10 Best Websites To Buy Used Books Online

Apart from what is obvious: the fact that you will get to spend less when you opt for buying used books instead of new ones; there are other advantages of buying used books, probably more than you have ever imagined. Some people would even advise you should never buy a new book unless you can’t find a used copy of that particular book or are sentimental about it. The words are the same, so it is tantamount to a waste of money to buy a new book when you can get a used copy of it at a significantly cheaper rate.

Settling for used books, especially for a voracious reader, is greatly rewarding. Your appetite for books wouldn’t constitute a financial problem for you and you can acquire many books and go across various genres; your options are simply limitless. Used books make one an adventurous reader as you don’t have to limit yourself to reading the popular books around. You get to explore through a variety of options and might just find a book you would come to regard as one of the best books you’ve ever read. To buy used books online, check out the following websites.

Best Websites To Explore For Buying Used Books

1. ThriftBooks

ThriftBooks takes pride in describing itself as the world’s largest independent seller of used books. The company headquartered in Tukwila, Washington was founded by Daryl Butcher and Jason Meyer in 2003. Their operations started with a pick-up truck of used books and what they mostly did was to list the books on Amazon.com. The company has now sold more than 165 million books since it sold its first book, a copy of the popular children’s book by E.B White, Charlotte’s Web. While ThriftBooks still offers its products on retail stores like Amazon and eBay, you will find its primary store online at ThriftBooks.com

ThriftBooks is a favorite destination for people looking for used books because of the enormous amount of books it has across multiple genres. It’s a platform where one can find out-of-print books of good quality. ThriftBooks claims to hand-grade all the books on its inventory and it is hard for one to disagree with this, most of the reviews they have received are positive and they offer the books in various formats. The platform also sells new books, delivers purchased products directly to the customer, and has a reward program that rewards its loyal customers with free books.

2. AbeBooks

AbeBooks is a popular online marketplace with multiple websites where people can buy books, fine art, and collectibles. The online shopping company founded in 1995 by two couples (Rick and Vivian Pura and Keith and Cathy Waters) launched its websites in 1996. Their major aim was to create an “Advanced Book Exchange” (Abe) platform for avid readers. The company has spread its operations to at least 50 countries across the globe but its headquarters is located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

With several localized storefronts like abebooks.ca (Canada), abebooks.com (United States), abebook.co.uk (United Kingdom), and much more, AbeBooks has become a go-to brand, a place where sellers of used books offer their products to potential buyers. Anyone with old books to sell can list them on the site. It is said that sellers pay a monthly subscription fee that ranges from $25 to $500 to have their books listed on any of the AbeBooks sites. You will find used books of various genres and in various languages on AbeBooks. If you have any particular book in mind, all you have to do is to search for it.

3. Bookchor

Bookchor says they are the Robin Hood of ABCs and it is difficult to argue with that. The site has hundreds of books listed in multiple categories, from bestsellers to fantasy, poetry, sports, books, and even dictionary. There seems to be no limit to the books available on the platform. These books are offered for next to nothing and are also of good quality. The company subjects each book to three stages of quality check before they are listed. One can also return books already purchased if they are not satisfied with the quality and get a replacement.

One good feature of Bookchor is its provision for users to request any book they want. Based on the information you provided, it takes between four to five days before one gets feedback on the book requested. Moreso, students can list and sell books on the platform directly to buyers at their discretion. But for books purchased directly from the platform and not from third-party sellers, Bookchor offers various payment options through the CCAvenue payment gateways. More so, users can refer people to the platform and get paid for it through the Bookchor Refer and Earn program.

4. Better World Books

Better World Books was founded in 2002 by Chris Fuchs, Xavier Helgesen, and Jeff Kurtzman who were students of Notre Dame. They were inspired to create the online platform after they sold the textbooks they used in college online; this was in 2001. In 2003, they won $7,000 in a business competition and began executing their business plans. Over the years, the company headquartered in Mishawaka, Indiana has grown so much that it has become one of the most notable and admired online booksellers in the world.

With several distribution warehouses, Better World Books gets its used book inventory from thousands of colleges and in form of donations from at least three thousand libraries. More than being a platform where one can buy used books at a cheap rate, Better World Books has become known for its commitment to promoting literacy. A certified B Corporation, the company handles about 30 million books every year, out of which it donates 10 to its partners and various literacy non-profits. To buy books from this platform, visit betterworlds.com and explore.

5. World of Books

World of Books, as claimed in some quarters, is the largest retailer of used books in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2005, the online shopping platform headquartered in Goring-by-Sea, UK came into existence after a group of book-loving entrepreneurs saw a bag of books in a bin at a charity shop. They rescued the book and have been doing this since then. World of Books is now a leading global seller of quality used books, a platform where one can find anything from textbooks to out of print books in a vast range of genres.

World of Books’ inventory now has no fewer than seven million books in stock. According to the company, they sell a book somewhere in the world every two seconds. Like Better World Books, World of Books is also a certified B Corporation. At the core of their objective is to make a positive impact through books. So while they sell used books online to make a profit, they have been able to strike a balance between that and being socially responsible by supporting various charities and championing the recycling and re-use of unwanted books.

6. BookFinder

BookFinder is an independent subsidiary of AbeBooks, it was launched in January 1997 and has been operating since then. Founded by Anirvan Chatterjee who was a student of the University of California, Berkeley, BookFinder was originally named MX BookFinder and was one of the first vertical search engines for books on the internet. AbeBooks which was acquired by Amazon in August 2008 acquired BookFinder in 2005. Based in Berkeley, California as a standalone company, the platform has spread its operations across Europe with multiple portals in countries like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

BookFinder has become a go-to destination for book lovers across the globe. Its strongest selling point is the fact that it serves as a platform where people can search the major catalog of books online in a go and get instant feedback; not only on booksellers that have the books they searched for but also the best price offer. It is said that the platform searches more than 150 million books for sale; from new and used books to textbooks, out-of-print, and what have you. Once you find the book you want, you can then buy it directly from the original seller.

7. Alibris

Alibris is also one of the most popular online stores where one can buy used books. The retail company headquartered in Emeryville, California was founded in 1997 but its history dates back to 1982 when a bookseller came up with a business plan for a company that would create a robust online database for antiquarian booksellers. He named the company Interloc but for several reasons, the company couldn’t start operations until 1993 when it became a database for professional booksellers, arguably the first successful online service dedicated to booksellers.

Sometime in 1997 when Marty Manley discovered Interloc, he approached its founder Richard Weatherford and they decided to work together and create a new company out of Interloc; one that would help independent booksellers tap into the potentials of e-commerce and help book lovers find rare books. They began attracting independent sellers that helped Alibris become a platform through which book lovers can access over 150 million books available for sale. It is a good platform to check out if you are looking to buy used books that are hard to find and of good quality.

8. Second Sale

Second Sale is one of the prominent online destinations where one can buy used books at a cheap rate. The company dates back to the early 2000s when Glen Nothnagel started buying used books, DVDs, and CDs which he would recycle and resell on platforms like eBay and Amazon. He initially did this to support himself through school but it eventually became his lifelong career. The company has grown over the years from a small rental unit to a popular brand with an ultra-modern facility based in Montgomery, Illinois.

It regards itself as a typical local neighborhood bookstore but with an online presence. Make no mistake about that, there is nothing local about Second Sale, the company tracks more than 10 million books daily to offer the best market price and has thousands of books in multiple categories. It is not only a destination for buying good used books but also a place where anyone can sell old books. Through its site sellbackyourbook.com, Second Sale acquires millions of titles which it examines and then offers for sale on SecondSale.com.

9. PaperBack Swap

This platform is recommended for a reader who no longer wants to spend money on books. To buy used books from this platform, all you need to do is to register as a member and exchange your old book with other members. The procedure is quite a simple one that begins with registering as a member and listing the books you want to exchange with other members of the platform. When someone requests any of the books you listed, you are required to pay a postage fee for the book and mail it to the person.

With that, you are entitled to pick any book of your choice from the over a million books listed by other members. The book will be mailed to you postage-paid. PaperBack Swap has been an effective way for Americans to swap books since it was founded in 2004 by Richard Pickering and Robert Swarthout. Apart from earning credits from mailing requested books, one can also purchase credits which are the medium of exchange on the site, and then use them to purchase books. While audiobooks are worth two credits, bound books go for one credit per book.

10. Books-A-Million (BAM)

BAM has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, and has been in existence for over a century as it was founded in 1917 by a 14-year-old boy named Clyde W. Anderson. It is said that he dropped out of school to support his family after the death of his father and later started supplying newspapers to workers near Wilson Dam. Over the decades and under the leadership of his son Charles C. Anderson, the business became a chain of bookstores, got incorporated in 1964, and now operates hundreds of stores across the United States.

Books-A-Million has a strong online presence where one can buy all kinds of books. Through its New and Used Marketplace, a buyer can connect with a network of sellers to purchase rare books. The books available here are rated in varying conditions ranging from “Poor” to “New”. So if you have a particular book in mind, you can search for it on the New and Used Marketplace designation on BAM, just know that you can’t return any book you purchase from there.

Final Words 

Buying used books is the easiest way to acquire books that are out-of-print which ultimately makes your collection of books unique and exotic. People obsessed about always having their books in a perfect shape might find that settling for old books would take a lot of stress off their reading. Instead of worrying about keeping the book neat, they would have to just settle in and enjoy the read as the book had already been roughed.

More so, to buy used books is to contribute to the efforts targeted at managing environmental hazards. What’s better than reading and at the same time helping the world in your little way to deal with its trashing problems? The longer a book remains on a bookshelf, it is kept away from becoming a part of the garbage that amongst other things, contaminates surface water and ultimately affects the ecosystem in a negative way.


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