Make Money Online by Selling College Textbooks

by WorkFromHome on November 19, 2011

It’s common knowledge that college bookstores usually jack up the price on books and other supplies that are required for classes. Even though most college students are aware of it, many of them choose to buy books from the college bookstores anyway because they don’t know about any real alternatives. If you can target these students and present to them an opportunity to buy their textbooks for less, then you can make money from home online by working as an affiliate for the companies selling the textbooks. Not only will you be making money, but you will also be providing an excellent service.

Starting Your Website

The center of this idea will be a website that is dedicated to listing college textbooks. When you’re starting out, we’re suggesting that you choose a single college and get a list of all of the most popular classes available at that college. Then you can have a single page for each class that lists the books the students will need along with a price and an affiliate link. If you really want to make it special, then you can put a comparison price from the college bookstore on your website as well. All of the information you’ll need about which books are required for which classes and the prices of the books in the college bookstore will usually be available on the college’s website. This means that you won’t even have to leave the house to do your research if you don’t want to.

Affiliate Programs and Finding Low Prices

As you’re preparing your website, you’re going to need to sign up as an affiliate for all of the major book sellers. This includes Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. Once you have these affiliate accounts set up, you’ll be able to offer the lowest prices available on your website by checking each book seller individually. If a textbook is the same price at two different vendors, then you’ll want to post the vendor on your website that will give you the largest commission on a sell. This initial research takes a while, and would be a great job for a virtual assistant.

Advertising Through Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are definitely important avenues of communication when you’re starting to build up your userbase with this home business idea. You’ll want to create a Facebook page for your textbook website and try to make friends with as many people from your target college as possible. Along similar lines, you should also include a button on each individual page of your website that will allow a user to share the page with all of his or her Facebook friends. Since people in college are typically friends with other college students that have the same classes, this can help you to gain a lot of exposure and increase the number of textbooks you sell.

Advertising Through Targeted Paper Flyers

One way to really build a client base is by creating paper flyers that target people in specific majors. This requires a bit of strategy and planning, but it will be extremely effective in bringing in customers. Suppose there is a bulletin board in the main hallway for a college building that houses a business school. You could put up a simple flyer on this bulletin board that says you’re selling used textbooks for the four or five most popular classes for business majors at the college. You should actually list the classes and the names of the textbooks along with giving a price for each. At the bottom of the flyer, you should put an email address where people can inquire about the books.

The catch to this method for advertising is that you will just be replying to each email saying that your textbooks have already sold but you know where they can get that same textbook for a low price. Then you throw in a link to the page on your textbook website for that particular book. You could even get an autoresponder to do this for you if you have the resources available. The real work on your part will be coming up with all of the good places where you could post targeted flyers and figuring out which classes and books should be listed on each one.

Building an Opt-In List for Future Semesters

The long term way to make money online with this business idea is to keep building up a list of Facebook contacts at the target college over time and to have an opt-in for people to add their email addresses to your mailing list. At the beginning of each semester, you can really hit the advertising hard by sending out emails and posting information on Facebook. In this way, your business will be seasonal, but it will also grow over time while requiring a minimal amount of maintenance.

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