Set up an Online Bookstore via Amazon

There are many different options that people might consider when it comes to making some extra money over and above their regular source of income. Some of these might be very easy to undertake, but with a relatively low financial reward. Others might require more time and effort in terms of setting up and getting started, but will then prove more reliable and provide a higher level of earnings. This article is about an activity that probably falls into the latter category but which could still be well worth you taking the time to consider.

Second hand books

Setting up your own online bookstore via Amazon is a viable option not only for those who are simply looking to earn a bit of extra cash, but also for those who might be thinking about a change in career for some reason (be it redundancy, working around new family commitments or simply a lack of fulfillment with a current career). Read on to find out a little more about what’s involved and whether it might be something that would suit you.

What exactly is an online bookstore?

An online bookstore is simply a way of succinctly describing how people sell books online. These books might be new copies, easily available second hand copies or perhaps rare and vintage editions.

Some organisations - and here we are talking about those with a physical high street presence as well, such as Waterstone’s - might decide to make their online bookstore look aesthetically similar to their actual shops, by using matching colour schemes. They might also organise their books into ‘departments’ in the same way. You can visit to see what you think and make a comparison.

Most smaller ventures, however, will use the online infrastructure of a well known brand such as Amazon as this gives the security of being backed by a larger organisation along with access to advice and support about the selling process should you need it.

What will you need to think about before setting up your online bookstore via Amazon?

Your biggest consideration is going to be deciding what sort of books you are going to sell. Are you going to go for new books - in which case you will need to speak to people within the trade, such as publishers - about how to get hold of the stock that you want.

If you are going to go for second hand books then you will have to think about where you are going to get hold of them. Are you going to buy them up at charity shops or car boot sales, or will you attend specific book fairs? Whether or not you will specifically focus on rare items within this group is something you can decide at any time.

You might find that even if you don’t choose to seek out rare books (which by their very nature will be able to command a much higher price than more common ones) initially, after a while you will become attuned to what might be worth something and you could then turn your hand to sourcing and selling vintage books.

You will also need to work out whether you are going to concentrate on a specific literary genre or just sell anything and everything that comes your way.

How should you go about setting your my online bookstore within Amazon?

You can check this link for more information about how to set up an online bookstore within Amazon. You will need to have a rough idea of the scale of your business - you can do some small-scale selling for a very low cost, but if you gradually find yourself trading in much larger volumes then it might be worth thinking about setting up as an Amazon business and paying the associated fees.

Why Amazon?

You are likely to make more money selling books through Amazon (as opposed to setting up a website of your own for the same purpose) as you will benefit from exposure to such an absolutely enormous number of people who already use the retail giant that is Amazon.

You may find that eventually you do wish you to set up by yourself and indeed, many of the larger traders who sell their wares through Amazon also have their own websites from which you can buy things on a separate basis.

Is there anything else you need to know?

You may find that there are some costs related to selling through Amazon, though these will vary depending on the size of your operation. If you are just looking to de-clutter and make a bit of money in the process then your costs will be minimal.

If, however, you are going to commit to something a little larger then you may find that there are greater selling costs in addition to the outlay on stock.

If you are earning above a certain amount then you will need to pay tax and National Insurance - you find out more about this at and have all your questions answered.

You will need to be very clear about the condition of your items if they are second hand. Customers are very savvy these days and will not be afraid to complain if something is not as you described.

There is a fair amount of competition when it comes to selling books on Amazon, so do your research on pricing and offer fantastic customer service as a good reputation will serve you very well.