by Joe Waynick
There are a lot of misconceptions about the profitability of selling books on the Internet. First, it has be understood that selling books online is not a way to “get rich quick” Far from it.
Internet bookselling requires just as much work and dedication as owning and operating a brick-and-mortar used book store. Like any other business, there are certain metrics you must understand if you want to be successful.
I want to introduce two crucial concepts that will provide a crystal clear understanding of how to estimate the potential profits of an Internet bookselling business:
- New Listing Sales
- Residual Sales
Once you understand these concepts, you’ll be able to project your sales and profits with ease. In this article, we’re going to tackle New Listing Sales. We’ll cover Residual Sales in Part 2.
New Listing Sales”
Mathematically, when you sell books online, you can be certain that a fix percentage will sell within 30 days out the total number of books you list each month. This is called New Listing Sales.
The rate of New Listing Sales you achieve is dependent upon your listing criteria and the availability quality inventory you have to work with. For example, if you have a plentiful supply of book in good to like new condition, and with Amazon sales ranks below one million, you can pretty much count on at least 33% of your books to sell within 30 days of their initial listing date.
Therefore, if you list 100 books every single day, within 30 days you’ll find that you’ve sold at least 33 of those books, leaving you 67 remaining in your inventory. If the average revenue per sale is $14 per book, you can reasonably expect to gross $462 per day for your efforts! That’s a gross monthly revenue of nearly $14,000.
These are not pie in the sky numbers. These are actual sales figures from my Internet bookselling business that I’ve operated since 2006.
Of course, you need to subtract your marketplace fees (commission and closing fee), Cost of Goods Sold, shipping supplies (bubble mailers and/or boxes), postage, transportation (gasoline, oil changes, automobile maintenance), and labor. (Always include estimates for labor, even if you don’t have employees. You never want to fall into the trap of working for free.)
If you’re working out of your home, that’s pretty much it. If you’re working from a storefront or warehouse, you’ll have additional expenses such as rent, electricity, telephone, and Internet access to cover.
What’s Your Profit?
Calculating your potential profit margin is relatively simple from here. Lets use the following assumptions:
|Average Shipping Credit||+ 4.00|
As you can see, based on the above assumptions, you can earn a respectable 34% profit on each sale. If you’re operating your business from home, this is an excellent profit margin.
If you’re the current owner of an existing physical bookstore, again, the additional profits will be a welcomed addition to your overall profit picture.
Notice I didn’t include transportation cost in the above expenses. That’s because those costs are highly variable and you’ll need to factor those in according to actual expenses divided by the number of books you purchase each day.
For more free articles about selling used books online for profit, visit: http://
Joe Waynick is author of “Internet Bookselling Made Easy! How to Earn a Living
Selling Used Books Online” (ISBN 978-0983129608). You can contact him at: http://