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How One Woman Makes $1,200 a Month Selling Old Books Online — And You Can, Too!

Lori Schafer has turned her love of reading into an easy way to bring in cash. Read on to learn her secrets for selling old books — they’ll work for you too!

“Books are a big part of my life: I’m an avid reader and I love nonfiction, classics and even young adult books. When I had a health problem a few years ago and I couldn’t work, I decided to sell all the books I had lying around on eBay so I could make money.

“I signed up for a premium store account, which costs $60 a month and allows me to post 1,000 listings a month for free. I sell the books I read, but I also buy books at library book sales. I have a list of authors and books that I’ve already sold, so I always try to look for those. I also check eBay to see which books generate the most profit.

“To create a listing, you enter the book’s ISBN (above the bar code), which pre-fills the description and adds a stock photo, but I like to include my own descriptions and photos. Once I ship the items, eBay takes a 10 percent cut, and PayPal, the service I use to get paid, charges 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction.

“After I ship the books, my customers leave feedback. Books can actually take months to sell, so something I list in November may not sell until June. Since I’ve been selling books for six years, I have a high positive feedback rating.

“Selling books is great because it keeps me active, and it’s a flexible way to make money. I earn $800 to $1,200 a month, which pays the bills and allows me to finish writing my own book!”

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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