyer so much happier at the other end.
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