Books

10 of the best places to sell your second-hand books

Need to off-load some of the books you’ve accumulated over the years? Here’s a list of the best places to sell your second-hand books.

Buying books is easily one of my top three hobbies of all time, but there’s no denying that it’s expensive and takes up a LOT of space. The stacks of unread books used as makeshift bookshelves, or the extra copies of the book you accidentally bought twice… it can get a bit overwhelming. The solution? Time to find a place to sell your second-hand books!

And look, if the thought of chucking your books in the recycling bin makes you want to tear up as much as I do — finding places to sell your second-hand books is your best bet in staying environmentally-friendly (as well as sane)! Below, we’ve collected a list of online and physical places (in Happy’s hometown of Sydney) that allow you to sell your books and give them a new home.

second-hand books sell sapphos
‘Sappho’s’ (Photo: Time Out)

Online

AbeBooks

Operating with sellers from over 50 countries, AbeBooks is an awesome online resource to sell your second-hand books. Specializing in used, rare, and out-of-print books, it’s a go-to for anyone who’s got some gems hidden on their bookshelf.

As a seller, you get to describe your books as you please, in addition to being able to set your own shipping rates. They also have an Online Inventory Management System, which makes keeping track of your listings super easy. AbeBooks charges a monthly fee of $25 USD to begin selling up to 500 books. Check them out here.

 

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Amazon

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you know how expansive the site is. The biggest online retailer in the world, it’s a great resource to sell your second-hand books. You can go down the traditional route, which is just listing your books on the site as you would any other product.

However, Amazon also has a trade-in program, where you log in the details of your book (ISBN, edition, title, etc.) and if applicable, the company will offer you store credit in exchange for your book. Store credit is only received upon arrival of the item at Amazon facilities, for which they provide a shipping label as well. Check it out here.

eBay

eBay has been around for ages, and for good reason. It’s an excellent place to list any type of item — including your second-hand books. There’s probably not much to explain here because eBay doesn’t have a book-specific resource to sell your second-hand books — you’d just use the traditional listing method: creating an account, adding the product details and photos, and boom! Check it out here.

 

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Gumtree

In a sense, Gumtree is pretty similar to eBay since it’s also a huge platform, that doesn’t have a book-specific service, but has a wide reach for you to advertise and list your second-hand books. It’s a handy platform to use if you don’t want to pay fees, as well as to attract local buyers (since the platform uses location to advertise your products) which makes it easier to arrange pick-ups/in-person collections. Check it out here.

Student VIP

StudentVIP is an excellent textbook-specific platform that can help you offload uni/school textbooks that you don’t use anymore. With over 1 million members and no commission fee, it’s got a great reach and maximizes the profit you can gain from the sale of your listings. They’ve also teamed up with The Nile to offer a buy-back service, which allows you to use your books ISBN to see if you’re eligible for store credit! Check it out here.

Sydney bookshops

Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore

Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore is interested in genres like art & design, photography, popular fiction, crime, history, war, journalism,  and more. They also stock a range of rare and collectible books too! Located in Paddington, NSW, they’re a great local option to try to get a good deal with. Check them out here.

Berkelouw Books

While Berkelouw Books have multiple locations all around Sydney, its book buyer is located in the Leichhardt store, on Tuesdays from 2 pm. Primarily interested in rare and collectible books as well as quality second-hand books, visiting the Berkelouw bookstore can be an easy way to exchange your second-hand books for cash!

As stated on their website: “in most cases, by selling to [Berkelouw Books], you may achieve higher prices than you might at auction because neither a seller’s nor a buyer’s premium will be charged. Check them out here.

Harry Hartog

Harry Hartog offers second-hand book sales by appointment only, at a select few of their stores (Bondi, Macquarie, Warringah, Narellan) across Sydney. In the case of collections that are too large to be trolleyed into the applicable stores, they also offer the option to visit a buyer, who is available fortnightly at the car park of their Leichhardt store, every second Tuesday between 10am – 2pm. Check them out here.

Sappho’s Bookshop

Sappho’s is located in Glebe and tends to buy widely in many areas, with an exception for crime fiction/thrillers and ‘popular’ fiction, for which they usually pick up recently published (last 2-3 years) novels. In terms of non-fiction, they’re also interested in modern editions rather than older, historical pieces. In terms of payment, they offer direct deposits, as well as store credit — the latter of which is doubled, if you choose the option! Check them out here.

Shiny Owl Books

Operating in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Shiny Owl Books is an independent bookshop that is always looking for second-hand titles. They’re interested in contemporary & classic children’s fiction (particularly hardback works by Blyton, Outhwaite, Maltby), modern first edition fiction, Antiquarian, and more. Check them out here.

shiny owl books
Photo: Shiny Owl Books