Bookshop's Used Books
We Want Your Used Books!
Bookshop Santa Cruz has been buying used books from the community for many years. We are always excited to bring in a fresh, diverse selection of used books at affordable prices. We love going through boxes and bags of books, and we are happy to share our discoveries with the community. It is our hope that this website might provide answers to some of our frequently asked questions about our used book buying policies. If you have any additional questions or comments, please call us at (831) 423-0900.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sell you my used books? Can I make an appointment?
Our Used Book counter opens every day (including weekends!) at 9:00 AM. We operate on a first-come-first-serve basis, and because we can only take in the amount of books we can process in one day, we often fill up for the day within an hour of opening. If you’re interested in selling used books to us, we recommend that you arrive at our Front Street entrance right before we open at 9:00 AM. We give priority to people who are at the store when we open, but if this is inconvenient, you can also call us at 9:00, and if we have space we can reserve a same-day appointment for you. Our daily maximum per person is four boxes, or six bags. Weekends, especially Sundays, are often slower than weekdays.
When you bring in your books, we will ask for your name, phone number and an ID (a driver’s license, official state ID, military ID or a passport will suffice), and the buyer will tell you what time to return that day to claim your offer. Due to limited space, we are unable to hold your books overnight, and so we require that you return that day to claim your offer and any books we do not buy. Books that are not claimed by closing are automatically donated to charity. If you have any questions about this process, please ask any of our employees.
What kind of books are you looking for?
The easiest way to explain what we’re looking for is to say that we want a reflection of our current inventory. If you’ve seen a book in our store recently, we probably want to buy it used. We almost always need fiction, mystery and science fiction titles. We also buy kids books, particularly early reader titles, popular series and young adult novels.
What kind of books do you NOT want?
We don’t take hardcover books that have come out in paperback. We don’t take outdated nonfiction titles, such as travel books, health books or reference books. We aren’t able to take textbooks. We do not buy used audio books, as we have no way of verifying if they work properly. We do not buy used magazines or periodicals.
What kind of condition should the books be in?
Condition is important! We automatically decline any books with water damage, highlighting, excessive underlining or notation or damaged (cracked) spines. We also do not want books that are stained, ripped, torn, missing pages or material, or smell like mold. We do not buy book club editions. We may purchase books with a minor amount of wear for a lower price.
What do you pay?
We sell our used books for 50-60% of the book’s cover price, and so we buy them from you for 20-30% of the cover price, depending on the condition and whether you take cash or store credit. To further break it down:
- We pay 20% of the cover price in cash, for all types of books.
- We pay 25% of the cover price in store credit for hardcovers, mass markets and children’s books.
- We pay 30% of the cover price in store credit for trade paperbacks.
We may price some books higher or lower due to condition, or to match the price of current editions.
We Also Sell Used Books!
Because we’re busy buying used books from the community every day, we also have a great selection of used books to offer for sale! Our used book stock is integrated throughout the store, in their respective sections, next to any new copies. We also feature several bins of new arrivals, sorted into fiction, nonfiction, mysteries and science fiction. These are located near the Mystery and Science Fiction sections, next to the Information desk and in our Fiction room. If you’re ever looking for a particular book used, check the section where it would be shelved new, or just ask a bookseller!