Buying cheap used books online is a great way for bookworms to save money on print books.
This is becoming even more important since book prices have been going up slowly in the past couple of years.
You’d think with the rise of e-books and digital publications, traditional paper books would get cheaper. Well, it did get cheaper for a few years, but paper books are actually making a comeback.
According to the Association of American Publishers, paperback sales increased by 7.5% and hardback sales by 4.1% in 2016. During the same period, e-book sales declined by 18.7%.
And that explains the increase in print book prices.
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The good news, however, is that you can get secondhand books far, far cheaper, and you get the exact same thing as you would if you were to purchase the book new.
Thanks to the internet, finding cheap used books (and even free books online) is so much easier.
There are dozens of sites out there that sell used books at great prices – so many in fact that it can be hard to know where to start.
But, don’t worry…
If you’re looking for the best place to buy used books online, then you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best websites for discount books.
We’ve also compiled some of the best price comparison tools that you can use to find secondhand books at the lowest prices.
And, finally, we’ve gathered a few of the best places where you can find used books in your local area.
So, check out this list, and start building your book collection – without spending a fortune!
What will I learn?
Cheapest Places to Buy Used Books Online
Here are some of the best online bookstores where you can find great deals on new books, used books, textbooks and much more.
- Official website: https://www.bookdepository.com/
This site doesn’t have a lot of used books, but their new books are actually much cheaper than the used ones you’d find in online and local bookstores.
It’s actually one of the lesser-known online bookstores that most people have never even heard of.
And that’s why I put it first on this list.
But, that’s not the only reason – the main reason for it being first is that it offers something that every book lover (and shopper in general) loves getting…
And not just for buyers nearby. Oh no, they offer free worldwide shipping!
How awesome is that!
- Official website: https://www.betterworldbooks.com/
With BetterWorldBooks, you get access to a multitude of secondhand books and help a good cause at the same time.
BetterWorldBooks donates a portion of all of its sales to fund global literacy and libraries.
Each time you purchase a book from BetterWorldBooks, it donates a book to someone in need. As of September 2016, the website has donated 21 million books!
Featuring a catalog of more than eight million titles, BetterWorldBooks has a huge range of books to choose from.
To find a book, you can browse through categories like:
- Horror Books
- History Books
- Comic Books & Graphic Novels
- Mystery Books & Thrillers
- Children’s Books
There’s also a huge selection of used college textbooks on there
Alternatively, you can use the search bar to find a specific title.
The books are in great condition and the prices are low.
But, one of the best parts about buying books from the website is that shipping is free!
It offers free worldwide shipping on all orders, which is very generous and useful if you’re looking to save money.
If you want cheap books with free shipping it’s the website for you.
- Official website: https://www.abebooks.com/books/used-books.shtml
There are so many places to find secondhand books online, but one of the best has to be AbeBooks.
Established in 1997, Abebooks is a veteran in the industry.
It’s a reputable, experienced platform, which is a legitimate place to buy from.
On the website, there are millions of titles available, many of which are priced from as little as $1!
Both hardcover and softcover titles are available.
You can purchase everything from classic novels to cookbooks to biography and memoirs. A great selection of children’s books is also available.
Plus, there’s a huge collection of textbooks on there.
Amazingly, you can find textbooks 50% to 90% cheaper!
If you’re looking for cheap college textbooks, then you’ll want to bookmark Abebooks!
What’s great about Abebooks is how easy it is to find titles on there.
You can visit the used books page to view some of the featured books. On this page, you can also search for a specific book, using the title, author, or ISBN, or a keyword.
On the results page, you can filter the books shown by criteria, like “condition”, “binding” or “free shipping”.
AbeBooks really does have one of the largest collections and provides some of the deepest discounts.
- Official website: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Used
Amazon is one of the world’s most popular retailers, and with good reason. You can find pretty much any item you could think of on there, its prices are competitive, and shipping is quick.
Overall, it’s a great platform.
Amazon.com has a large collection of used books, ranging from college textbooks to classic fiction and everything in between.
Whether you’re looking for a self-help book to improve your productivity or a children’s book to read to your child before bedtime, you’re sure to find the title you’re looking for within Amazon’s catalog.
In Amazon’s used books section, you can browse popular used titles.
You can also filter the books displayed by choosing a category, like:
- Children’s Books
- Science & Math
- Literature & Fiction
What’s great about Amazon is the sheer number of choices thanks to the number of individual sellers that use the platform to sell used textbooks, fictions, nonfiction and everything in between.
Another way you can find titles you want is to enter the name of the book you want into the search bar. Amazon will display a list of results for the title that you typed in.
Scroll down the page a little, and on the left side of the results, you should see different options that you can filter results by. Look for where it says “condition”, and then select the “used” option.
5. Powell’s Books
- Official website: http://www.powells.com/used
At Powell’s Books, you can find a truly diverse collection of titles.
And, the collection is as extensive as it is diverse. In fact, Powell’s Books buys almost 5,000 used books each day!
On there, you can find books from a huge range of categories, like:
- Computers and internet
- Cooking and food
- Fiction and poetry
Finding books on there is pretty easy to do. You can browse books by category, or you can search for them by entering a keyword, author, title, subject or ISBN.
6. Thrift Books
- Official website: https://www.thriftbooks.com/
Another place to buy cheap used books is at Thrift Books.
At Thrift Books, you can find books at very low prices, and there are often extra money-saving deals and bonuses on offer too.
For example, at the time of writing, you can get 15% off your first order, and get a $5 bonus when you spend $50 or more. Plus, there are deals available like “2 for $7” and “3 for $10”.
Thrift Books is another website with a huge collection of used books online. In fact, it features more than seven million titles!
It’s one of the best places to buy used children’s books, with beloved titles like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Charlotte’s Webb, Goodnight Moon, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Little Engine that Could available at super low prices.
So, if you’re looking to buy cheap children’s books in bulk, then this could be the website for you.
But, children’s books aren’t all the website has to offer.
On Thrift Books, you can find titles in a range of categories, and genres, like:
- Young Adult
- Health & Fitness
- Edu & Reference
You can search for the title you’re interested in using the search bar on the homepage, or you can browse the site’s categories.
- Official website: https://www.alibris.com/
Alibris started in 1998, making it one of the most well-established marketplaces for used books on this list.
But, it doesn’t just sell books. You’ll find movies and music on there too.
It describes itself as a “media marketplace”.
Alibris features an extensive catalog. In fact, there are more than 150 million books, movies and albums available on the website.
You can find books in a variety of categories and genres, like:
- Health & Fitness
On orders worth more than $39, you get free shipping.
What’s great about Alibris is that you also get access to some pretty good deals and discounts. Simply sign up to the site’s email list to get access. At the time of writing, if you sign up, you get a coupon for $5 off.
And, there’s also a “bargains” tab on the homepage. This features sections like “99 cent books” and “discount books”.
On Alibris, you can buy used and new books, and rent them too. So, make sure that once you’ve entered a search term or are browsing a category, like comics, for example, you select the “used” option.
This can be found on the left of the screen, once you’ve scrolled down the page a little, underneath where it says “condition”.
8. Half Price Books
- Official website: https://www.hpb.com/home
Half Price Books is another website to visit if you’re in the market for cheap used books online.
Its marketplace features more than 20,000 individual sellers globally.
On there, you can find quite a varied selection of titles, spanning a range of genres and categories, like:
- Young Adult Fiction
- Business & Economics
You can browse titles on the website by category, or you can enter search terms into the search bar to locate the books you want.
Half Price Books doesn’t just offer books…
You can also buy movies and music there.
The website often has deals available that can save you even more money.
For example, at the time of writing, you could get 20% off of your entire purchase.
And, if you join the website’s email list, you can get a coupon for money off of your first order.
- Official website: http://www.textbooks.com/
Another platform that you should check out is Textbooks.com.
On this website, you can find both new and used textbooks.
If you’re looking for really deep discounts, then this is definitely the platform for you.
According to Textbooks.com, you can save up to 90% on college textbooks when you buy them through the website.
There’s a varied selection of titles on there, so regardless of what you study, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on there.
Shipping is free for orders worth more than $25 and you have 30 days to return books too.
Other Places to Buy Cheap Books
The sites above are some of the best places to get truly cheap books online.
But there are also other sites some of which specialize in different kinds of books and even genres.
Here are a few:
- Official website: https://secure.magersandquinn.com/
This is a great place to buy deeply discounted nonfiction and books from up-and-coming authors.
- Official website: http://bookmooch.com/
With this site you give one book away in exchange for a book you want.
- Official website: http://www.strandbooks.com/
If you’re looking for good deals on newly published books or rare out-of-prints books, this is the place for you.
- Official website: https://www.daedalusbooks.com/Default.asp
This site is the best place for those of us looking for classic books as well as recent best sellers. You can buy books, as well as Music and DVDs for up to 90% off!
- Official website: https://www.biblio.com/
I personally love this site. No only you can all kinds of books (even very rare one) for really good prices, but the profit for sales goes towards building libraries in rural communities in South America.
- Official website: http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php
PaperBackSwap is an awesome site for trading books of all kind. Have a book that you don’t want anymore? Trade it in for a book (choose from over 1,883,248 titles!) that you want!
- Official website: http://www.booksamillion.com/
This is the site where you can get discounts on new and bestselling books, as well as pre-orders.
- Official website: http://valorebooks.com/
This one specializes in renting, buying and selling textbooks.
Tools for Finding Cheap Used Books Online
The websites above are great places to shop for used books on the internet.
But, if you want to ensure that you get the best price for a book and find the cheapest place to buy used books, then it can be a good idea to use a price comparison website.
With these websites, you enter the name of the book you want or its ISBN, and the website compares the price for that title across a plethora of different stores.
These tools can be really useful, because you can see prices at multiple stores, without having to take the time to look at prices at different retailers yourself.
Here are a couple of tools that you should check out:
- Official website: http://www.bigwords.com/
BIGWORDS is one of the best tools you can use to find cheap secondhand books.
It’s a price comparison website that mainly focuses on textbooks, but can also be used to compare the cost of other stuff, like regular books, clothing, pet supplies, and appliances.
Using it, you can compare prices for new, used and rental books.
All you need to do is enter the name of the book you’re interested in, and you can then start a price comparison.
You can easily see which store offers the best price.
- Official website: http://www.dealoz.com/
Another excellent tool you should check out is DealOz.
It’s not a website where you can buy books, like the ones above. It’s a price comparison website, like BIGWORDs.
The website functions as a search engine that you can use to find the best prices for both new and used books. Using DealOZ is really easy.
Arguably, the website is much cleaner and much easier to navigate than BIGWORDs.
To find the best price for a book, simply search for it using the box on the homepage – it says “buy books”.
You can enter a keyword, title, author, ISBN, and format to search for books.
Once you’ve done that, DealOZ will present you with a list of books from different retailers. The site makes it so much easier, and quicker to find the best price for a title.
In fact, using it, you can compare prices for more than 200 online stores. This saves you so much time.
According to DealOZ, you can save up to 97% off the list price by using the platform. Plus, you can get access to money-saving coupons too.
It’s definitely a platform that’s worth checking out if you’re looking for books at bargain prices.
Another great price comparison tool is Direct Textbook.
As its name suggests, Direct Textbook focuses only on textbooks.
So, if you’re in the market for college books, this tool would definitely be worthwhile, otherwise, use one of the price comparison platforms mentioned above.
With Direct Textbook you can instantly get prices for a used book at hundreds of online stores. This saves you so much time because you don’t have to spend time going from store to store to get different prices.
According to the website, you can find used textbook prices that are 75% cheaper than bookstore prices.
Comparing the prices of a book is pretty easy. You can enter a keyword, title, author, publisher or ISBN.
Overall, it’s a good tool if you’re a college student, and want to ensure that you get your textbooks for the lowest price possible.
- Official website: https://www.bookfinder.com/
Another excellent platform for finding used books at the best price is BookFinder.com.
The website has a really simple, basic layout, so it’s super easy to use.
Using BookFinder.com, you can compare prices for used books at more than 100,000 sellers.
Again, it’s another tool that you can use to get the lowest price for a book, without having to spend time searching prices at different stores.
With the website, you can save up to 90%.
And, comparing prices is quick and easy too. You can search for the book that you’re interested in by author, title, or ISBN. You can even enter your location and currency to further filter your results.
- Official website: http://www.affordabook.com/
Affordabook.com is a price comparison website.
Using the website, you can find the best prices for used books, including both regular books and textbooks.
What’s really useful about Affordabook.com is its Watched List feature. With this tool, you can set up a price alert for the book that you’re interested in. When the book meets the price that you want, you receive an email alert, which includes a link to where you can purchase the book.
It’s another good platform for finding books at low prices.
Used books near me
Okay, so now you know some of the best online platforms and tools for buying cheap books online.
But, you might be wondering:
“How can I find cheap books near me?” or “Where can I find used bookstores near me?”
Well, you’re not alone.
Sure, the Internet is a great place to find books at bargain prices. But what if you actually want the experience of visiting a real, brick and mortar store?
Many people prefer to buy their books in person.
Fortunately, there are tons of used bookstores that you can visit to buy books in person, as well as tools for finding these stores.
Cheap Books Near Me
First, let’s take a look at a few examples of local bookstores in a few major cities.
We’ve put together a list of places where you can buy used books in person.
18. Strand Bookstore
- Where to find it: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
If you live in the New York City area, then you should visit Strand Bookstore.
It’s a really popular bookstore, specializing in new, used and rare books.
The store features an impressive 18 miles of books!
You can find tons of used books in there, spanning almost all genres.
19. Myopic Bookstore
- Where to find it: 1564 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Myopic Bookstore is an award-winning, tri-level bookstore located in Chicago. So, if you live in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit.
The store, which specializes in used books, boasts 70,000 titles!
So, there are plenty of books to choose from, in a wide variety of genres and categories.
20. Angel City Bookstore and Gallery
- Where to find it: 218 Pier Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Located in Santa Monica, California, the Angel City Bookstore and Gallery is an excellent place to shop for used books.
Not only does it carry an extensive collection of cheap used books, it also features artwork. It also sells CDs and vinyl. It’s one to check out if you are in the area.
21. Kaboom Books
- Where to find it: 3116 Houston Ave, Houston, TX 77009
If you live in Houston, Texas, then you might want to check out Kaboom Books for discount books. It’s a used bookstore where you can find a great selection of secondhand books, at inexpensive prices.
It features a huge selection of books. In fact, the store has books up to the ceiling!
Bonus: 22. The Book House in Dinkytown
- Where to find it: 1316 4th St SE #201, Minneapolis, MN 55414
The Book House in Dinkytown is a bookstore located in Minneapolis. So, if you live in the area, and are looking for a used bookstore near you, then it’s certainly worth a visit.
The store, which has been around since 1976, impressively enough, boasts a large collection of books.
It has more than 40,000 books in-store and another 40,000 in its archives.
There’s also an online catalog too.
Tools for Finding Book Stores Near You
Okay, so above, we’ve listed a few examples of good, local bookstores that you can visit if you live nearby.
But, if you want to find a store in your town or state, then you check out one of the websites we’ve listed below.
These websites allow you to search for used bookstores by location. It’s such an easy way to find places that sell used books nearby.
Here is a couple that you should use:
Indie Bookstore Finder
- Official website: https://www.indiebound.org/indie-bookstore-finder
Indie.org offers a useful tool, called the Indie Bookstore Finder.
Using this tool, you can search for used bookstores by location.
All you need to do is visit the site, and enter your zip code, city or address.
You can also select what distance from the location you enter you want to find bookstores.
It’s a really useful tool that is very simple to use.
Used Bookstores – Find Near Me
- Official website: http://used-bookstores.find-near-me.info/
This is another tool that allows you to search for bookstores, based on location.
Visit the page we linked above to get started. Then, click on the state that you live in – states are categorized by location, like “West States”, “East States” and “Midwest States”.
Once you’ve clicked on your state, you are taken to a new page that lists cities within it.
Cities are categorized alphabetically, so click on the relevant letter, and then select the city you live in.
After you’ve clicked on your city name, you’ll be taken to a new page that tells you how many stores there are in your city, and lists all bookstores in that city.
This is another great tool for finding secondhand bookstores nearby.
Whether you’re looking for a gripping thriller to keep you entertained on the commute to work or a history book to broaden your knowledge, used books can help you do that without spending a fortune.
Buying used books on the Internet is such a great idea.
You not only get an extensive catalog of titles to choose from, but you also get access to a really budget-friendly selection of books.
The Internet truly does offer some of the best bargains. So, if you’re on a budget, but want to build your book collection, then shopping online is definitely the way to go!
And, if you do get the urge to visit a real bookstore, then it’s good to know that are many great ones offering used books at low prices all over the country.
I just purchased books from Christianbook.com that totaled $62.51. If purchased from amazon, I would have paid over $100! Granted, the books I purchased were theological in nature, but Christianbook.com has some other topics as well including children’s books.
Christianbook.com should definitely be included in your list. Check them out!
David Scott Longstreth
Well, you missed an important point.
First: For some reason History books have very high prices.
who thinks I want to pay 60 dollars for a book.
Are they text books, ok, there is no way of searching for history books that are not text books at high prices. not to mention people who sell used, still charge 40 or more . . .
The sites you listed, the compare prices: It is not as if those sites look at local book dealers everywhere. Amazon, the problem there is prime, if you are not a prime, then shipping and tax, only a few sites show that, so the book is at least 4 – 5 more than shown on the list. Only one shows in a pop up window shipping cost. Best way to buy inexpensive books is . . . search, and again, etc. Maybe at some point you get lucky. Some one made a comment once that was a waste of time. . . guess they don’t mind what they pay. I go with 3 sites mostly 5 sites in general. Navel an Military Press has really great prices, the shipping is bit much, however if buy three or four at once you still save. Blackwell has some good prices, Wondery the same, cept they are low stock as I write this.
To find the best price, keep searching.
There are many discrepancies with this article, such as on alibris, there is NO free shipping of any sort no matter how pricy your order is. Yes, the cost of the books are a lot less, but the shipping cost makes up for it.
Charlotte, when we originally researched for this post, they did indeed have the free shipping offer. It may be a recent change in policy. Are you actually with the company or a customer?