I wanted to buy a few paperbacks on-line and, huh, it looks like Amazon has long ago stopped discounting books. A $7.99 paperback is … $7.99. So, except for the convenience factor, I might just as well swing by a Barnes and Noble on the way home. Not to mention that I’m old enough to still be shocked by a $7.99 price tag on a mass market paperback.
So, are there any on-line vendors that still discount paperbacks and don’t tack on outrageous shipping costs? (This last condition seems to exclude all EBay vendors.)
I do the same as Bosda and buy used at Amazon Marketplace. People sometimes sell books for next to nothing. Apparently they can make a little bit of money on the shipping and handling. They must not value their time much. I also buy CD’s in the same fashion and have always gotten them in perfect condition. You can use your credit card and are protected by Amazon’s credit card processing system.
Huh. I hadn’t even noticed that before you mentioned it; the last books that I bought were hardcovers, and they were discounted.
Finagle, this might work for you or for any other Bostonians: Have you been to The New England Mobile Bookfair in Newton? Just a terrific place, and they will discount both paperback and hardcovers. I really like them there, and try to give them my business whenever I can. If you go, allow yourself a few hours for browsing.
I was a little disappointed with them at Christmas; I was buying hardcovers as gifts and paid more there than I would have on-line, but I was pushing the limits of getting the books shipped on time, so I paid the price. Anyway, they are worth checking out.
If you’re going to Barnes & Noble anyway, I’d consider becoming a member. Barnes & Noble’s Web site, if you’re a member, is a pretty cheap source for new books: 40% off bestsellers, 20% off all adult hardcovers, and 10% off pretty much everything else. About every month or so, I also receive online discount coupons (usually 15% but sometimes more) off of a single item.
Plus, everyone (non-members, too) can get free three-day shipping on orders of $25 or more.
A membership is $25 annually, but (in my case, at least) it pays for itself pretty quickly, and it’s good in B&N’s B&M stores as well, of course.
I’ve started collecting the Overlook Press editions of P.G. Wodehouse’s books; I’ve got about half of the 48 titles so far, and I’ve been saving pretty big bucks ($3-$5 per title) along the way.
For used books, I’ve had great success with the previously mentioned AbeBooks; I think I’ll start using that as a source for used books rather than eBay.
All that said, I usually try to throw some money at local new and used bookstores to clear my conscience (and buy more books).
I use Amazon but lately I’ve been finding better prices and service at abe.com. However, abe.com doesn’t have seller ratings or a way for buyers to leave feedback. Or if they do, I don’t know where to find them.
Hi, AuntiePam! Funny you should be in this thread – I recently used abe.com (see, not a highjack!) to acquire a copy of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, which you had recommended in another thread a while back. Great recommendation – thanks!
If you’re buying used books, the single largest operation online is abebooks.com (last time a study was done, they accounted for over 40% of online used book sales). ABE itself doesn’t sell many of them, it’s a collection of individuals and small stores, plus a few big ones. Kind of like Amazon does with their used books, but lots more.
A handy used book search-engine is bookfinder.com – it searches ABE, Alibris, Amazon, Powell’s, and a slew of others.
If you’re buying new books and can’t find that good free-shipping deal, why not patronize an independently-owned store instead of a chain? Keep the money in your own community instead of shipping it off to corporate headquarters in some other state.
I go with Amazon, since English books can be a challenge to find around here, and are usually double their original price. If I only want one, ordering from Amazon Japan is usually cheaper, since it has the import markup, but the shipping is free. Buying direct from Amazon USA is cheaper for larger orders.