Check your old books for hidden things before you sell them

Reading time: 5 min

Working from home and living in Lockdown have opened many opportunities to organize our homes and clean up our unwanted technology, clothing, old books and all the clutter we once thought was necessary in the spring. With books, however, it's easy to tie yourself to your favorites, and it's harder to let go of those who once loved you or your family.

Your bookshelves could be worth a good chunk of money if they're in a good sale condition. So why not take this opportunity to make money with your old, dusty books?

Here's our simple guide to help you find the best places to sell, buy, and trade your old books online and take advantage of the best deals.

Before you part with your old books

You've looked through all the books in your house, read the books you've never read, thought you would read one day, and cleared the bedside table. Hopefully you are now ready for sale! Great news.

Before you put these books on sale, it is important that you check your books for hidden items. Bookmarks, cards, notes, receipts, and anything that has intruded personally must be removed before you can permanently lose them.

It is also important to check the condition of the books you want to sell. Scratches, notes, highlighted sections, watermarks, burn marks, old spikes, and tears on the pages can prevent your books from selling. If your name is spelled inside, it may be best to write it down (neatly!). Be ready to be honest about the condition of the book. If you hide bugs, you'll get returns and unfortunate online reviews!

Where to sell online

You can sell your old books to all of the usual suspects – but different websites offer different offers depending on the edition, year of publication, vintage or modern text and whether the author is in high demand.

Music magpie

Not part of our brand, but we're focused on our money making goals! Music Magpie buys all types of technology, DVDs and games as well as books and textbooks.

It's easy to start selling. Enter the barcode of the book so that the site can identify the title, author, edition, and year of publication. When you download their app, the app can scan the barcode for you, so you don't have to fiddle with the numbers! The minimum order is £ 5 and you can have a maximum of 500 items in one order. When the number of old books you want to sell reaches 500, that's impressive!


A firm favorite when selling books online. eBay makes selling used books easier and offers good prices compared to established sellers like Amazon. Your terms for books range from "used" to "new". However, when the spines are worn, the text or other scribbles are written and it is best to mark them as "used".

Read eBay's editions, authors, and book spec guidelines to make sure you get a good price.


This site does what it says on the tin! It is a second-hand retailer. Enter a book's barcode or ISBN number (usually on the back of the book) for an instant review. When you reach £ 25 you get 5% more on your trade!

WeBuyBooks also helps with the recycling of books as they are accredited by the environmental authority.


Momox is another great tool that will help you quickly get money for your old and used books. The portal works like an online flea market and offers the same instant evaluation of the value of your edition and guarantees a fair price. Free delivery included, ideal for chunkier textbooks or coffee table books.

Peter Harrington Antique or Vintage Books

If you are looking for rare vintage or antique books on your shelves and suitcases, contact a specialist like Peter Harrington. These services ensure that you sell your antique books ethically and responsibly and that you get a good price for them.

They offer a personal rating for rare or ancient texts, so it may take longer for the money to arrive. First editions of popular texts offer a real gold mining opportunity to earn money with your old books too!

Use apps to sell old books locally

Use apps to sell your old books with social selling

If you want to trade directly with buyers, use an app that connects you to local buyers. This also saves travel or postage costs!

Next door

NextDoor specializes in organizing swaps, trades and bargains with locals and neighbors in your street, city, town and district. This app promotes community building and can help you sell everything to your immediate area as long as the item is in good condition!

We saw that books are only available for 50p, but the levy is nearby so you don't pay postage. Compared to eBay, this saving on postage means a strong opportunity for good returns.

Facebook marketplace

A great way to use the Facebook social media platform is to sell your books to locals near you. People sell all types through the marketplace feature, including cars and even pianos. So it's a great place to sell your old books and make money instead of letting them collect dust.

School and university books

If your child is still at school or completing compulsory education, it may be worth talking to school librarians or even tutors about selling old textbooks to school to make money. This ultimately gives the school more resources and means that you can make money with your child's old books and help others save the cost of a brand new copy.

University Facebook groups

Today, most university courses and departments across the UK have dedicated Facebook community groups and chats. If you have just completed a year or even graduated, using these groups to sell the texts required for the course to students in lower years will help unload the books and make money.

Most students will also appreciate your little notes that can help them get better grades!

Not on Facebook? Look for notice boards in your campus library to promote your texts. If your faculty has a newsletter, a WhatsApp group or an online forum, you can offer your books for sale there.

Book exchange programs

Share books with family, friends, and others to save money and help the environment by reducing waste. Many family members buy the same book two or three times. So if you can exchange copies, it's even easier!

Many book exchange programs have popped up in local parks, train stations, and subway cafes where you can drop off and pick up books at will. It's a great community builder, meaning you get popular, sold-out titles too.

Post Covid-19 options

Now that stores are reopening on Main Street, there is an opportunity to hand over your old books to national charities and sell your old books to local stores. Most charities like Oxfam and Sue Ryder offer options trading. So it's good to take a look at your main street and know that you are helping the needy by submitting your old books.

The other alternative are flea markets and car boot sales. While these were put on hold during Covid-19, these are great ways to trade your books with used edition booksellers to make money quickly, or even set up your own stand to make money if you can. Most flea market sellers give you more money with the newer editions you trade in, but you can definitely try to simply pawn the coffee books and more artistic offers here!

Do you need further ideas? Read our article on making money with broken and used things!

More tips for making money


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here