You’re going to sell textbooks and other used books on BookScouter. You want to sell books online rather than lug them to a bookstore. You’re parting with two textbooks, a cookbook, and a well-loved, hardback copy of The Hunger Games. You enter the books’ ISBNs into the search field to learn what buyback vendors are paying.
The textbooks will bring $43 and $66, the cookbook, $12, and the fiction? Nothing. You wonder why no vendors want to buy your book, one of the best-selling works of the past decade. Surely, someone else would like to own and read it? Could BookScouter be wrong?
More than 23 million print and digital copies of The Hunger Games have been launched into the reading universe since the book was published in 2008. That’s enough for everyone in Georgia and North Carolina to have their own copy.
Here’s why your book is worth $0.
Most of the buyback companies on the BookScouter website will send you a prepaid label so you can package and send them your books. Let’s say you paid $7 for your copy of The Hunger Games, and the buyback vendor is offering $4. The shipping cost is $4. For the buyback company to make money, it would have to charge at least $12, to recover the cost of shipping and to make some money.
Who’s going to pay $12 when he or she can find the book, as you did, for $7? Or even buy a used copy for as little as $1?
By and large, fiction just doesn’t pay when it comes to the online buying and selling books. You’re better off turning it in at a paperback exchange. Dealing with fiction is so difficult that only one of our 30+ buyback vendors, Powell’s Books, will consider accepting some fiction.
If you have a signed, first edition copy of The Hunger Games or another fiction title, you might approach Abe.books or a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and see how much your book is worth. First editions and signed copies add value to fiction books.