In our house, it’s a constant balancing act to keep ourselves well-stocked with books and staying in budget and not have our shelves completely full at the same time. Over the last 10 years I’ve had a lot of experience shopping for the best deals on books, between owning an Amazon book store and growing up in a homeschooling household where we used curriculum that often required lots of old, out of print and hard to find books.
The best places to shop for used books
When we sold books on Amazon several years ago, we discovered all the best places to buy used books because we were buying them and shipping them to Amazon by the truckload. Library book sales and second-hand stores are the best place to look first if you aren’t looking for something specific, or if you have more time to look through bins or tables full of books that aren’t always well-organized.
If you’re looking for something in particular, Amazon clearance is the first place I would look. When we were stockpiling for baby Logan I gave myself a monthly Amazon budget, something I still have in my budget unless we have a tight month. Sometimes that gets used for must-haves and maintaining our stockpile, but other times it goes toward clearance items I find throughout the year that make great school curriculum, reading material, holiday presents, etc.
If Amazon doesn’t have what you want or you want to do a more thorough check of prices you can always use Book Finder, they’re really great for looking at prices from all over so you know where to find it at the best price online. No Prime shipping, but you still could save money.
Conferences and Events
Although the cost of conferences and events can be high, as someone who has worked for several different companies that regularly sell at conferences I can tell you that most publishers who are bringing their wares offer some of their best deals at conferences. They hauled or shipped hundreds or thousands of pounds or product to that conference, spent their time, energy and effort unpacking it all and arranging it neatly and they want nothing more than to sell out so they don’t have to do it all again. This is good for you because you can get great deals and save a lot, but don’t forget to check online stores like Amazon before you buy.
If you’re at a seller’s table and don’t see any sales advertised, then ask. Sometimes conference specials aren’t highly advertised to encourage buyers to buy at full price. Some sellers don’t offer special sale prices, and if they do then save your money for specially priced items you also need and just buy later. You can buy at full price any time!
Obviously, going digital can be a great option. I can fit thousands of digital books on my phone and Kindle to throw in my purse and have with me any time, but I can’t always have ‘that one book’ on hand when it’s sitting at home on the shelf. While we still do lots of standard hardback books, going digital has been a huge lifesaver for us.
If you’re an avid reader and either already pay for new books on a regular basis or wish you had the money to do so, I highly recommend Kindle Unlimited. It’s a monthly fee and you have access to tons of ebooks on Amazon. They’re great if you want books for your whole family, especially when everyone has different tastes like mine. Ian loves sci-fi and fantasy books while I’m more of a historical fiction, motivation and business books type of reader. Autumn is always advancing and changing because of her age, so it’s really handy to have a lot available.