Powell's Books Vendor

Powells Books Vendor

How to Sell to Powell’s Books Stores and Become a Powell’s Books Vendor

Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon is an oasis for book lovers. Boasting one of the world’s largest new and used bookstores that covers an entire block in Portland’s Pearl District.

Powell’s Books offers both cash and trade credit as payment for used books sold. When selling trade credit books, your profits are deposited into an online Powell’s account that can then be used to purchase things on their website.

How to Sell Books to Powell’s Books Stores

Selling used books online is an ideal way to make extra cash as a book enthusiast. Marketplaces like BookDeal make this process straightforward by enabling users to enter an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) into a search bar, then viewing offers based on condition. Once one works for you, sign in, select “sell this book,” print a shipping label and send away. After being received and processed by BookDeal’s fulfillment center, payments may arrive via PayPal or Venmo within as little as seven days!

Or you could visit one of Powell’s stores in person – with many located throughout Portland, you are sure to find one nearby! However, please keep in mind that Powell’s bookstores can be selective about which books they accept; specifically they look for good to excellent condition books in rare or collectible titles and recent bestsellers; large quantities may take more time for evaluation.

Powell’s Books will either offer cash payments for your books, or give them trade credit in lieu. Unfortunately, however, they cannot accept books with excessive wear, damage, markings, ex-library stickers, underlining, highlighting or notes; weak bindings; weak spines or Book Club editions as they cannot accept these books.

Transparency is key when listing the condition of your books for sale. Buyers won’t appreciate being told their purchase wasn’t as promised and could cause irreparable damage to both credibility and future sales.

When selling books, you’ll want to observe market fluctuations and trends to maximize your profits. College textbooks tend to sell quickly during semesters when classes are in session; and during holiday shopping periods when there’s greater demand.

Inventory Management

Powell’s Books is one of the largest new and used bookstore chains in the US. Boasting both an extensive online presence as well as large physical locations in Portland, Oregon – including its flagship City of Books store which covers an entire downtown block – Powell’s also sells DVDs/CDs/food/coffee/beverages/gifts! There are three stores within Portland metro area as well as one more located in Cedar Hills Oregon.

When answering this question, be sure to highlight your experiences and demonstrate how your unique skillset could make a positive contribution to the company culture.

Interviewers will expect you to understand how to manage a retail environment and the challenges it presents, including your methods for analyzing market trends and devising plans to increase sales. Here is your chance to demonstrate creativity and problem-solving abilities; interviewers may be impressed by your ability to think creatively when finding ways to drive up revenue.

As a Powell’s Books seller, you have the choice between trading for cash or trade credit. When selling for cash, Powell’s will send you either a check or PayPal payment; with trade credit they deposit your funds into an online Powell’s account that allows you to purchase items in their stores or through their website.

Alternatively, selling for trade credit will give you $2 for each book sold to Powell’s – making this an effective way of purchasing discounted textbooks or shopping on a budget for holiday gifts!


Powell’s is one of the largest used and new bookstores worldwide, boasting three Portland locations including its flagship City of Books in downtown Portland. Boasting nine rooms and 3,500 sections spread out across an entire city block, Powell’s sells over one million titles annually including rare or out-of-print titles – providing bibliophiles a veritable treasure trove! Their longstanding tradition and loyal customer support have contributed immensely to Powell’s success even during difficult times.

Powell’s Books is more than a retail business; it is an institution and an invaluable community of book lovers. Powell’s is where friends gather to meet, be inspired, browse the shelves for the newest literary discoveries and buy them all! Although its inventory has changed with time, Powell’s remains committed to its values of literature and commitment to serving its community of booklovers.

Powell’s online selling system gives sellers the option of being paid either in cash or Powell’s trade credit. If you select cash, your payment will arrive either via check or PayPal within one week; with trade credit, your buyback amount can be applied toward books on its website.

Powell’s online selling process attempts to recreate the experience of visiting one of its stores directly. They employ a “customer-centered” design approach in order to make browsing and shopping feel like an extension of what happens in stores; their site features images of books being sold along with information on each author, reader type appealed to, similar books suggested and recommended similar titles so as to encourage readers to return and purchase books directly from Powell’s rather than Amazon. The goal is for readers to visit Powell’s store rather than Amazon in their search for books!

Customers selling books through Powell’s can shop while selling, by adding items to their cart and wish list, which allows Powell’s to then recommend similar books based on user tastes and purchase history. Powell’s encourages users to remove price and discount stickers from books when selling, since these may affect value when being sold on. Powell’s also requires books in good condition; broken spines or excessive amounts of dust or dirt won’t be accepted by them.


If you want to sell books directly to Powell’s Books, the easiest way is through their website. Enter each ISBN number of each book you wish to sell and the site will give an offer; whether or not you accept this offer will determine your next step – accepting will give a prepaid shipping label and allow you to ship it off as promised. However, Powell’s requires books be in excellent condition and won’t purchase books with bent pages, missing covers, excessive stickers such as price or sale stickers etc.

AbeBooks offers another convenient way of selling books to Powell’s: through their online marketplace AbeBooks. AbeBooks accepts both new and used books, but are more likely to purchase used books in good condition. Their user-friendly online interface makes uploading large batches of books possible quickly; Individual seller plan, Professional seller plan with more advanced inventory tools, Fulfillment by Amazon provides storage, packaging and shipping services – these all can help get books into Powell’s hands more quickly than selling through another service like eBay or AbeBooks alone!

Since 1971, when Powell’s began on an abandoned corner in downtown Portland, Oregon, they have flourished into one of the premier bookselling institutions in America. Their flagship store City of Books encompasses an entire block and boasts nine rooms across three floors – not only an excellent bookstore but an important cultural landmark too! Not just another bookstore; instead it is home to smart and eclectic offerings as well as passionate individuals – not to mention fantastic bookworms themselves!

Powell’s believes in the power of books to transform lives, which is why they support literacy and community initiatives. Additionally, local book stores can do things national chains can’t like curate books and create serendipity opportunities.

Powell’s has faced an extremely challenging year since most of its stores closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020; nevertheless, they remain committed to their mission of offering customers quality books and experiences. As such, they continue to invest in technology and hire more booksellers while exploring alternative means of fulfilling it, including perhaps opening physical stores in future.

Step-by-step training on how to sell to retail chains!

We explain exactly how to do that and how to get started today. I’ve taught over 100,000 of companies over the years across the globe on how to get your products to the stores. And so we’re here to support you. Or please subscribe to our Youtube channel and or be on the lookout for additional training that we create.

We are here to expedite the process of generating revenue with your physical products and that’s what we’re all about.  Take a look at our advanced training, live events, certification programs and so much more.

In this training, I will discuss some of the things to think about when approaching a retailer to sell your products and become a vendor. Hope it helps! 🙂

Karen Waksman,
Retail MBA

Questions? Contact Us!
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Retail MBA provides a step-by-step formula on How to Sell to Major Retailers, Online Retailers, Smaller Retailers, Catalogs and More. No Experience Required! These solutions continue to convert for clients year-over-year! These are Time-Tested and Proven Strategies that we utilize ourselves when going after stores! Everything we teach, we test. Want access to these formulas? ANY one of our programs and coaching systems gives you access to them now. With that said… 

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How to Sell to Powell's Books Stores