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Cheap Books

It is hard to believe that the only source for cheap books was used book stores only two short decades today. With the volume of discounted, remaindered and used books that are available in the modern book trade, there are more sources for cheap books available today than ever before. While there is nothing quite like spending some time in a brick and mortar used book stores, you are really missing out on most of the sources available for cheap books if you do not take advantage of some of the new opportunities that are available today. The top three sources for cheap books is the remaindered book market, online auction sites and trading books of your own for books you want with other book lovers online.

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Remaindered Book Market

In order to really understand where to look for cheap books, it is useful to understand a little bit about the discount book market. When a book title is no longer being published or promoted in traditional book retail market, the remaining copies of the books are then remaindered. Wholesalers that are stuck with bulk quantities of remaindered titles then unload these books at a heavy discount onto the discount book market. The nice thing about remaindered books is that they represent a great source of cheap books that are in brand new condition. The easiest way to find remaindered books is to keep your eyes open for seasonal discount book stores that open during the holiday months, as nearly all of the books in these stores are remaindered titles.

Auction Sites

Remaindered and used books can also be found very cheaply through online auction sites. Sellers often purchase wholesale lots of remaindered and other discounted books for resell at auctions, and the prices for books at these auction sites are notoriously low. Due to the volume of titles available and the lack of a useful set of book categories at these sites, it can be a little tough to simply peruse what is available for something that sounds interesting. However, when you are looking for specific titles of cheap books, online auction sites are often the quickest way to find the book you are looking for at a great bargain. These sites are also an useful resource when you are looking for cheap copies of signed books.

Bartering for Cheap Books

A more unusual source for cheap books is trading books from your own library for book titles that you are looking for through various websites. While there are some websites that are exclusively created to help book barterers connect with one another, I've had the most success with finding people to trade books with through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The nice thing about finding book trading partners this way is that you will often find that what begins as a simple trade of a few cheap books blossoms into a digital friendship with someone in another part of the country or even the world.


Copyright Amy and Flor Westphal 2007