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Used Book Buying—Now Re-opened!

We Want Your Used Books! Make an Appointment!

Thank you for selling your previously read books back to Bookshop Santa Cruz! Our Used department depends on customers like you to provide us with exciting titles that will end up at great homes. After taking a hiatus from buying used books during COVID, we have transformed our book buying service to appointment only and have a number of new guidelines. If you have books you’d like to sell, please read the following guidelines in detail. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Used Book Buying Hours: Daily, 10am-6pm daily at our curbside desk (on the Front Street side of our store) through appointments only. Each appointment allows the customer to drop off two (2) banker boxes or two (2) brown paper shopping bags full of books. Due to high demand, appointments are limited to one appointment per week per customer. At this time, offers will be made in store credit only (no cash).

Steps to Sell Us Your Books

STOP-READ THIS FIRST! Do not make an appointment if you, or anyone in your household, is sick including fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, diaherra, sore throat or loss of taste or smell. If you, or anyone in your household has been exposed to COVID during the last 14 days, for the safety of our employees, do not sell your books to Bookshop Santa Cruz. 

Step 1: Book your drop off appointment at You must create a profile to access appointments. You will immediately receive an automatic confirmation email for your appointment request. One of our Used Buyers will review your request and send you a follow-up confirmation ASAP, please wait for this email to know your appointment has been approved. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance. If you miss your appointment, you might lose the ability to book future appointments.

Step 2: Arrive to your appointment wearing a mask over your nose and mouth. 

Step 3: Be prepared at your appointment to provide your name, phone number, and show a valid Driver’s License or Passport Number (as required by CA pawn shop laws). 

Step 4: Bookshop will quickly assess your books and let you know how long before your offer is ready for pickup. Pickup might be the following day.

Step 5: Return at your return time or anytime after to receive your store credit worth 66% of the retail value of the books we decide to buy. Store credit never expires, and is valid for every item in the store. It cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. 

Please note: Any books not purchased by Bookshop Santa Cruz and not picked up on the day your offer is ready will be donated to local nonprofits. Bookshop Santa Cruz cannot store books. 


What kind of books is Bookshop Santa Cruz looking for?

Paperbacks in like-new condition, especially Fiction, Kids Fiction, Science, Psychology, Biography, History, Mystery, and Science Fiction. We are particularly interested in titles that we already carry on our shelves new, so if you know it’s a book we carry and it’s in excellent condition, please bring it in! We do not buy books with folded pages, markings, broken spines, or water damage. Large coffee table books, textbooks, and rare gems are wonderful, but not really what we’re looking for. We will probably buy a newly released, popular hardcover in excellent condition, but we do not buy hardbacks for books that are already out in paperback. 

How many books can I bring in?

The maximum per customer per day is two (2) banker boxes or two (2) brown paper shopping bags full of books. It is up to the used buyer’s discretion to accept anything beyond this limit, so if you have more than that, we recommend making multiple appointments. 

How do I make an appointment?

Visit us at We require appointments to be made at least 48 hours in advance. An automatic confirmation of your appointment request will be sent to you. Please wait for a follow up email from one of our Used Buyers confirming your appointment before coming in for your appointment. 

What if I have to cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel or will be late, please let us know as soon as you can. 24 hours notice is preferred, but if life throws you a curveball and you can't make it down to see us, give us a call to let us know. 

When will I get my offer?

When you check in during your appointment, the used buyer will inform you as to when your offer will be ready. Offers are often ready on the same day, but can take several hours to process. Due to COVID restrictions and staffing, offers may not be ready until the following day but the used book buyer will do everything they can to give you an accurate understanding of when your offer will be ready. If you’re not able to pick up your offer on the day it is ready, don’t worry! We will keep it on file for you for up to 6 months. 

However- we cannot hold books overnight, as we have very limited space at the Used Desk. We are very happy to donate your books for you if you won't make it back to Bookshop before closing time.

Where do I drop off my books?

Used book check in takes place at the Curbside Pick Up table on the Front Street side of our store (825 Front Street). We have parking spaces reserved in the yellow zoned parking near the Front Street entrance, so pull on up, bring your books to the table, and we will check you in. Remember to bring an official government ID! Please note, if you’d like to shop while we look through your books, our only entrance to the bookstore is around the corner on the Pacific Avenue side of the store.

What if I don't have access to your website?

If you need assistance scheduling an appointment with the Used Desk, please call us at (831) 423-0900 and ask to speak with the Used Desk. We will be happy to help you! 

I didn't know I needed to make an appointment and I'm here now with my used books, can I sell them anyway?

We will make every effort to process any used books that come to us, but we will always prioritize appointments. It is up to the used buyer’s discretion to decide whether they can fit in sellers without appointments. Try calling around 2pm, as the used buyer will have a good picture of the rest of their day at that point.

It sounds like you are picky about what books you buy. Why is that?

Used books are wonderful! Reselling books is a great way for you to feed your reading habit while giving your books a second chance to be loved and appreciated. At Bookshop Santa Cruz, we maintain stringent guidelines on which previously read books we bring into the store, in order to ensure that we are providing our customers with the highest quality merchandise. This means you can trust that any used books you purchase through us will be as good as new! 

What kind of books won't you take?

Because we have a very high standard for our used books, we want them to be as close to new as possible. 

We do not accept:

  • Textbooks
    • If you're looking to sell your textbooks, try the Cabrillo or UCSC bookstores!
  • Travel books
  • Anything with writing or highlighting
  • Anything with water damage, ripped covers, or cracked spines
  • Hardbacks if the book is out in paperback or is missing its dust jacket
  • Leatherbound or vintage books
    • If you have a collection of vintage books, we recommend our friends at Bad Animal Books on Cedar. 

I just want to donate my books to Bookshop. Can I do that?

Unfortunately, no, we cannot take all your donations as we do not have a place to store them. We recommend contacting the library!

If you have further questions, please call us at (831) 423-0900. We look forward to seeing you and your books! 

We also sell used books!

Because we’re busy buying used books from the community, 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. All used books are marked on the spine with a "USED" sticker, and the used book price is listed on the back by the barcode. Our used books are typically priced at 50-60% of the original cover price.

The majority of our used books are in inventory, so if you are looking for something in particular in used books, ask a bookseller at our Information Desk - or call ahead at 831-423-0900

Further questions, or suggestions? Give us a call at 831-423-0900 or send us an e-mail at