Many readers tend to purchase one book at a time, carefully inspecting each cover and mulling over the synopsis before deciding whether or not it’s the right title to add to their collection. However, if you’re reading this article, that’s not your current plan. You need a lot of books, and fast!
Buying used books in bulk is a necessity for many people. Perhaps you’re looking to stock a library of children’s books for an elementary school classroom, or you have a large bookshelf that simply must be filled with any number of vintage-looking hardbacks to achieve the perfect aesthetic. Or maybe you’re simply a book reseller looking to buy a solid collection of novels in order to turn a profit.
Whatever your reason, buying used books in bulk is a fantastic option. New books can be ridiculously expensive, so purchasing used copies is the best way to get more bang for your buck.
In no particular order, here are the five best places to buy used books in bulk.
Best for Curated Wholesale: ThriftBooks
ThriftBooks is one of the biggest names in buying and selling used books, but as it turns out, the site hosts an alternative option that allows you to sell and buy used books in bulk. The site’s retail and wholesale businesses operate independently, making them completely different beasts.
The site is partnered with libraries and thrift stores across the world, resulting in a massive selection of surplus books. Rather than haphazardly tossing used books in boxes, ThriftBooks can personally curate bulk orders or choose from pre-selected categories.
However, be prepared to purchase an insane amount of books. ThriftBooks only offers used books in bulk for sale if you reach the minimum order size, which is a whopping 10 gaylords, or roughly 8,000 books.
On the ThriftBooks bulk order site, you can shop through huge bins of books that have been curated in advance, typically separated by genres such as children’s, young adult, or fiction. Alternatively, you can connect directly with the team at ThriftBooks, who can help hand-select titles to fit your needs.
If you are looking to stock a library or bookstore, buying used books in bulk from ThriftBooks’ wholesale offshoot is a fantastic option.
Best for Textbooks: BookScouter
If you’re a student or teacher, you know that textbooks can be pricey. Many students need multiple textbooks and high prices can quickly make their education feel inaccessible.
Luckily, BookScouter is a valuable resource for those who need to buy used textbooks in bulk. Both a buying and selling service, BookScouter connects customers with buyback vendors and sellers, allowing you to quickly search and compare prices from multiple vendors at the touch of a button.
BookScouter’s large vendor marketplace offers a huge selection of textbooks, making it easy for you to find and purchase every book on your list at a discounted price.
Best for Children’s Books: BookBundler
BookBundler is another website that offers curated selections of used books in bulk. Though it offers books of all types for all age ranges, The BookBundler’s options for children’s books in bulk are phenomenal.
The site sells bundles of children’s books according to age, genre, and grades, ensuring that there is a bundle for every child or group of children. Even more, BookBundler offers different sizes of bundles, typically in groups of 5, 10, 15, or 30, with prices ranging from $15 to $50. BookBundler also bundles book series together, such as The Hunger Games or Twilight series.
For these reasons, BookBundler is the best place to purchase used children’s books in bulk, making it a perfect place for parents and teachers to shop.
Best for Aesthetic Purchases: Books by the Foot
As much as we love a functional book collection, sometimes the novels on a shelf are merely for decoration—and that’s okay!
Books by the Foot is a website dedicated to selling used books in bulk, helping you fill out your shelves to achieve your perfect vision for the space. The service has been featured in dozens of media outlets, many of which laud Books by the Foot for its commitment to offering consistent, unique sets of books.
The site allows you to order used books in bulk based on modifiers like color, age (vintage or modern), color, subject, or set. For those who prefer a more minimalist look, Books by the Foot also offers wrapped, colorless, and reversed sets.
As its name suggests, the site prices books by the foot—as in, 12 inches worth of stacked books—with sets ranging anywhere from $6.99 to $59.99 per foot.
Best for People That Prefer to Shop In Person: Garage Sales & Thrift Stores
If you aren’t too keen on the idea of purchasing used books in bulk online, there are likely a number of options available in your own community. Fortunately, garage sales, secondhand shops, and thrift stores are all fantastic places to find used books for low prices. More often than not, local sellers prioritize getting rid of their books rather than turning a profit, so don’t be afraid to ask for a bulk discount.
Unfortunately, shopping for used books in bulk in person often proves difficult. When shopping online, you know exactly what the seller has in stock and are able to find what you need at the touch of a button. Alternatively, shopping at garage sales or charity bookshops often require some dedication on your part, as you’ll need to sift through the stacks of paperbacks to find the right titles to fit your needs.