Selling used books online – STEP BY STEP GUIDE !!!

selling used books online business website idea

Selling used books website – Understanding business model

Used books selling website is a home based business idea, which anyone can start with a very little capital. If you are looking for other website ideas, consider checking website ideas to make money online. The basic funda behind selling used books website business is to create an online portal, where people can upload their used textbooks and write specification on number of pages, textbook quality, year of publication etc. This type of website will have four major type of visitors.

  • The used books seller.
  • The person seeking cheap books.
  • Book lovers seeking any old publication.
  • Casual book lovers surfing through your catalog.

Designing such website is not tough for anyone having basic idea of building websites. But if you don’t know, how to create one, then consider hiring a web designer, who will design it for you. Developing a used books selling website will require you to create five systems.

  • User registration & login system.
  • File uploading system.
  • Content Moderation System.
  • Geo-location system tracking nearest used books seller.
  • User feedback system.

Developing such website with popular frameworks like WordPress or Joomla, will reduce much of your headache. It will also reduce security related risks and will give you many added advantage like back-end admin panel etc.

Don’t confuse used books selling website with an eCommerce portal. You are yourself not selling any books, rather you are creating a marketplace, where people can sell their used books. Neither do you have any share of commission, when any book get sold. The basic mechanism of sale and purchase flow will be that, the buyer will see product listing and call the seller directly, and after getting satisfied with the product, make a purchase, either by meeting up or making online transaction.

*NOTE Don’t take any responsibility of product quality or fraudulent. Create a proper Terms & Condition and privacy policy page which will clearly mention that you are not responsible for any product.

How to start used books selling website

I expect that, you are now aware with this business model, and have interest to create such website. Let’s move to next step, and see how can you successfully start this home based business after launching the website.

Three easy step to start

  • Contact book retailers, who also sells used books and ask them to register and upload their used books in your website. You may also contact school students and tell them the nature of your business and ask them to upload their used books.
  • Advertise your business on Google, Facebook and Twitter. You may also opt to advertise in your local newspaper.
  • Do proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for better search engine visibility to enhance your organic traffic.

If you follow these three strategies after launching your website, then I am sure that your website will have lots of contents and books within two to three months.

Investment to start up used books selling website

This business doesn’t require you to have a big setup, and it can be run by single person. The start up cost will include.

  • Cost for domain.
  • Cost for hosting.
  • Cost for developing website.
  • Cost for advertisement.

Cost for domain is an yearly expense and will be anywhere near 199INR to 250INR which is about $3 to $5. Buy the domain with godaddy.

Hosting charge is also an yearly expense and will be about 2000INR to 3000INR  which is about $35 to $50. Buy hosting from hostgator.

Cost for developing a website is a one-time expense, and the charge for it depends on web designer. We at cssBest charge about 5000INR which is about $80 for developing a single website.

Cost for advertisement depends on how much you want to advertise for your website. The more you advertise, the more traffic you will get. My suggestion is to advertise at-least for first three months after launching the website. This will give a kick start to your business.

Content Strategy

Most of the content for your website will come from your user, and will contain, photos and specification about books, you have to create a special About us, terms & conditions, Privacy Policy, Contact us pages. You can write these pages on your own, or hire a content writer to do it professionally. As we know that content is the king, don’t compromise with the quality of the content. Moderate each entry by users and make sure, that their is no spam or unrelated image used in their listing. Google will penalize your website, if it finds spam or copyrighted material.

Expected Revenue

The primary source of revenue for this website, will come from advertisements, there are lots of options for you, but I suggest you to sign up for google adsense, which is reliable and known for its time payment. Google’s Adsense doesnn’t approve all websites, and it has certain criteria for being approved. Make sure to research about it, I would suggest you to wait for six months, before signing to adsense, and in the mean time develop worth content. A six month old website, with ample content and strategic planning will get minimum of about 1000 pageviews per day, and this will be the perfect time to start earning revenue from advertisements.

You can also charge your user for listing their used books. But do it only after your website become popular and have lots of members and daily visitors. You can charge upto $5 for listing. People will not hesitate to pay you if they find that their product has high chances of getting sold.

Understanding Competition

As with any other business, if you want to make your website a success, make sure that you have a good knowledge about your competitors. Check their websites and analyze their content. You will find many used product marketplace online, some of the big fish in this business are olx and Quikr, they have several used product category. Your used books marketplace is little bit different from them, as its based on niche used product website. Research more about your close competitors.

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Saurabh chaudhary is expert in web design, he writes about web design inspiration, bringing all beautiful websites together in a showcase.

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