Looking for the best places to buy used books online? You’ve come to the right place.
Let’s be honest - there’s nothing quite like the experience of sitting in a bookstore and enjoying a hot cup of coffee while you peruse the pages of the latest release from your favorite author (or even a book that came out many years ago, for that matter).
However, traditional bookstores have more or less gone by the wayside. Unless you live in a large city, there’s a good chance that your town no longer has a local bookstore for you to frequent - and even if it does, the pickings are probably pretty slim.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online bookstores where you can buy used books - regardless of how rare or odd your title of choice might be.
When you’re on the hunt for the best places to buy used books, you might want to consider some of these websites.
Best Places To Buy Used Books
1. Best Site For Textbooks: Textbooks.com
The name here truly says it all! Textbooks.com is one of the best places you can buy used textbooks. You can also buy new textbooks from this online retailer, but you’ll find steep discounts on most of their used titles.
You can save up to 90% on college textbooks when you buy them here, and there’s a varied selection of titles so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. You’ll be given thirty days to return books that you decide you don’t want, and you get free shipping on orders of more than $25.Click Here To Get Started
2. Best Prices: Half Price Books
Another website to frequent if you’re in the market for inexpensive books is Half Price Books. This is another website with a more or less transparent title. If you want cheap books, you’ll find them at Half Price Books.
Here, you’ll find books from more than 20,000 individual sellers all over the world. Because there are so many sellers, there’s a lot of competition to offer the lowest prices. You can find all kinds of titles here, from textbooks to young adult fiction, self-help to cooking. Browse by category or search a particular title or ISBN in the search bar.
As a side note, Half Price Books doesn’t just sell books - you can also buy music and movies here. The website offers regular discounts, including a subscription email list that can provide you with regular coupons.Click Here To Get Started
3. Best Shipping Speed: Amazon
Amazon might be known for its large selection of home goods, electronics, and, well, everything, but it’s also one of the best places to buy used books. Since it’s such a popular website, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find any title you’re looking for here.
The best part about buying used books on Amazon is how quickly your new books will arrive on your doorstep. Amazon offers free two-day shipping for Prime members, meaning you’ll have your next book in hand before you even have time to finish the one you’re currently reading.Click Here To Get Started
4. Best Site for Rare Books: Alibris
If a hard-to-find-title is what has you up at night, then don’t worry - you’ll finally be able to get some rest after you search Alibris. This website sells textbooks along with a large array of hard-to-find tomes. You can both buy and sell your books here, and you’ll find a large network of independent sellers.
Whether you’re looking for a first edition or a signed copy of your favorite title, you should be able to find it by shopping with Alibris. The company also has a rental program so that you can return textbook rentals for a full refund within 21 days as long as you don’t do anything besides taking a few notes or highlighting in the text. Many purchases with Alibris ship for free!Click Here To Get Started
5. Best Site for Independent Presses: Powell’s
Finding releases from new authors can be tricky, but with Powell’s, you shouldn’t have any difficulty. This bookstore is one of the best places to find independent presses as well as books from new authors. Despite being online, the bookstore has the feel of your favorite neighborhood bookstore. You’ll find a large array of new and used books here, and orders of more than $50 ship for free.Click Here To Get Started
6. Best for Non-English Language Books: BookMooch
If you are looking for a book in a language other than English, BookMooch is the best place to go. Not only will you find all kinds of popular fiction titles here, but you can also find non-English language books, too.
The way this online bookstore is set up is pretty unique, too. When you sign up, you’ll make a list of all the books that you have that you’d like to get rid of. You’ll also make a wish list of the books you want to receive. When someone requests one of your books, you can ship it to them and then use your point to request a book that you want from someone else.Click Here To Get Started
7. Best for Fiction: Better World Books
Better World Books is a haven for used book lovers - and for those who want to give back with each purchase. This website will donate a book to someone in need for every purchase that you make.
Not only that, but Better World Books is probably the best website you can go to if you’re looking for popular fiction titles. There are eBooks here, too, along with a unique eDelivery option. This means that any physical book can be scanned and sent to you in a digital format in just two hours - no shipping required, even for books that were printed many years before eBooks were ever a thing.Click Here To Get Started
8. Best for Kids’ Books: Thrift Books
Thrift Books is a great resource for all kinds of popular new and used books, but if you’re looking for children’s titles, you won’t find a better selection. This company works with libraries and other vendors to make sure that used books end up here instead of in the trash, so it's also one of the most eco-friendly online bookstores you’ll find, too.
For every book you buy from the same seller on Thrift Books, you’ll get an additional 50 cents off, since it will cost less to ship the titles to you. You get free shipping on every domestic order, too.Click Here To Get Started
9. Best for Collectibles: AbeBooks
AbeBooks is another website that’s great for people who are searching for independent sellers along with unusual or collectible books. An easy to use website, you’ll love the feel of this site, which feels a lot like your favorite independent bookstore on the corner. There are plenty of curated lists you can explore here, too.Click Here To Get Started
10. Best For Bestsellers: PaperBack Swap
PaperBack Swap is a great used bookstore to consider if you’re looking for bestsellers. However, the site is also known for its large selection of new books. The beauty of using this site is that you can exchange books for free with other members. All you have to do is list what you have and you'll ship it to someone when they request it. You get a credit, and you can then use your credit to buy a book you want from someone else.
When you sign up, you’ll get two credits - of the first two are absolutely free!Click Here To Get Started
What To Consider When Buying Used Books Online
When you are buying used books online, theft is the most important thing to remember. The Internet is a big, big place. There are so many options when it comes to buying used books, and Amazon is, of course, not your only choice.
Shop around and don’t be afraid of visiting multiple websites to see what prices are offered for the same book. In addition, remember that condition matters, particularly if you plan on reselling your book later on. Pay attention to the details, particularly in regards to what each individual bookseller specifies for each condition.
A book that is listed as “like new” on one website might really be another website’s “acceptable.” Read the fine print!
Read seller and buyer feedback on the website and pay attention to how the book is packaged and shipped. Most of the websites described above have extremely fast shipping, but some titles may take longer to reach your doorstep than others. It’s important to read reviews to get an idea of the company’s return policy, too - especially if you’re shopping for textbooks.
Otherwise, know that buying used books is a great way to save money - and to help save the planet, too. After all, there’s no reason to pay full price for a brand-new book (which costs extra resources to be printed and to reach you) when you can read the exact same text - albeit on pages that show a bit more wear and tear - for a lot less money.
Consider these best places to buy used books, and get ready for a relaxing, enjoyable read.