Ordering used books from Amazon

João Ribeiro

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Hi all.
I was browsing Amazon uk for the next books to order in the Malazan series and found a couple of offers from 0.01 pounds on.

Do you guys usually order used books? What is your experience? Does it pay to order those cheap used ones or are they usually in bad shape?

Cheers.
 

Antoxx

Journeyed there and back again
#2
Hi all.
I was browsing Amazon uk for the next books to order in the Malazan series and found a couple of offers from 0.01 pounds on.

Do you guys usually order used books? What is your experience? Does it pay to order those cheap used ones or are they usually in bad shape?

Cheers.
I've done it and usually they're fine. Usually, the cost of postage to send here to NZ means it isn't much cheaper than a new book from Book Depository or Fishpond though.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#4
Hi all.
I was browsing Amazon uk for the next books to order in the Malazan series and found a couple of offers from 0.01 pounds on.

Do you guys usually order used books? What is your experience? Does it pay to order those cheap used ones or are they usually in bad shape?

Cheers.
I think in a lot of cases, the shipping is economical to the host country of the Amazon site. To other countries, as others have said in this thread, it may not be as good a deal. Unless there is some shipping arrangement among EU countries that I don't know about.

I have ordered plenty of used books from Amazon US. They have been all over the place in terms of quality. Most are decent and some are quite good. But I've had a few really crappy ones (like paperbacks that are former library books that are practically falling apart).
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I have ordered plenty of used books online, none from amazon though. mostly Half Priced books (which has books from outside used book stores too) and I have found that used books that are sold for 0.01 to 0.99 are in good condition, with HUGE shipping costs, which makes you break even for a decent or good deal. probably from a store that has to get rid of some books.

ohh, I have found from amazon, all old dvds sold as new, are really used and rewrapped in plastic, and used tend to be in good condition, ending up as a better buy.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#6
Shipping costs from Amazon sellers ruin everything. Like Antoxx has said, total with shipping comes up to about the same as buying a new book.
When I was in Europe, I got all my books from bookdepository.co.uk or Abebooks.
Now, in Japan, 95% of the books I buy are eBooks. There is no shipping charge and I get them cheaper than paperbacks. Maximum I pay is around 4-5 $.

There is one site for used books with free worldwide shipping. Ill try to find it, and post. Cant remember now.

Edit: Scratch that. It wasn't free, but it has good shipping prices for Canada and USA.
And it has some really really cheep prices for hardbacks and paperbacks
http://bookoutlet.com/Help/Shipping
http://bookoutlet.com/Store/Browse/_/N-945/Ne-349/Ns-p_SalePrice_Asc
 
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João Ribeiro

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Hi guys thanks for the feedback. I ended up doing the math on Night of Knives and I would end up saving 2 pounds with a used book so it probably won't make it worthwhile to receive a used one.
I usually also get ebooks since they're cheaper and I end up storing them all in the tablet, however I'm enjoying Malazan so much I decided it's worth having them all lined up on the old bookshelf.

So new ones it is!

Thanks a bunch for the fast feedback.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#8
I have bought lots of used books ... on ebay.
Because if you do have the time, then you can make some great bargains here.

I have also SOLD books on amazon, but that was mainly in order to get rid of some still good books when I was moving from Europe to Asia.
I was not too enthused about the selling costs/options, but having books sent by amazon makes a lot of sense IMO.

Best regards,
Andy
 

blitzburns4

Owns a Ring of Power
#9
I have bought lots of used books ... on ebay.
Because if you do have the time, then you can make some great bargains here.

I have also SOLD books on amazon, but that was mainly in order to get rid of some still good books when I was moving from Europe to Asia.
I was not too enthused about the selling costs/options, but having books sent by amazon makes a lot of sense IMO.

Best regards,
Andy
Pretty much this. Ebay, to me, is much better when buying used books. Amazon is better for selling and buying new books.

At least, that's just from my experience. With Ebay sellers usually post pictures of the actual book, showing customers it's condition prior to sale. In addition, there are usually one or two listings at any given time for more popular series where you can buy the entire series (or a large part of it) for a very low price.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#11
Buying used books from Amazon is worth it if it's out of print.
Definitely. A couple of recommendations from the lists on the main site are not in print and not all of them are in e-book format, either. So I got a few of those used.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#12
I've bought used books on both Amazon and eBay. eBay was much easier if I wanted to buy a book lot from a specific author (much cheaper than buying single books individually, though shipping sometimes made them almost as expensive as buying new books - I always try to have the books shipped at the cheapest option, even if it takes longer to get to me).

Buying individual used books from Amazon has also been a pretty good experience. I've gone for some of the .01 pence books with about 3 pounds sterling for shipping to Austria and it's been worth it.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#13
I've bought used books on both Amazon and eBay. eBay was much easier if I wanted to buy a book lot from a specific author (much cheaper than buying single books individually, though shipping sometimes made them almost as expensive as buying new books - I always try to have the books shipped at the cheapest option, even if it takes longer to get to me).

Buying individual used books from Amazon has also been a pretty good experience. I've gone for some of the .01 pence books with about 3 pounds sterling for shipping to Austria and it's been worth it.
In the US, if you buy used books, you can specify "fulfilled by Amazon." I usually do this. (This may be something you can do in other countries, as well -- I just don't know.) Sellers will pay Amazon a nominal fee to keep their books in the Amazon warehouse system. It doesn't guarantee quality, but it does guarantee shipping time. (Also qualifies for Prime so shipping is free.) You don't get the 1 cent books this way, but you can get some pretty good deals (that are often better than Kindle pricing).

I remember getting most of L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Recluce books (read the first one and you've read them all, though...) in a lot from eBay. Definitely better than paying full price. But I think it's more hit or miss in terms of finding what you're looking for.

I've also had success with AbeBooks but I've only tried once. Was looking for an obscure science title from 1967 and got it for under $5, including shipping. Dust jacket was kinda crappy but I was definitely happy for the price I paid!
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#14
I've also had success with AbeBooks but I've only tried once.
I've used abe.com many times, but only when I wanted to buy 1st edition hardcovers or paperbacks in fine quality. Never tried them for used reading copies before.

I usually use Amazon UK for cheap, used reading copies since shipping prices are more economical than sellers who list with Amazon US. If I'm buying new paperbacks, then I tend to use Amazon Germany, since shipping is ever faster to Austria.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
I've only bought used books off the internet a couple of times. I tend to buy a lot of used books from charity shops and car boot sales (pretty common over here in the UK) ... picked up some absolute bargains, hardcover The Heroes for 50p, 1st Thomas Covenant trilogy for about the same, Hyperion for £1, Liveship Traders trilogy for £1, the list goes on and on. Obviously this means getting off my ass and going to the shops/sales, but hey, you get to make the purchase fully knowing the condition of the books, which is worth the effort.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#16
but hey, you get to make the purchase fully knowing the condition of the books, which is worth the effort.
That is definitely a point in favor of buying used books in a shop. I don't even know of any secondhand book stores around here, though (only book store I even know of at all is Barnes and Noble). I suppose it depends on where you live.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
We don't have many dedicated second hand book shops in the UK either, but charity shops are in abundance, and they almost always have a few book shelves (some even with fantasy/sci fi sections), so I'll often have a peruse when passing!
 

Sir Arthur

Journeyed there and back again
#18
In Bellingham, we have aleast 5 or 6 used bookstores I can think of off the top of my head. Also, two large ( 3 story, with a cafe') locally owned new bookstores, with decent used sections. One of the many reasons to love Bellingham, WA. :)
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Yeah, if you buy used books often then a used book shop is probably your best bet. That way you don't have to deal with high shipping costs.

I live in Washington so @Sir Arthur I'll keep in mind what you said about Bellingham in case I'm ever in that area. In the town I live there's only one used book shop I know of. There's A LOT OF books there but I think that's partly because he doesn't sell that much. The shop stinks too.
 

João Ribeiro

Journeyed there and back again
#20
The shop stinks too.
That can't be good for business :D

Anyway I decided that saving one or 2 euros wouldn't be worth the lottery ticket of a used book I didn't see first so there goes my decision.