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:: 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Make Money Selling Your Used Books (Day 10)

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

I wrote about making money with Amazon’s Trade-In Program earlier. That’s a great way to earn Amazon credit for used books, DVDs, CDs, and electronics. However, if you have lots of used books you’d like to sell, I’d recommend taking the time to check out how much you’d get from a few different sites.

Often, the price you can get for your books will vary between the different sites. So it’s worth it to spend a little time checking out multiple sites to see which one will pay you the most for your books!

Here are four recommended sites to check into if you have used books to sell:

1. Cash4Books

Type in the ISBN number of your books on and you’ll instantly be given a quote for how much they’ll pay you for your books. If you chose to accept their offer, you’ll be able to print out a postage-paid label. Then, just ship your books to them.

Once they receive your books, you’ll receive payment via Paypal or check. Payment is processed within three business days of your books being received and processed by Cash4Books.

2. is very similar to Cash4Books. However, they specialize in buying back textbooks and you’ll often get a higher rate for textbooks from them than you’d get from

Again, just type in the ISBN number, accept the quote (if you like it!), and print the pre-paid shipping label. Once they receive the books, they’ll pay you via check or Paypal within three business days of receiving your books.

Here’s what Krista said:

I saw the Cash4books site on your extra earning page and decided to check them out. I didn’t have much luck, so I decided to see if there were other places out there.

I found and started checking books with them. I am getting ready to send in 17 books which, if all are accepted, will net me $68. On the other site, I was only going to make $21. So, if you’re considering selling books, it pays to check multiple sites! -Krista

3. Amazon’s Trade-In Program

I wrote more extensively about this here. The gist of it is to search for your product on the Amazon Trade-In Store to see how much Amazon will pay you for a Trade In. If the price seems fair, click through to verify the condition, title, and price.

Follow the steps to print the postage-paid shipping label. You can choose to go with free UPS shipping (you’ll need to drop your package off at the nearest UPS location) or shipping via the U.S. Postal Service (you can give your package to your mail carrier or drop it off at the nearest post office).

Ship out the item in a timely manner. Once it has been received by Amazon, they will check it to verify that it is eligible and in the condition you promised. Items considered to be not acceptable will be returned. Return shipping is free, but you will not receive any Gift Card amount for the returned items.

After your item has been received and approved by, they will issue your Amazon credit. You can use this credit to purchase anything on

4. offers an Instant Sale option which is similar to Cash4Books and MyBookBuyer in that you type in the ISBN number, get a quote, accept the quote, print a label, ship your books, and get paid within a few days. However, you’ll likely make more money if you list your books individually and wait for a buyer to purchase them.

I’ve done this successfully many times and made good money — especially when Jesse was in law school and we’d sell his textbooks after he was finished with them! The downside to selling this way is that you have to hang onto your books and wait for someone to purchase them at the price you are asking.

It could take weeks or even months for a buyer to come along. And when they do, you have to package up the book, pay for shipping, ship the book within 72 hours, and wait to be paid. It’s not as convenient as the Instant Sale option is, but you will likely make quite a bit more money if you’re willing to have more patience and go to the effort of shipping a book every time an order is placed.

 Have you sold used books before? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences — and any tips or suggestions you have for the rest of us!

Learn how to go from financial mess to financial success. Order your copy of my brand-new book The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget today!


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:: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Silas and Kathrynne helped me make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies tonight. We had a blast making them together — and enjoying taste-testing the batter before baking the cookies.

These cookies were very easy to make. I substituted raw sugar for both the brown and regular sugar. And I subbed melted butter for the oil.

Oh and I didn’t see that I was supposed to mix the baking soda in the milk in time. I’d already mixed the baking soda into the dry ingredients, so I just went with that and left the milk out. I’m assuming the purpose of mixing it in is to prevent it from clumping and making a nice bitter bite in a cookie? But truly, that’s just a guess. Anyone know a better reason?

The final result was pretty good. I wouldn’t say they were fantastic. And they were not anywhere near as good as our family’s favorite Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

But they weren’t bad. Just different… I think most of that was because the pumpkin makes them more cake-y and softer than a typical cookie.

Learn how to go from financial mess to financial success. Order your copy of my brand-new book The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget today!


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:: Reader tip: I’ve earned over $60 this week through

Here’s a great tip from reader, Nancy:

Hi–I read your blog and have an idea for one of your 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash for Christmas series. I do work on (are you familiar with it? It’s run by

There are lots of surveys on there and most of them tell you upfront if you qualify. I’ve earned over $60 this week doing surveys on there. You can spend the money you earn right on, or have it transferred to a bank account.

I wrote more about how it works and some tips I’ve learned on my blog post here. -Nancy

Learn how to go from financial mess to financial success. Order your copy of my brand-new book The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget today!


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:: Addicted to Adrenaline

I’m honored to be guest posting today on a site I love — (in)courage. If you’ve not subscribed to that site, I highly recommend it! It’s one of my favorite sites on the internet.

Anyway, I’m over there sharing candidly about being Addicted to Adrenaline. Here’s a snippet of my post:

This past summer, we went to Arkansas for our annual vacation at the lake with all of my extended family. As is customary, the guys went and rented jet skis one afternoon.

Being the generous-hearted person I am (read: the person who would rather read a book in the cool cabin than risk life and limb doing water sports. Ahem.), I offered to stay back at the cabin with our children while my husband went out to have fun on the jet ski.

About two hours later, my sister knocked on the cabin door and said that my mom was going to watch our children so I could go down and enjoy the jet ski with my husband. While I would certainly have rather stayed put, I knew my husband would love for me to go careening around on the jet ski with him. So I took our children over to my parent’s cabin to spend time with Grandma and I headed down to the boat dock where I was told I was supposed to meet up with my husband.

There weren’t any jet skis in sight, but I figured they’d be back soon. So I sat down on the dock and waited. And waited. And waited.

Read the full post over on (in)courage.

Learn how to go from financial mess to financial success. Order your copy of my brand-new book The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget today!


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