Last Updated on March 19, 2023
If you’re like most people, you love to read but don’t love the high price tags that come with new books. That’s why buying used books is such a popular option. But where should you buy used books online?
There are tons of places to get pre-owned books at a fraction of the price of buying them new, but not all of them are created equal. I’ve put together a list of 9 of the best places to buy cheap second-hand books online. Many of these stores also offer free or low shipping rates, so you can get your books quickly and easily.
Also, you’ll discover how to get the best deals on used books. Read on to find out more!
Where to Buy Used Books Online
You may be wondering where to buy used books online on other sites that are not Amazon or any other popular online marketplace. Here are the best used-book-only sites to use:
This is one of the cheapest places to buy used books online. AbeBooks has a huge selection of second-hand books and has been in operation since 1996.
With AbeBooks, you can find millions of gently used paperback and hardcover books at prices even below $10. Prices actually start at $1 plus shipping, meaning there’s no chance to stop reading while on a budget.
It doesn’t matter whether you need a novel, textbook, autobiography, cookbook, or any other. It’s possible to find rare books and out-of-print titles on the site too.
Another good thing about this online book marketplace is that you can easily find cheap books with free shipping in the US. But it offers international shipping worldwide. Besides books, AbeBooks also lists fine art and collectibles on its site.
Delivery time: Each bookseller has their own delivery speed. Most orders ship out within 2 business days. You’ll get the estimated delivery time in your email.
2. Better World Books
Better World Books is an online used bookstore and thrift shop that sells new and used books to support literacy worldwide. It has a wide selection of over 8 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books.
What makes this site different is its focus on social responsibility. For every purchase made on the site, a book is donated to someone in need.
Better World Books has donated over 32 million books to date and has been recognized by major Internet publications for its social and environmental impact.
You can buy cheap used books on the site for just a couple of dollars. As of now, shipping is free for orders over $15 in the US, UK, or internationally. The site offers fast worldwide shipping.
Delivery time: Standard shipping is 3 to 7 days depending on location. International shipping takes 10 to 21 days.
3. Powell’s Books
Powell’s Books is one of the world’s largest independent used and new bookstores, with over 1 million books in stock. It was founded in 1971 in Portland, Oregon, and has served book readers since then.
The online store offers a wide variety of books at discounted prices, including bestsellers, new releases, children’s books, and more. You can also find rare and out-of-print titles on the site. Audiobooks are also available.
Powell’s offers free shipping for orders over $50 within the US. There’s also a flat-rate shipping option where you pay $5.99 regardless of how many books you buy. For international shipments, the standard starting cost is $2.50 plus $4.50 per item.
Delivery time: The No Rush Economy shipment method takes 4 to 9 days domestically. There are expedited shipping options but they’ll cost more. International shipping is 7 to 21 business days with regard to region.
This is one of the top places to buy used books online because they offer such a wide variety of titles. Alibris is an online marketplace that sells new and used books, textbooks, e-books, music, and movies. It has over 270 million items in stock from millions of accomplished authors.
Alibris has some of the most popular books of all time, such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and A Tale of Two Cities. But what’s great about Alibris is that you can find hard-to-find titles that may not be available on other sites.
You can also search for rare books and first editions on the site. Plus, the online bookstore guarantees 100 percent satisfaction and affordable shipping costs.
Shipping is free on eligible orders over $39 in the US. For international shipments, rates start at $16.99 for the first item plus $16.99 per additional item.
Delivery time: 3 to 7 business days in the US, 7 to 14 days in Canada, and 3 to 4 weeks worldwide with the standard shipping methods.
5. Half Price Books
Need another place where to buy second-hand books and textbooks? Half Price Books is a brick-and-mortar and online bookstore chain with over 120 stores across the US. It sells new and used books, textbooks, music, movies, and collectibles at discounted prices.
The online store has a wide variety of titles in stock, including the latest books, signed books, and more. It’s possible to even find books made into movies if you’re a fan of such.
For used books, users can search them in terms of prices under $2, $5, and $10, among other filters. As for shipping, the cost is $3.99 per item in the US and $14.99 internationally.
Delivery time: 4 to 14 days standard locally and 3 to 4 weeks outside the US.
Need another platform where you can buy cheap books? ThriftBooks might interest you in that case. The website offers reduced prices on new and used books and guarantees quality to customers. Over 13 million titles are available on ThriftBooks and the platform also includes movies, music, and video games.
Prices for many used books on ThriftBooks are under $10, with lots of options to choose from in different genres and categories. The website also frequently offers discounts on shipping, so it’s easy to get a good deal. Domestic US orders of $15 or more qualify for free shipping.
What’s more, if you invite your friend to ReadingRewards on ThriftBooks and they spend $30, you both get a free book credit. What a way to save even more on books!
Delivery time: ThriftBooks has a 2-day shipping method in the US for used items. Internationally, it takes 10 to 20 business days.
With multiple millions of used, new, and out-of-print books listed on its site, BookFinder.com is another great platform to find the cheapest books online. It’s a metasearch engine that searches for books across multiple online retailers. This makes it easy to compare prices and find the best deals.
You can find new and used books in a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, textbooks, and more. Besides book prices, you can also compare shipping costs. Shipping costs can be higher than the book itself and this will allow you to know whether buying a book that costs more but less in shipping is the better option.
Delivery time: Each retailer has its own delivery speed but most orders ship out within 2 to 14 days.
You can find just about anything on eBay, including books. eBay is an online selling site where you can buy a wide variety of items, whether used or new. It’s a great place to find cheap books because you can often find them for much less than their retail price.
The downside of buying on eBay is that you have to be careful of scams. Only buy from sellers with a good reputation and be sure to read the product description carefully.
Shipping costs vary depending on the seller. You may even find a cheap book with a ridiculous shipping cost. So, check different sellers to weigh your options.
Delivery time: Varies but it can be on the same working day or take 30 business days.
9. Second Sale
Looking for second-hand books for sale that are cheap? You may be excited to know that Second Sale is another site to get what you’re searching for.
This platform for cheap books online has offers that start from $3.78. Finding some of your favorites sold for under $5 won’t be a problem, whether that’s business, romance, mystery, or something else.
Second Sale has free standard shipping in the continental US on orders above $10. If less than $10, you’ll be able to see the costs before confirming your purchase. This site doesn’t ship outside the US at the moment.
Delivery time: 5 to 10 days in standard shipping.
Is it OK to Buy Used Books?
Of course, it’s OK to buy used books! Not only is it OK, but it’s actually a great way to spend less on something that you’re going to read and enjoy. If you’re studying, purchasing used reading materials is a perfect idea to save money in college.
Used books are often cheaper than their brand-new counterparts and they don’t lose any quality because someone has read them before. So, don’t be afraid to buy used books online! It’s a great way to get your hands on the titles you want without spending a lot of money.
Why Should You Buy Second-Hand Books?
There are a few reasons why you should buy used books:
- They’re cheaper than buying new books
- You can often find rare or out-of-print titles
- They may not be so cute, but the quality of what’s in the book remains the same
- You’ll be supporting the environment by reusing instead of buying something new
So, next time you’re looking for a book to read, don’t forget that you can buy used ones online!
What to Consider When Buying Used Books?
When you’re buying used books, there are a few things to consider:
- The condition of the book: Is it in good condition? Are there any ripped pages or missing covers? Most reputable online marketplaces check their product listings to ensure no defects.
- The price: Is it a fair price for the condition of the book or is the seller looking for a quick profit?
- The seller: Do they have a good reputation? Have other buyers had a good experience with them?
- Shipping costs: Is there free shipping? Will the shipping cost be higher than the book itself?
- Delivery time: How long will it take for the book to arrive? Do you need it today or can wait a month?
These are just a few things to keep in mind when buying used books on the Internet. It helps to compare prices on several websites. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find the best deals on the books you want!
Wrapping It up
These are some of the best places to buy used books online. You’ll be able to find cheap books while getting them delivered right to your doorstep.
As a fan of physical copies, buying second-hand is a great way to save money on something that you would’ve spent quite an amount on if purchased new. But you could also reduce your expenses on books by getting digital formats like e-books.