We talk a lot about how easy it is to make money flipping books. Today we’re going to show you how to do just that. 

Begin with an inventory

You can begin with just one book. Maybe it’s a book you used for school or one you found at a thrift store. Don’t feel intimidated by the future of your  book arbitrage business when you begin. We all began with one book. If you have more than one book, that’s great too! We recommend starting small before investing too much money in purchasing new inventory to flip. (We’ll get to purchasing new books to flip a little later in this article). 

make money flipping stacks of books

Begin making money by flipping books you already have in your own home.

Research the going rate for your book based on its condition and edition

By typing in the book’s ISBN into the search tool at BookScouter.com you’ll see the going rates for either “buying” or “selling” that book within seconds. The BookScouter app acts as a scanner that can speed up your research. Simply scan the code and see the prices offered by all of our online vendors. If you have hundreds or thousands of books you want to research, tap into our Pro User subscription to access the Bulk Lookup tool

make money flipping books using the bookscouter app

The BookScouter mobile app makes it easy to find the going price for a book fast. Selling books is easy on the app too!

Search for the best platform to post your book to sell

BookScouter.com is the fastest way to flip your books. If you sell to one of our vendors, you ship the books immediately and get paid as soon as the book(s) is processed There are several other places our users have mentioned posting their books in the past like eBay and Amazon. If you think you may get a higher price by selling on another marketplace platform, create an account and list your book there. You’ll need to be more patient with this option, as you have to wait for your books to sell. If you use a marketplace, you will need to account for shipping costs (while shipping is free for books sold on BookScouter). You may also want to check out Amazon FBA. With this option, you ship your inventory to Amazon and set your pricing, and then Amazon ships your books directly to the customer when they sell (like consignment). Of course, there are fees associated with this service, but it is a popular option with book flippers. 

Sell your book

On BookScouter this involves: typing in the ISBN, viewing the best prices, choosing a vendor, clicking “sell”, following the steps on the vendor’s website. With other marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, once you post your book for resale you’ll wait a little bit of time before a sale takes place. 

Ship your book

Once your book has been purchased, package your book(s) ASAP! When packaging books include the packing slip inside and add the shipping label on the outside of the box. Be sure to package the book in a safe way that minimizes any damage. You want your customer to receive the book in the same condition you described. Here’s another pro-tip: notify your customer of the tracking number or at least keep the tracking information until the package is received by your customer.

Send the invoice

While each platform is different as to when you receive your funds, it’s most common that your payment will arrive once the book has been processed and the customer confirms the condition is as described. Many marketplace platforms require payment for the book upfront, so you should receive your money fast. However, other places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace depend on what you and the customer have agreed upon (typically pay in person or PayPal once the item is received).

you can make lots of money by flipping books

When cash begins to pour in, designate funds to your profit as well as what you want to invest back into your business.

Designate your funds

As with any business keep track of your revenue (you can use something as simple as a spreadsheet or invest in bookseller software). Make sure you pay yourself and team for your work, pay any bills your business has (this type of business has low overhead, but as you grow you might add on additional paid services to streamline your work) and invest in your business. As you grow the business consider your own business license and bank account. Don’t forget to keep track of your revenue and payments for both personal records and tax purposes. 

Add to your inventory

To help your business grow, we recommend investing a few thousand dollars to really kick things off! It may take some time (a few weeks to a couple of months) but it shouldn’t take too long for you to begin seeing a return on your investment, especially if you time it right. For the best resale profits, we recommend to sell used books close to the start of a college semester (specifically if you’re selling textbooks). You can find books to add to your inventory in several ways: online, college students, liquidation sales, estate sales, and thrift stores. We discuss a few of these on our blog Best Resources for Reselling Books. 


Once you take these steps you’ll be able to confidently move forward with consistently making money by flipping books! 

Additional tips: 

  • Note the book condition. The condition of the book plays a role in how you should price for a sale. The conditions listed are typically Good/Like New, Acceptable, and Unacceptable. To make a profit you want to resell books that are either in “Good/Like New” or “Acceptable” condition. 
  • Make sure you’re adding profit margins into the resale price. Take into consideration packaging and shipping costs in addition to the time you’re spending researching, posting, selling, and purchasing books. 
  • While our world is still experiencing changes due to COVID-19, continue to work safely. Trust your own intuition with visiting brick and mortar shops or meeting people in person to make book sales. If you are increasing your inventory from someone locally, consider having them pay you through PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App. Consider drop-offs (at a neutral location) while keeping as much distance as possible. Much of the work can be done at home, so we hope this gives you peace of mind when your health and safety is concerned. 

Now that you know how to make a profit from flipping books, use appropriate resources to make the most money. Start today by using BookScouter.com!