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How to Sell Rare Books on Amazon

In 2008, online retailer Amazon bought AbeBooks, a longstanding online bookseller specializing in rare books. If you're a beginning seller, learn to sell your rare books through AbeBooks.


  • Step 1: Download AbeBooks' Excel book info template. Fill in the template including your book's title, author and illustrator's names, condition, and price.
  • TIP: Download AbeBooks' free HomeBase inventory management software if you're selling a book collection across multiple markets.
  • Step 2: Send the Excel file to AbeBooks via the Uploads section of the Members Menu. Send an e-mail to customer support to notify that you've uploaded the file. With the money you're going to make, you can invest in more rare books to sell.
  • FACT: In 2000, _Birds of America_ by artist John James Audubon auctioned for $8.8 million, becoming the world's most expensive book as of 2010.
  • Step 3: Create an AbeBooks bookseller account. You'll need to give them your bank, credit card, and business contact info.
  • TIP: Choose an appraiser with a specialty that fits your book such as first editions, Americana, biography, or children's books.
  • TIP: A particular edition of a book may be considered rare due to an author's signature, illustrations, or even specialized typesetting.
  • Step 4: Search for your book at AbeBooks and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Do bookseller prices indicate your edition's scarcity?
  • Step 5: Visually assess your book's condition. "Fine" indicates no defects, missing pages, and an intact dust jacket. "Good" is a worn book with no missing pages.
  • Step 6: Consider hiring a rare book appraiser. Search the membership databases of ILAB or the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA).
  • Step 7: Know what makes a book rare. The age of a book has little to do with its value. A book is rare when it's scarce, or when demand greatly outpaces supply.

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