When you hear the term flipping business, the first thing you’d probably think about is buying and selling homes. It’s not surprising because many television shows feature reality home flipping businesses. If you like the idea of flipping products to earn a profit, but don’t have a lot of cash to use as capital, doing it with books may be the best option for you. 

This type of business is simple, easy to start, and has an excellent chance to be profitable. That said, whether you decide to sell books online to get rid of your collection or do book flipping as a side hustle, you still need to run your book reselling business properly. Here are seven things to know about book flipping for a profit: 

1) Start With Low Or No Capital 

There are many side gig business ideas to consider for those who want to boost their income, but don’t have enough money to use as capital. You can offer services like graphic designing, consultation services, or web development. But, if you don’t have much work experience, the easiest and fastest gig to start is buying and selling products for a profit. Some of the most straightforward and readily available products to sell online—or offline—are books because they’re inexpensive and don’t have limited shelf lives. 

2) Know What Books To Sell 

A successful book flipping business owner knows what books to sell. Like any other business, you must cater to an existing target market. Here are some books you might want to include in your product list: 

  • Textbooks 
  • Books by famous authors 
  • Rare and antique books in good condition 
  • First editions 
  • Religious books 

3) A Testbed For Your Entrepreneur Skills 

Don’t underestimate the knowledge you can glean from buying and selling books. Some experienced online merchants even suggest that you should start your entrepreneurial career with book flipping. It’s a small business that could teach you how to deal with tax and accounting, inventory management, and pricing. Buying and selling books can also provide you with the experience to market products online and deal with customers

Moreover, other than the low investment requirement, the money you could lose should the business fail is marginal. But, if you can earn big from this side hustle, you may be ready to try other challenging business ideas with a higher capital outlay. 

4) Always Look For A Bargain 

The key to success in a flipping business is buying cheap. So, you must know how to sniff around for bargain books. Although it’s easy to purchase books on various e-commerce sites, you can’t expect to make a huge profit margin from such sources. You’ll have to aim for a high sales volume to make a significant amount of money.  

There are online sites that offer exclusive drop shipping arrangements that can make you more money. You can also find bargain books in book forums, chat groups, and auction sites. However, if you love the smell of books and would want to target rare collectibles at low prices, you’ll have to stretch your legs and physically visit the local yard or garage sales. 

5) Use Established Selling Platforms 

You can rent a small nook to resell your books, but you’d be able to reach more customers if you sell online. Several web-based solutions could help you with your buy-and-sell business. For starters, it may be a great idea to stick to e-commerce sites that are established and well-known. Some of the online selling platforms you can try are Amazon, eBay, or even social media marketplaces. 

6) Price Your Books Right 

Pricing is a vital factor in any business, regardless of what services or products you offer. Your price should be just right. It shouldn’t be too low because you may not be able to recoup your capital even if you sell many books. On the one hand, you can’t price your books too high either because doing so might drive away potential customers. 

Here are tips on pricing your books right: 

  • Use the price of other online sellers as a benchmark. If the book you have is in better condition than what’s available in the market, sell yours at a higher price. But, if the state of your book is the same as what’s available online, consider matching the market price or selling at a lower price tag.  
  • If you’re selling books by contemporary authors, check the price of the newer editions. Depending on the condition of your used book, it may be safe to set the price to about USD$3 for a used book. 
  • You should also factor in availability when pricing preloved books. So, even if you’re selling a used book, you can price it slightly higher if you notice that it’d take several weeks or months before new editions of the same title will be available. You can jack up your price more if the said book isn’t available in e-book format. Some customers usually don’t want to wait, so they’d be willing to shell out more even for a slightly used book. 

7) The Don’ts Of Book Flipping 

Reselling books is a relatively easy business model to follow. But, if you want to save or earn more money, here are some of the no-nos in book flipping that you should take into consideration: 

  • Refrain from buying textbooks or college books at the end of school or calendar year. Wait for publishers to release new editions at the beginning of the calendar or school year because you could buy older editions at bargain prices. 
  • Don’t acquire international textbook versions even if they’re sold at dirt-cheap prices. Local students may not buy them even if the content is almost the same as in the local editions. 
  • Don’t forget to factor in shipping fees, online payment charges, and other expenses that come with buying and reselling books online. Such charges can affect your pricing and profit margins.  

The Bottom Line 

While book flipping may not be the most exciting business venture to embark on, it’s a simple model to start your journey as an entrepreneur. Once you’ve gained more knowledge about dealing with customers, managing inventory, pricing your products right, and running a successful small business, you can always widen your horizons and try other ventures out. But, for now, just concentrate on making your book side hustle profitable and worth your time.