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Used Books FAQ


How many books can I bring in?

The maximum per appointment is three (3) banker boxes or three (3) 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. 

We ask that you bring in a minimum of one (1) full grocery bag full of books for an appointment. If you have less than that, please give us a call to see if we have room to accept your small order between our larger appointments.

What kind of books is Bookshop Santa Cruz looking for?

  • Paperbacks in like-new condition especially
    • Fiction
    • Science
    • Psychology
    • Biography
    • History
    • Mystery
    • Science Fiction.
  • Kids' books in good condition

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  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. 

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
  • Magazines, CD's, or DVD's
  • Leatherbound or vintage books
    • If you have a collection of vintage books, we recommend our friends at Bad Animal Books on Cedar. 
  • Large coffee table books and rare gems are wonderful, but not really what we’re looking for.

How do I make an appointment?

Book an appointment on our Setmore page We require appointments to be made at least 48 hours in advance. An automatic confirmation of your appointment request will be sent to you with important information 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. 

We work on a 3 Strikes Policy- if you miss an appointment without contacting us three (3) times, we will ask that you do not schedule appointments with us for 6 months. You are more than welcome to do a walk-in during that time.

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. 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 Used Book desk next to the Information Desk at the back of the store. Remember to bring an official government ID! We accept driver's licenses and passports.

Why do you need my ID?

Buying Used Books falls under California Pawn Shop law. As such, we require valid identification.

What if I don't have access to your scheduling 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! 

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