Buying and Selling Used Books
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Buying and Selling Used Books
I was thinking of selling books online & got as far as the
legal agreement on Amazon. It seemed from this that you could
be liable for anything & everything. Do you need to be a
proper business, get a license, whatever? Is selling online
the way to go for a sahm or is it more trouble than it is worth?
Selling books online at Amazon is ok for specialty books--I've
sold a few old academic references, cookbooks and a couple of
knitting books, but there is a lot of penny fiction out there,
and no one wanted my extra titles. A swap or store credit may be
better for getting rid of fiction.
You also have to charge enough to cover the large chunk Amazon
takes as a fee. In general, for online sales, my friends and I
have found anything that grosses less than $10 is not worth it.
For example, with a large $5 children's book, Amazon took $3 so
very much not worth my time, since it cost a lot to ship.
Buy a large pack of cheap mailers (or use recycled ones) and send
everything media mail. For larger books, it may cost more to ship
them than the $3.99 Amazon credits.
The sales trickle in so expect to go to the post office every
couple of days unless you buy online postage, and even then for
heavier stuff you have to go to the post office.
In general, it's worthwhile if you have some good specialty
books, so give it a go!
I sell my old text books on-line, as well as old CD's, DVD's,
etc. It doesn't take very much time at all-and it's a good way
to get rid of clutter. I don't think you would need a business
license unless you are making a profit and buying books dirt
cheap and selling them for more than the purchase price. But,
then again, I'm not a CPA! I just figure I am getting a little
bit extra money than I would at the local used bookstore for my
sales. There are also a few other websites out there that
offer the same services as Amazon....half.com and secondspin.com
Big aversion to clutter
You might want to check out www.paperbackswap.com as well.
Very cool site and idea. Works well for my partner, who's
gotten rid of a number of obscure books that way.
We use half.com to sell our books.
I am wondering what I can do with my
father's books that are not only taking over his home, but his
life. He has been collecting, and hoarding, books for the past
25 years, and it has gotten out of control. The walls of his
tiny rental are lined with book shelves and the floors are
covered in stacks of books.
Most of them are in great condition and I doubt that they have
even been read. There is a large variety of topics, but I am
guessing a lot of them are historical, art, & novels. I am
wondering how I can get rid of these books other than take them
to Half-Price books or Pegasus--that would take a hundred trips
and they may not even take most of them. I think they prefer
newer things, don't they? I am hoping he can get some money
for them. Is it worth having a garage-book sale? Would anyone
Any help here is appreciated, please!
Drowning In Books!
My husband has a used bookstore. He would be more than happy to
go to your father's house and buy books.He frequently goes to
people's homes to buy collections. Depending on what they are,
and what his store currently needs, he would buy anywhere from a
few....to almost all of them. If interested in discussing this
with him, please email with your phone number and he will call
It is possible you could get someone from a local used bookstore
to do the same thing. You could try calling Pegasus, Moe's,
Black Oaks, etc.
You have my empathy about having to deal with a hoarder....I
live with one!
I have had good success selling books online via Amazon.com.
You don't pay to post a listing, but do pay a commission. In
order to make money, you also have to send things media mail,
which involves trips to the post office. Not super convenient,
but I have sold a lot of books this way.
The most time consuming way but also the way to make the most
money (if you don't factor your time) is Amazon. It is pretty
easy to list the books, figure out what to sell them for and
you don't have to deal with collecting payment - Amazon does it
for you. They pay you more for shipping than it costs to send a
book Standard Shipping Speed (i.e. Media Mail) so you make a
buck that way too. I only have listed 20 or so books at a time
and I just have a stack of padded envelopes I bought in bulk at
Kelly Paper in Oakland. I know the costs if it is 1lb or 2lbs,
etc and it is pretty easy.
Bulk sales are harder. The book stores are quite picky and
don't pay much. Garage sales are also low payers and who knows
if you would sell them.
When I want to get rid of things in a hurry I donate them to a
charity and take a tax write-off. That only works if your dad
itemizes on his taxes.
I looked a while back on BPN on ways to get rid of books and
all of these were listed plus libraries.
I know that Moes Bookstore, on Telegraph, will do a housecall if you
substantial amount of used, apparently quality books to sell. Give them
Pegasus, Black Oak, etc. may do housecalls too.
My 2.5 yrs old toddler boy has suddenly taken a keen interest
in books. I am looking for stores which carry good second hand
books at cheap rates. Thanks
Try the book sales at your local preschools. Little Elephant
Montessori at Rockridge(5782 Miles Ave., Oakland; 510-597-1963)
had a big Book and Bake Sale not too long ago. Some of the
kids' books were brand new and most of the secondary ones were
in excellent condition, priced between $0.50 to $1.50. The
parents and teachers were friendly and helpful. Give that a try!
I'd go to your neighborhood library. I started taking my child
when she was a toddler and sometimes I'd go by myself. Get a
big stack of books -- they have board books if your child isn't
ready for real pages. Exchange them for a new stack every week
or two. It's a fun outing, and best of all it's totally free.
Toy-Go-Round on Solano, in Albany, has a large selection of used
children's books, as well as parenting books for adults. They
sell them for half the retail price. They are in very good
condition. You can also bring in books you have, that you no
longer want. Tuesdays they give an additional % off the price.
Toy Safari in Alameda (park street at Central) has a nice
selection of used books. You can also trade used toys there for
store credit. This is a GREAT place!
Buying books can be costly. Does anyone know where I can buy
used, in good condition childrens books?
mom of a voracious reader
Do you have a library card? Using the library is a great, free
way to give a voracious reader access to a lot of new books.
Another big plus: the library has an online system that you can
reserve books and have them waiting for you when you get there.
If you still want to buy, you could try Green Apple Books in the
city, or Black Oak Books in Berkeley for used books, two great
used book stores.
I like Half Price Books, which just moved from Solano Ave to
downtown Berkeley, 2036 Shattuck Ave. at Addison 510.526.6080
Hours: 9 a.m.- 11 p.m. Every Day
Also The Friends of the Berkeley Public Library Bookstore, Sather
Gate Mall, 2433 Channing Way, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4:00pm, 510
841-5604. Cheaper but more limited selection.
A third good option is to check books out of the library.
Berkeley Public Library has a *very* impressive childrens
collection and is free whether you live in Berkeley or not. If
not, there's probably a good library close to your home.
All of the thrift shops sell gently used kids books. Bambino
Thrift shop (College near broadway) and the one for Alta Bates
(College near Keith) sell books for $0.25 to $0.50 each.
Pendragon Books (college near crepevine) and Half Price Books
(On Solano) often have some heavily discounted books. Child's
Play on College (across from Cotton and Company...a bit down
from Claremont Ave). Also, the Oakland Library has The
Bookmark Bookstore in downtown Oakland (721 Washington
Street). Daedalus books sells new and remainder books online
and in a catalog - http://www.daedalusbooks.com/Default.asp
Toy's Go Round on Solano Ave is an excellent place for used
children's books. I usually get some good buys at yard sales
posted on the Marketplace and school rummage sales. But most of
all: Why buy? Do you really want to own everything your son
reads? Most of the books aren't worth keeping beyond a one-time
read. I'd recommend going to your local library once a week and
get a fresh supply of free books to read and return.
Several places: Pegasus Books(in Rockridge on College Ave. next
to Crepevine & across from Rockridge Kids), Half-Price Books
(on Solano), Garage sales, posts on this website. You can also
get new children's books at discounted prices at Barnes &
Nobles & Borders in their sales sections.
Another mom with avid reader
Toy Go Round, on Solano Ave., in Albany has a great selection of
children's books for all ages. They sell them for half of the
retail price. Further up Solano, in Berkeley, is Pegasus (a book
store) that has quite a few children's books used and new.
In Oakland, on College, A Child's Place has some used kids'
books. Further south on College is Pendragon, a book store
connected to Pegasus, which has a selection of children's books
both used and new.
If you're looking to spend very little there are thrift stores
all over the place that usually have children's books. The
quality is more hit and miss, but the prices are really low.
I would like to let everyone know about a wonderful new
resource that I have found. It is a website.
www.Paperbackswap.com . I am always on the lookout for ways to
keep the costs of books down. We love the library. However
occasionally there are some books I want to keep them, or that
i need for longer than the aloted checked out time there are
also some resource books that I wish that i owned. This site
was recommended to me for Sci Fi and Fantasy book. However I
have gone crazy with Kids books. At all ages and levels. As A
homeschooler this has really helped my keep my costs down and
the general Quality of the books that I recieve are awesome. I
have gotten a number of great books off of this site. I have
also gotten some that I was really interested in but after
reading found that they didn't work for me and the great thing
is that I could swap them back for something that does. Quite
literally something for everyone at every level and interest.
I am hoping to Share this resource with more people.
Here is what I like about itV
Easy to search. Easy to list books. It is free to get started.
It is a 1 on 1 trade the only cost you pay is shipping
(usually $1.48). It is totally ok for books to be used or old
library books. They must be readable, not smell, have intact
covers, and no water damage.
They do trade in hardbacks. As well as Audio Books both tapes
and CD's (slightly more for Audio 2 to 1 trade), if you find a
title you want you can purchase tokens/credits to get them if
you don't already have them. Credits are earned each time
someone receives one of the books that you sent. And you can
set up a wish list. If the book currently isn't in their system
they will let you know when it comes in or you can set it up to
automatically get it then. A reminder list for titles you are
interested in but are not ready to get yet. It emails you when
someone requests one of your books or when something on your
wish list comes in. and did I mention it was Easy to use.
Please check out this cool idea. Please tell them I sent you.
I was a voracious reader too when I was a child, and I have very
fond memories of frequent trips to the children's room at the
public library to get new books to read. If you haven't already,
I encourage you to take your child to the library to get his/her
first library card--always a thrill! Particularly in the summer,
the libraries often hold reading ''contests'' for kids who read
lots of books, which your child might enjoy participating in.
Try Toy Go Round on Solano Avenue in Albany ( nice variety and 10% off every
Tuesday!), Half-Price Books, also on Solano Avenue but up closer to the Alameda,
and Darla's on San Pablo Avenue (at Stockton) in El Cerrito.
Black Oak Books on Shattuck in Berkeley has an excellent and large selection of used
children's books in good condition. The bookstore run by the Berkeley Public library
(at the Central location and their annex) is another source.
Mom of big readers
Your child may be ready for the library if he's reading on his
own. If not, Black Oak has a pretty good selection, I did a bunch
of trade-ins and got credit enough for baby's first year.
It's not the closest place in the world, but Thrift Town up in El Sobrante has about 40 feet of used books [mostly from the scholastic book club it seems]. Whenever we're going take a long car trip, I go up there, spend about 10 bucks, and can offer 20 - 30 "new" books to my bookworm 4 year old. We just counted this morning, by the way, 14 Magic School Bus books in our collection, all priced somewhere between 29 and 49 cents.
I am getting rid of a ton of books from my personal library. Lots of
novels, some classics, some travel books... Any ideas on a bookstore
that would take them, even for a little bit of money? I'm happy to donate
them to a library book sale, but if I can get anything for them, I'd like to try
It takes a bit more time, but i've had great luck at www.half.com.
I've also sold books at Moe's on telegraph in berkeley.
We recently sold a whole mess of books to Moe's (Telegraph) and
Pendragon (5560 College). They are fairly choosy, but it's
worth the trip, especially if you take payment in store credit
(but that does mean buying more books!). I also sell quite a
bit on Half.com, but that can be tedious as it's one-at-a-time.
Whatever didn't sell, we donated to Friends of the Oakland
Library (www.fopl.org) for their Bookmark store in downtown
room on my bookshelves
My first recommendation would be Pendragon in Rockridge (I'm biased, though -- I
used to work there) or its sister stores in Berkeley Pegasus on Shattuck or Solano.
You'll get a good price but will have to carry away what they don't buy. If you go to Half
Price Books they'll pay less but take all of your books off your hands.
Books for the Barrios might be interested in your books.
Do we know each other? Because I would have shared this in person
had you asked.
I have explored this before, in trying to make a few extra bucks.
A used bookstore will take some books, but they have to be in
really good condition, the genres and titles have to have a
market, and they cannot be romance novels. Even then, the amount
you get in return is so pitiful to make it not worth your time.
You can try selling them on ebay or half.com, but I found, when
doing this, that there was no interest, except for the very
compelling titles. And when there was interest, it was only at
bargain basement prices. Again, it's not worth your time, when
you consider that you have to write up a good ad (maybe with
pics), pay ad fees, figure out postage fees by weight, packaging,
taking it to the post office, etc.
Unfortunately, there is hardly any market in used romances. If
you have 3 grocery bags full of used romance novels, I'm guessing
you can net $3-5 total off the lot. And that's how I'd sell them
if I went the ebay route - as a lot, because people seem to think
buying in lots is fun and like Christmas.
Were it me, I would give it all to a friend that shares your
reading interest or give the entire lot to a local library, and
feel like I did a good thing that day (or I'd freecycle the lot).
-I think I'm your nanny.
Green Apple Books on Clement St. in San Francisco is a great place to bring your used
books to sell.
I recently sold a bunch of books to Walden Pond (on Grand Ave in
Oakland). They are pretty picky about what they will take, but
if you read the kind of books that they sell, they will probably
buy most of your books, and they definitely pay a fair price.
Try half.com. I have sold many used books this way - it's easy
to post them for sale, and if you price them below the average
asking price, you can get rid of them fairly quickly. The only
hassle is that you must mail the books to the buyer (half.com
reimburses you for some postage), so if your local post office
is really busy all the time, it might not be for you.
I am trying to sell some old LPs and books that I cleaned out of
my father-in-law's attic. They are all in good condition, and
my father-in-law tells me that some are quite valuable. Anyone
know of a reputable business that buys old LPs and one that will
come out to the house and look at the books? I'd like to get
rid of each them en-masse. Many thanks!
Call David Thornton at Discovery Bay Old Books. He buys and
sell old books. He may have a reference for the LPs.
I want to buy some used baby books and also have a lot of used
general books (fiction/non-fiction) which I would like to sell
or trade for kids books. Any ideas of bookstores in the East
Bay that are good for this?
The Lafayette Book Store is in the process of opening a new
used store adjacent to their successful store in downtown
Lafayette, and is looking for books.
I think one of the best and best-stocked used bookstores around
is Black Oak Books, on Shattuck and Vine in Berkeley. They even
let you buy new books with trade credit.
Try Diesel or Pendragon - near one another on College in
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