Why buy used books? For one, they are usually less expensive than new books. Especially if you’re a college student who has that extremely long list of books to buy every semester. So, as a seasoned professional student, I’m going to give you the scoop on the very best sites where you can buy used books.
Not everybody wants to buy used books to save money. Sometimes they might be searching for an out of print book, or a particular edition or printing of a book. Fear not, if you’re that kind of book shopper. These sites have those, too.
ABE Books is actually owned by Amazon.com, but it’s a very different type of site, in that it only sells books, and the books are sold by bookstores and booksellers all over the world. Well, that’s not that different from Amazon, but there are certain features on ABE Books that make it worth a visit.
First off, the staff runs a great blog called Reading Copy Book Blog, where they post their bestsellers lists, talk about news in the literature world, and discuss other book-related news. Secondly, they have the fun and popular Weird Book Room, where they list weird and odd books. Another cool thing is that lots of booksellers list their rare books for sale on ABE Books – so if you’re looking for a signed copy of The Catcher in the Rye, or a first edition, first printing of The Great Gatsby, you’re in luck. Although, you’d better be in lots of dough, too.
Founded in 1998, Alibris is a place to buy books, and also movies and music. They, like ABE Books, have a nice collection of rare and collectible books and other stuff, and they also get all their merchandise from independent sellers.
You can also get some pretty cool stuff here. Like a photograph of The Beatles that is signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. How much would you love to have that?
We don’t have to tell you too much about Amazon. You can buy practically anything there: clothes, movies, music, and…books! You can buy a book new, and you can buy it used, sometimes for as little as a buck. If you have an Amazon Prime account you can get free shipping on tons of items, but if you buy used you usually have to pay $3-$4 shipping. Not too bad, when you get the book for dirt cheap.
Yes, we know that Barnes and Noble is a big time bookstore. They have them in most major cities, and they are a great place to wander around and get lost in the printed word. The website offers lots of things other than books, but the book selection is great and you can find almost anything on the site. Like Amazon, lots of independent booksellers participate in the site and you can find all sorts of books for a really inexpensive price. Another bonus, if you have a Barnes and Noble discount card, you can use it on the website (though you don’t always get a discount with used books) and you can find rare and collectible books here as well.
Biblio is a different type of site. A quote from their website states – “We want to be a local business in a global community. In short, we strive to be a very different kind of business in a very familiar way.” They’re sort of like the corner used bookstore, but on the internet.
They succeed. They only deal in books, so you get specialized service, and the customer service is personalized and very, very good. They also have a whole category for out of print books, which is great for someone who, well, needs out of print books.
Half Price Books has actual physical stores in 16 different states, which is pretty cool. They offer ridiculously good prices on so many things. Such good prices, it makes you wonder how they do it. One of the coolest thing about them is this thing they offer called Books By The Yard. For $20.00 plus tax and shipping, you get three feet of books delivered to your home. You can choose from three different categories – Reference Books, Mixed Books, or Law Books. This is great if you just love books and don’t care what you get, or if you’re in a situation where you have to stage a room with important-looking books and don’t want to spend a lot of time or money.
Straight outta Portland, Oregon, Powell’s Books started out as a corner bookstore in 1970 and became an online entity in 1994. The inventory is powered by the six bricks and mortar stores in Oregon, though they do sell books that other people sell to them. So, like a few of these other sites, not only can you buy books, you can sell them too.
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