These are questions my readers often ask me: How can I sell eBooks on eBay? What’s the right way to sell eBooks on eBay? Is it still allowed? Is selling eBooks on eBay a profitable business idea? In this post I’ll try to answer all these questions in detail.
So, to begin with – Can you still sell eBooks on eBay? Yes, you can, if you follow eBay guidelines.
And with eBooks, there are different rules for eBay.com and eBay.co.uk websites:
On eBay.com (USA website), you can sell eBooks AND deliver them digitally as long as you follow these rules:
- List your eBooks in the Everything Else > Information Products category using the Classified Ad format.
As you may know, a classified ads format on eBay.com won’t get you as many views as normal listings, the sale won’t actually happen on eBay and you won’t earn any feedback.
If you want to list your item in a more suitable category and use auctions or Buy It Now listings, you can’t deliver your eBook in digital format – you have to burn it onto a CD or DVD or USB stick and post it out.
On eBay.co.uk (UK site), there is no Classified Ads format at all, but you can still sell eBooks there IF you burn your eBook onto a CD or DVD or USB stick and post it out .
To sum it up, to get the most out of eBay’s traffic, you have to turn your eBooks into a physical format and post them out. This basically ruins the whole idea of selling an eBook (electronic book) in the first place, right? Yes and no.
It depends on what you’re selling, really, because if the information you’re providing is valuable people will buy it and it will be cost effective for you to produce CDs and ship them out. If not, no one will buy your products anyway.
The days when you could purchase some random PLR (private label rights) eBooks and sell them on eBay easily are over. People are simply not looking for such low quality products on eBay. You’ll be lucky to get a few sales for a few quid each and after eBay and shipping fees you’ll be left with minimal or no profit at all.
Just go on eBay and search for some eBooks – you’ll see that most sellers struggle to sell them even at ridiculously low prices such as £0.99 or £1.99. They just don’t sell.
But it doesn’t mean info products don’t sell on eBay at all! Just take a look at these sellers:
Numbers look good, right?
Yes, because they sell video courses, DVDs and highly valuable manuals, not some cheap eBooks about dating or credit repair topics. Multimedia courses sell well on eBay and if you can create your own products, that’s even better! I’m talking about topics like:
- Learning software (Photoshop, Excel, Camtasia etc.)
- Learning musical instruments (Piano, Keyboard, Guitar etc.)
- Repair Manuals (cars, equipment, tools etc.)
- Dancing Lessons
- Dog Training
- DIY Tutorials
- Fitness programs
- And so on!
Mostly these will be DVDs in a price range of 5-20 pounds.
The most money is being made by people who are experts in the field themselves – they produce these products, put together video training material and sell on eBay (and not only eBay) for a healthy profit.
If you don’t want to produce your own info products, I recommend you look for wholesalers in the US. Training DVDs can quite often be purchased very cheaply in bulk, especially if they’re not new releases. What you can also do is contact people who sell their own DVDs on eBay.com and ask if they would be interested in a wholesale deal – for you to sell their items in the UK.
If you produce your own guides and want to get professional looking CDs and DVDs with no MOQ, I recommend checking out this company: Kunaki.com
The price for a professionally produced CD or DVD, with full colour printing and an insert costs just $1 per piece and there are no MOQs! Yes, you can even produce just one item at that cost. This also works perfectly if you want to use Kunaki as a dropshipper for your products (you simply make them when an order comes in and Kunaki will send them directly to your customer).
But if we go back to the original question of eBooks – the only way you can make it work on eBay is if you’re simply looking for new leads for your business. Then you can sell these eBooks cheaply, making no profit but getting valuable customer contacts in return.
For example, say you sell car paint scratch repair kits for professionals. You create an eBook called “How to Start Your Car Paint Scratch Repair Business!” and sell it for £0.99 on eBay.co.uk. You can advertise your products in the eBook and your eBook buyer will then hopefully buy them from you.
The same goes for dog training – if you sell electronic dog training collars, you could put together an eBook on the topic.
You can also then use these eBooks and offer them as a FREE bonus to people who buy related items from you – be it on eBay or your own online shop.
Lastly – if you only want to sell eBooks and not deal with shipments at all, you should go for the Amazon Kindle marketplace and nowhere else! Kindle popularity is growing at a phenomenal rate (I own one myself and use it on a regular basis), and in my opinion this is the way digital publishing will move from now on. Kindle is the way to go.
Again, it will only work with valuable, high quality eBooks written by you or outsourced. Forget about PLR and cheap stuff – it doesn’t work any more People want real, high quality content, not some thrown together 20 pages written by a non-native English writer.
To sum it up – quality wins again! If you put effort into something, it will work. If you’re looking for a quick money making scheme, the National Lottery is still your best bet!
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Great thanks to you Mr Andrew for a work done on this site. i must say you got a fabulous content here.
I’m on the path to selling ebooks on Amazon, though there ain’t books authored by me. there’re purchased from a third party and i wish to sell them on Amazon.
here are my questions, what are the requisite for selling books on amazon?
please so you mind if you give me a guide on how to do that?
I’m sorry, but I don’t have any experience/insights with ebook sales on Amazon.
You will have to try to find that information via Google/forums.
Thanks for the detailed information on selling of Ebooks, have made notes and will follow them to the letter. I think Kunaki.com is a great company to use for the production of software and shipment.
You’re welcome Edward! 🙂
I am thinking of selling ebooks and found your article very helpful.
You have given me a lot to think about!
You’re welcome Glynis!
I think your website is fantastic! It offers so much material that others would charge a lot of money for. I think your EAB course must be the real deal.
Just a couple of questions if you dont mind please.
1. Regarding your advice on approaching USA wholesalers for info products if you dont want to create your own, what is the best way to locate these wholesalers? Are they specialist wholesalers who do just information products?
2.Also you mentioned that we can approach the sellers on USA ebay and ask them we can buy from them and then sell on UK Ebay. What is the best way to search for these sellers? For example search for ‘information products’?
Sry if the questions are basic as Im just starting out.
Thanks for your comment.
1. Not as far as I’m aware. You would start with the PRODUCT you’re interested in selling and then try to locate a wholesaler for it.
2. Again, find a product you would want to sell this way and simply contact original author/creator/seller to see if you can arrange any wholesale/licensing/re-selling deals with them.
i have downloaded mmr ebooks to sell on ebay am i wasting my time
Yes, you’re Stuart.
……. so, if you sold a Report,(mailed to the buyer) and as a FREE bonus, a downloadable version was made available (to give instant access) would this be all legal and hunky dory?
yes, that would be fine.
Good advice Andrew. If you are serious in that you want to sell eBooks; stick with Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Ebay is not worth the effort.
To add to Darren Stock respond lulu.com is also a way to sell ebooks.
l use lulu for all my ebooks l think its a great website to sell your ebooks.
Thanks for stopping by.
Yes, you’re absolutely right! Amazon Kindle is #1 ebook platform out there and should be your first choice.
eBay is more suitable for specific courses, video guides and stuff. Like software video tutorials, equipment video tutorials, betting guides/courses and so on. eBooks alone doesn’t sell that well on eBay at all.
How come I still see ebooks being sold on ebay.com (not in classiifeds format !!) for $0.99 with free shipping ? Thses MUST be shipped by email !! and they do not sell 1 or 2 but hundreds of them apperently without getting banned ….
There are millions of listings out there that breach eBay’s rules but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re against the rules.
Here’s official eBay page on this which clearly states how you can sell digital products:
Yes, i have read it all, but really i wondered how they could get away selling hundreds of these ebooks and delivering them by email.
Note, in their item-description they say ‘ shipping is by mail as it is against ebay policies to deliver by email’ , but when selling an ebook for $0.00 without shipping you just can’t !!
It could be that some actually send out them via mail.
They use this as a loss leader strategy – lose money on eBay while making it up in back end via up-sells.
Some just blatantly break rules.
Hi Andrew this is good idea for me as you know I am from Egypt and this idea will solve the shipping cost problem so first i bought some ebooks from ebay to know how does it work
1- after buying ebook ebay ask me to leave feedback to the seller
1- I bought this ebooks by (buy it now and auction)format ,
sellers send ebooks to me via email
so how they get feedback from me and it is against ebay policy
Nope, it won’t solve your problem as you can’t actually send these digitally, when listed in normal auctions or BINs on eBay.com or eBay.co.uk
You have to burn digital discs and send them out.
But, you can sort of do this from anywhere in the World by using a service called Kunaki:
I am trying to sell ebooks that I’ve self published over the years in PDF/EPUB/MOBI format. Is it possible to make CDs using kunaki.com and sell them on places like ebay and amazon?
If so, would they be classified as products or audiocds?
Any recommendations on how to approach this? I also was very helped by your “digital downloads” on ebay using the classified ads. You mention the sale doesn’t actually take place on ebay. What does this mean?
Would they merely see the listing, then be re-directed to a download link or a place to purchase outside of ebay?
Thanks for stopping by.
Yes, you can put your ebooks on CDs using Kunaki’s automated service and then sell them on eBay, Amazon and your own website.
On eBay they will be classified as info products and should be listed under information products category.
Classified ads – yes, they work just like ads and re-direct people to place where sale happens @ your end.
i hope this works. publishing my ebooks ave stocked for so long in my computer has been my ernest dream. really unfair for a young writer like me that i have to start up wt smtn like this just yet bt wat else wehn no publisher wants to take me seriouse anyway thanks andrew..if for notin else ur time
Good Luck Anthony!
[…] How to Sell an eBook on eBay – the right way. Yes, you can still sell eBooks on eBay if you know what you’re doing. However, the golden age of making easy money in this niche is over; nowadays you have to sell high quality, valuable, informative products to make any kind of decent profit. […]