Sell Books Online With Free Apps (UK) in 2021 and Beyond

During the lockdown, I’ve started on some projects that I have been meaning to get round to for ages. One of these was decorating our back room which has a very large over-flowing bookcase. And so I thought this might be an ideal opportunity to sell books online.

I’m usually loathed to part with precious items least of all books, however, the situation was getting out of hand and I really wanted to start selling some of them which I had either read or would never get round to reading.

So here is an overview for you on how to sell books online. UK apps and websites have all been used in this article.

Selling Books on ebay

Initially Ebay may seem like a good idea, it is a well known site and offers buyer and sellers protection. However there is a lot of competition and you will need to factor in seller’s fees that you have to pay and the postage for selling the book. I found it was a lot of effort for the return. You may be better off selling a bundle or group of books locally with the hope the books are collected by the seller.

However, I had recently spotted an advertisement for We Buy Books. An app which makes it easy to shift your used books online and make some quick money at the same time.

A pile of books yesterday.

Best places on line to make money from your old books

There are many time-saving Book selling apps around now which can really speed up the process of setting your prices and promoting the books to online sellers. Many Apps offer the ability for you to scan the ISBN number of the book, and immediately load the book to their site and give you their best price.

A round-up up of some of the most popular places to sell your old books for cash include:

  • Ebay Books – rare books or bundles sell best, particularly to local buyers who can collect.
  • Facebook Marketplace – similar to Ebay, although you won’t have to pay sellers fees. Bundles of books or really popular books of the moment sell well.
  • We Buy Books UK – See our experience below.
  • FatBrain.co.uk – a great one for student books.

Amazon – with referal fees and selling costs, it’s probably not the best option for a few books, but if you have a lot to shift, this could be a winner.

AbeBooks – A good site for rare books and collector’s items. You do have to subscribe for £20 per month to sell books online here, so it is only worth doing if you have a high value of books to sell. You also have to pay 8% commission.

Sell Books Online With an App

I had previously looked at one of these services, however, the apparent low prices had initially put me off. but in the current situation, with handing them into charity shops, not an option, and my own previous experience of selling on eBay when, after posting fees, I think I may have actually lost the money I decided to at least try scanning in a dozen or so second-hand books to see what I could get.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that for 15 unwanted books, I could make £16.35. Not a king’s ransom by any means, but it was the ease of the service which appealed to me. the process involved:

  • Install the We Buy Books App
  • Scan the barcodes of your books (very quick) with your mobile phone (the app uses a barcode scanner)
  • After which you get an instant valuation for each book
  • Box up the books (I got some old crisp boxes from my local corner shop)
  • Print the label (or receive in the post) and affix to box
  • Take the package to your local Hermes drop off point where they scan your label and give you a receipt

That’s pretty much it. but what I have also done is get my kids involved. after trying the app out myself I thought I would ask my eldest (who is a teenager) if he wanted to make some extra cash.

Boxes of books to be sold

get the kids to help

Being at something of a loose end in the current situation and keen to make some free cash for games or Playstation Plus or whatever it is that kids spend their money on, he was very interested. So he has installed the app on his iPhone and has processed our first batch of books.

Our printer is currently out of action so he had the label delivered by post and we sent the first package of yesterday using the process above. So we’re currently waiting to get the first payment. I’m still not quite sure how he will receive the money as he doesn’t have PayPal or a bank account as such. But we will see and I will update this post with my findings.

All in all, it’s been pretty easy so far and is the best way I have found so far of selling books. the instant price which is presented is also a great feature. and it’s very easy to send your parcel (provided you have a Hermes drop off point relatively nearby).

Do I need a printer to print out a label?

It helps but you certainly don’t need to have a printer to do the job. Many Book Selling Apps use a QR code that is sent to your phone, and you can simply show this code to the despatch team when you send the parcel off.

This can normally be done at a small shop or garage near you or a post office. The first time we tried it, we were a little baffled by the technology but it is very easy and the despatch team know what to do.

So all you really need is a phone that can handle the technology. Another method is where some bookselling companies will post a label out to you, which you can then use to send the books off to the second-hand bookseller.

Postage is normally covered or quoted for when you price up your books. If you have a certain amount of books, some sites will arrange for free delivery from your home, so there is no postage to pay and the pick up is totally hassle-free.

How do I get paid for selling my second-hand books?

When you scan in your books ISBN numbers, you’ll be given a quote for the price of selling your books. Normally the company you are dealing with will deposit the money into your account about 3-5 days after they have received the books. There may be a time period that where the quote given is still valid, so make sure you send off your books to the online retailer on-time or you could face a reduction in the money you hoped to earn. Many second hand book sellers offer to pay you through a choice of direct to your bank, PayPal , cheque or you can donate the money to charity instead.

Students Selling Books Online

Students get through a phenomenal amount of books and they can be extremely costly to buy. So there is a huge market for selling your second hand text books online in the UK. Before doing so, check how up-to-date your books are and look out for specialist online book stores – such as focusing on sciences or languages.

Ziffit.com is a popular online resource for selling second-hand student books – you can make cash from selling your unused textbooks or well-read best sellers. Whether you use the Ziffit.com website or App you can upload your books ISBN number and you’ll receive an instant quote.

Some bookselling sites ask you to sell in a minimum quantity of books or value of books. Some Apps also give you the option of donating the money from your books to a charity of your choice instead – a great alternative if you can’t get to charity shops right now but still want to help them out.

WeBuyBooks.com and MusicMagpie are also popular sites to sell your unwanted student books. MusicMagpie also takes unwanted DVD’s and CD’s too but we will touch on that later. Zapper.co.uk is another well-recognised site. FatBrain and AbeBooks also have good reviews for selling your old books.

Selling CDs and DVDs

It is also possible to sell your old CDs and DVDs online as we all move to a more digitally led lifestyle.

There are many places that buy your own CD’s and DVD’s so it is worth shopping around. One of the most popular is MusicMagpie (yes we mentioned them earlier, they take books too). This site allegedly has the fastest turnaround and is very easy to use with an App that scans in the barcode of your goods.

Collection is often free but like other sites, they might have a minimum amount of goods that you send in and prices are often based on demand too. I tried both Ziffit and MusicMagpie out found for selling books, and just on inputting the ISBN number, the latter was much quicker and easier to use. But MusicMagpie will certainly give you a fast turnaround and quote on buying your old CD collection and no-longer watched DVD’s – they will also quote for buying your old Lego and Mobile phone – yes really.

Ziffit and Zapper are also equally worthy online places to sell your old CDs and DVDs. Make sure you are honest about the quality of your goods that you are selling, otherwise you risk losing your goods and a reduced price being given once they have been received.

CeX (Computer Exchange) is a good resource for selling your old DVDs with the added bonus of not requiring a minimum number of goods before you sell. They also offer a free collection/postal service so the whole process is pretty easy. CeX has been around for 20 years and has outlets in all major UK cities.

Can I make cash from selling my old mobile phones?

Absolutely! Selling your old mobile phones have never been easier, and is a fantastic way to make a little extra income and recycle your goods too. Did you know that recycling just one mobile phone saves enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours? And your phone doesn’t need to be working to be sold – you’ll still be offered the best price for your phone no matter what it’s condition. On-line outlets such as this also often help with buying old laptops and computers too.

Check on line to see where you can make the most cash for your old phones. A quick search on Google will bring up some major online retailers which include:

Are there any other tips for selling my goods online?

  • Take a photograph of your goods before you send them off. It’s rare but some online sellers have had their valuations reduced after the buyer claimed the products were damaged on receipt.
  • Check out reviews on Trustpilot for places that offer to buy your phone or computer for cash and ensure that the package is tracked too.
  • It’s great to have a focus – I wanted to clear out my old books so I could get decorating our spare room. Selling my old books and gadgets help me earn some extra cash and gave me clearer room too.
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