Review: Fishpond SmartSell [AU and NZ only]

We recently realized how many books we had accumulated over the years that we didn’t read anymore and were sitting on our bookshelves gathering dust.

I was looking for a way to sell these books without requiring a lot of effort on my behalf. Sure, I could list them on eBay, but there’s a huge amount of time required to list them, and limited timeframes to sell them which means wasted time for every unsold book.

Then I found Fishpond SmartSell. Fishpond is an Australian and New Zealand website that sells a lot of things, primarily focused on books and DVDs. Their SmartSell service is a way for people to quickly list hundreds of items for sale with minimal effort. Here’s how it works:

  1. You find some book moving boxes and fill them with as many books as you want to sell (we had about 5 boxes containing around 200 books).
  2. You can then either organize a courier to collect them, or drop them reply paid at Australia Post to send them to Fishpond.
  3. This doesn’t cost you any initial outlay, when Fishpond starts selling your books, the first earnings pay towards the pickup costs.
  4. We chose Australia Post because it was only $9.95 per box (as opposed to $24.95 for a courier), and we didn’t need to wait around for a courier.
  5. Approx 3 weeks later all your books suddenly appear for sale on the Fishpond site. Fishpond take care of listing, selling and shipping all your books!
  6. There’s no listing fee for items with a barcode, items without a barcode, eg. older books, are charged at $0.79 per item, taken from your earnings.
  7. If any books aren’t in sellable condition they are returned at the senders expense or donated free of charge (I didn’t have any classified as non-sellable).
  8. Fishpond set the initial prices and can reduce the prices until they are sold: this didn’t worry us as we just wanted to get rid of our books.
  9. Fishpond take a commission of 17% on sold books.
  10. The only real catch is the price displayed includes postage, so Fishpond take the postage out, then the 17% then give you the rest.
  11. In approx 2 months, we have sold 32 of approx 200 books. The most we have got for a single book is $9.50 after postage and the least is 78c. The average would be around $3.


I like the concept and I have found Fishpond SmartSell to a hassle free way to sell books you have lying around that you don’t need anymore.

Whilst you don’t end up getting much per book, there is no outlay, the books are taken off your hands and stored offsite, and you don’t need to do any work to sell the books.

And the best part is the books are reused by people who are have a need for your particular books.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.