How to Get Rid of Used Books (And Make Some Money Doing it!)

Clean out your bookshelves and make a few bucks doing it? This is something I should do once a year.

Books have an uncanny ability to transport you into other worlds. You get to envision worlds and creatures you could never imagine and places that are made in dreams. Alongside transporting you from reality, books have the ability to teach as new and exciting things like how to write a software program or invest in the stock market.

While books are great, after a while they begin to pile up on your bookshelf at home. Often times once you read a book the first time, you seldom pick it up again. These books collect dust, they can be heavy to transport and can take up a lot of space to store.

When its time to spring clean or move, books are the first thing I tackle. For books, you want to keep it is simple to sort them and pack them. You can even mail them cheaply via media mail.

For the books that you do not want, do not just throw them out. There is a way to make money from unwanted books. Follow along for ways to get rid of used books.

1. Send in your books for CASH

Grab your smartphone, download the BookScouter app on IOS or Android, and find out how much those books are worth. Scan each ISBN with your phone and BookScouter will tell you what each book buyback store will pay you for the book. Put the book in a pile according to the store with the highest payout.It took me about 20 minutes to get $30 for this pile of books.

After you sort through all the books, log on to the buyback store’s site and enter the ISBNs.

I got over $30 for selling my used books.

These books got me the highest payout.

You will probably find that two or three stores continue to pop up for your books, and there are a few books designated for other stores. Many stores have a minimum number of books or payout that they will accept, so you may need to re-sort those books into a different pile.

Tip: Don’t Wait to Send the Books. Waiting even a few days can yield you diffrent buyback offers. Sometimes the offers can be worse than what was previously available.

Ready to see how much money you can get for textbooks and novels collecting dust? Sign up here.

If you have old textbooks lying around they are worth cash as well. Check the biggest college textbook rental site out there, Not only can you rent the books you need for your college courses, but you can also sell your used or unused textbook back to them. To redeem your books for cash get started here.

2. Trade-in your books for other books

For those books that are in good condition and no one will buy, I upload to Paperback Swap — a site for swapping used books. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up
  2. Type in the ISBNs of the books you want to get rid of
  3. Earn 2 credits for the first 10 books you list on the site
  4. If someone else wants a book, she will request it from you.
  5. Print a shipping label, wrap up the book, and mail it from your local post office.
  6. Receive 1 credit for each book that you send.

As soon as you have a credit in your account, you can “spend” the credit on a book. I have used Paperback Swap not only for my own reading but for giving high quality used books to others.

TIP: Use the Wishlist Function! Whenever I add a book to my Amazon wishlists, I always add it to my Paperback Swap list too. Sometimes it’s a book for my family or friends — all of them like used books as much as I do, so if I can get them a great read for the cost of shipping out a book to someone else, it’s a done deal. Now is the time to start adding to that PaperBack Swap wishlist.

Ready to swap some unwanted books for books you want? Sign up here*

3. Donate your books for a tax write-off

If no one has requested your PaperBack Swap books within a few weeks, you may be ready to get them out of your house. The quickest way is to donate them. My favorite place to donate books is to my local library. They have a semi-annual book sale that I love. It happens to also be my favorite place to get new-to-me books.

As a renter, I never itemized my tax deductions, so I had no need to track charitable donations. Now that we pay more mortgage interest than I care to admit, itemizing our deductions is a no-brainer.

Zacks, explains how to value the books you’re donating and what kinds of entities you can donate to, here. Check it out, and don’t forget to save your donation receipts!

If you’re anything like the Stapler family, you probably have bookshelves brimming over with good books, unread books, old college books, and books you never seemed to finish. It’s hard to part with them, for several reasons, but it’s worthwhile to lift that physical weight out of your space and psychic weight off of your “to-do” list.

For more ways to get rid of used books, or not, as well as other ways to make money check out these articles:

5 Key Platforms for Artist to Make Money During COVID
Tips for Earning More Money Without Changing Careers 
How to Make Money from Home If You’re Disabled 

Have you ever tried any of these ways to get rid of used books? What did you think of the experience?

5 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Used Books (And Make Some Money Doing it!)

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