Be sure to read the available list of items each book buyer will accept (which can include textbooks, audio books, games, movies, and other media). Some buyers require an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for each book you intend to sell. And don’t forget to check the list of items that they don’t buy at all. If you have any questions, read their FAQ carefully and contact the buyer if you have any doubts.
In most cases, books in poor condition are usually not accepted, this usually (but not always) means books that have writing or highlighting. Exceptions might be made if your book is old or rare…a first edition, for example. It’s best to be upfront about the condition and to contact a potential buyer if there is any question about the condition or acceptance of any particular book.
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Get cash for used books by selling to local bookstores
Most local bookstores buy used books without an appointment–but read their policies carefully before you head out. If you have a large quantity of books, it’s best to call ahead, to them know you’re coming in and to ask whether you need an appointment. Many stores offer cash or store credit. If you expect to buy more books, then store credit will usually get you more books. But if you just need the cash, then of course that’s your best option.
Half Price Books has seven stores in the Puget Sound region, from Everett to Olympia and the eastside. They will pay cash for your books, music, movies, games, comics, magazines, and more. You can spend the cash in the store or take it home with you. The primary factors in determing the value of your books and other media are condition, supply, and demand. Just bring your stuff to the Buy Counter at your local HPB store.
Pegasus Book Exchange in West Seattle is a family-owned used and new bookstore in West Seattle, under its current ownership since 1983. They have a large selection of books in many genre. If you bring in books, they’ll give you half of what they’re going to sell for in store credit. So if you bring in a book they’ll sell for $10, you get $5 credit. Use your credit towards half off your purchases. So if you buy a book that’s priced $4, they take $2 off your credit, and you pay $2.
Silver Platters has three locations (Seattle, Lynnwood, Bellevue). They buy CDs, DVDs, vinyl LPs, 45 singles, and books for CASH or store credit almost instantly.
Third Place Books has three Seattle locations (Lake Forest Park, Ravenna, Seward Park) and are alwas interested in buying used books. Read through the information on their website carefully. They have different hours and buying policies for each location. They cash, but also offer more for Bookstore Credit. Either way, you also get a coupon for 10% off any purchases you make the day you bring books in to sell.
University Bookstore has two locations in Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma. They buy used textbooks as well as books in all subjects for cash or credit (good anywhere in the store). Books must be in good condition, without highlighting or writing in them. They also have a list of books they DON’T buy on their website, so check it over.
Sell used books online for cash
These websites have been in the used book buying business for many years. They buy your books and can also pay you online.
Cash4Books.net is a family-run, online used book buying service located in Beaverton, Oregon. They buy mostly college textbooks, but sometimes other books as well. Most of the books purchased were published within the last 3 years. Books must meet their condition guidelines. You must provide ISBN numbers and will be sent a pre-paid shipping label which you must print to use. Payment is made via check or PayPal.
Sell Back Your Book buys books published after 1970, for which you can provide the ISBN and that meet their condition guidelines. You enter the ISBN of the books you wish to sell on their website, and then use the provided Free Pre-Paid Shipping Label to pack up your books and send them in. After the book are received and processed, the fastest way to get paid is via PayPal.
Swap, exchange, trade, or donate used books online
These websites all provide some method for you to swap (exchange) or simply to donate your books–but to a worthy cause.
Book exchanges let you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you want. There is no cost to join or use these online book exchanges, but you must create an account to list the books you have for exchange. There is a cost for mailing books; some services have the book sender pay the postage, others have the book recipient pay the postage. To be successful, you must be honest about the condition of the books, and send books promptly when requested.
Better World Books is a book donation site. They accept your books online for donation and find the best possible use for the books. They will sell the book to fund literacy initiatives worldwide, send to a non-profit partners for use in other programs, or recycle the book.
BookCrossing.com is a book exchange service with a twist. The BookCrossing tracking system lets you tag, trade, and follow your books through multiple exchanges. You tag books by affixing a label with a unique BookCrossing Identity Number (BCID). Once a book BCID is registered, the book can then be followed as it travels around the world, taking on a life of it’s own.
BookFreeSwap.com is a book exchange service. When someone requests a book you’ve listed, you print the postage paid label and mail the book. You must have 5 books and $10 in your account before your first swap.
BookMooch.com is a book exchange service that works on a point system. Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you’ve read a book, you can keep it forever or exchange it. You have to send out at least 1 book for every 2 you receive.
PaperBackSwap.com is book exchange service. List books you’d like to swap (including paperbacks, hardbacks, audio books, textbooks). Once another member requests your book, mail it to them. In return, you may choose from any other available book.
But wait, there’s more!
- Best used clothing and consignment stores
- Flea markets, swap meets, and antique malls
- Best places to browse, buy, and trade used books
- Garage sale finder map and calendar
- Surplus stores, auctions, salvage, and recycled materials
- JBF consignment sales of children’s & maternity
- Find free and cheap things to do every day on the Greater Seattle on the Cheap calendar.
- And here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- Visit the Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page and choose from a menu of free and cheap activities in the Puget Sound region.
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Upcoming Used Goods & Recycling Events
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I would love to hear people’s experiences with selling their books at Half Price. I’ve always found that yes, they will make you an offer on yr books, but pennies and nickels to me.
Any experiences at indie book stores?