I had a brown grocery sack full of books that nobody seemed to want–and then I sold them for $6.50.
I had tried listing them on Amazon.com. The listings expired before anyone tried to buy them.
Next, I tried listing them on PaperBackSwap.com (referral link) to see if I could give them away. No takers. For months.
I really wanted to get rid of these books, since they’re heavy, taking up space, and I’ll never read them again.
So, I decided to try my luck by taking them to Half Price Books.
Half Price Books buys and sells used books, videos, and magazines. It’s worth checking out if you like used bookstores, as you never know what you’ll find, but you can be pretty much guaranteed that the books there cost less than a regular bookstore.
If you want to sell your books to them, they scan them into their system and give you a price based on the entire lot. They won’t tell you the price of an individual book, unfortunately. Rather, they’ll say, "For your entire bag of books, we’ll give you $6.50. Take it or leave it."
Before I walked in the store, I had hoped to get at least $5 (but really just wanted to get rid of them) so I was happy.
I also sold a few magazines. The clerk told me that they pay the most for magazines currently on newsstands, so if you want to try to sell those, take them in as soon as you’ve read them. Mags older than 6 months (unless they’re a collector’s item) they probably won’t take.
Don’t cut off your address label, otherwise they won’t buy them. If it peels off, that’s fine. Instead, use a marker to black out your address. The clerk told me the store will do it if you don’t.
I made the mistake of cutting my address label off of some magazines, so those I took and donated to my library.
For $6.50, they bought about 10 books from school that I could never seem to get rid of. That’s an extra $6.50 I can "snowflake" into my emergency fund!
The bottom line:
Sell your books to Half Price Books as a last resort. You won’t get much money from your books there. First, try Amazon.com (if you’re willing to list and ship them) and see how they do.
If I find myself with a stack of unsellable books again, I’ll likely take them to that store.
Have you tried Half Price Books? How do you get rid of your books?