To make more money for your library, of course. And it’s fun!
Selling books and other media online is a wonderful opportunity for libraries and their supporters. The established sites (Amazon, Ebay, et. al.) do the hard work of retailing – the marketing, the financial transaction, much of the record keeping – making it possible for us to sell many more books at much better prices than in traditional local sales. You suddenly have millions of potential customers instead of hundreds.
Online sales won’t replace the traditional library sale or shop. The volume of material is generally too great to be sold individually and not every book is a suitable candidate for special treatment. Sales where lots of books are available at bargain prices will always be popular with the public and necessary to dispose of the accumulated stock. But an online store can be a substantial supplement to those fundraising events. (There’s a reason all those customers are showing up with bar code scanners!)
There are companies which will sell books for you, but you’ll receive only a small percentage of the value. If you do the work yourself, all the profit is yours.
I began selling online in 2001 and have seen sales and revenue increase every year. We’ve aggressively built our online inventory in recent years with the result that our annual earnings from approximately 5000 internet sales now almost equals the amount earned through the sale of about 250,000 items in our regular public sales.