buying books online...what's your strategy!

United States
August 7, 2007 2:58pm CST
Do you always buy books at the same place online? What kind of research do you do before buying books online? How many places do you check out before buying? Do you always go with the least expensive option? Any tips? I'm thinking of buying a couple books. I've noticed that I can get them cheaper and the shipping is less if I go through amazon.com (as opposed to ebay). And they ship within a day or two of purchasing them. So there's really no waiting to see if you "got the bid".
4 people like this
12 responses
• United States
8 Aug 07
I buy most of my books at half.com, and the rest at amazon. Half.com has cheaper shipping, so if the price is about the same at both sites, I'll go with half.com. But I also consider quality, and the seller's rating, so I don't always buy the cheapest book I can find. I also swap books at paperbackswap.com, which is nice if I have books I want to get rid of but that aren't worth enough to bother selling them.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Aug 07
Thanks for the great tips on buying books online! I haven't heard of paperbackswap.com. That sounds like a really neat idea. I do have some books I'd like to get rid of too. So I will definitely check that out soon. Thanks a bunch for posting!
• United States
16 Aug 07
Hi, I was just looking at this site and it is really neat! I want to sign up for it and wanted to let them know I was referred by you, but I need your PBS email or nickname. You can PM me with that if you like. I'm going through stuff for a garage sale and I might as well keep my books for this. Thanks so much for letting me know about it!
@AmbiePam (50387)
• United States
7 Aug 07
Have you ever tried www.half.com? Sometimes you can get the book brand new, but cheaper than regular online retailers. I used to use them a lot when I was buying books. I even got some college textbooks from them. Also, www.bn.com gives you free shipping when you buy 25 dollars worth or more.
• United States
10 Aug 07
You know I've just never taken the time to look at half.com. Thanks for mentioning it, I will be looking there now. I never thought about looking there for college books either, I'll be telling my neices and nephews! Thanks for posting!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50387)
• United States
10 Aug 07
No problem. I hope I've helped. And it works both ways. If you or your family is done with the books, then you can sell them off. I've actually made money on books I bought at Half.com. : )
@youless (94715)
• Guangzhou, China
8 Aug 07
Now it seems I will buy books online from the same website. As to buying books online, at first I will see how much discount that they can offer me. Sometimes they can even give me 60% off so it's fantastic to buy it online. Secondly I will see how much the delivery cost is. Now I am satisfied to buy books online because they can send it to me free of charge if my payment can reach RMB100(USD13). Third I will see whether they have a lot of books to sell. If they can recommend good books which I'm interested in, I will also buy it.
• United States
10 Aug 07
Thanks so much for posting! It sounds like you have a good system worked out that is great for you! And you must read a lot of books. Thanks again!
@inked4life (4227)
• United States
7 Aug 07
I usually just stick with ebay or amazon. You can usually find decent quality second hand books at both of those sites. For me though, nothing beats going to the actual book store. I can sit in there for hours on end perusing all the new titles.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Aug 07
LOL...you sound just like my husband. He could spend all day in a bookstore I think and love every minute. I like bookstores too, but my shopping habits of "get what you need and get out" seem to take over when I'm shopping and I just want to keep moving. It's hard for me to really relax. Anyway, thanks a lot for posting.
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
8 Aug 07
Amazon.ca, indigo.ca and ebay.ca are within an online mall which gives Air Miles when purchases are made, so I try and stick to those three websites. I don't much like ebay anymore because the shipping rates are astronomical and not worth it when you buy a book for $1. At least with Amazon, the prices are lower than the cover prices and if you spend $39 shipping is free, same with indigo. But with Amazon the purchases have to be made from Amazon and not an outside seller, so I have to watch out for that when I am making my purchases.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
Wow, I had no idea your purchases like books could go towards air miles. That's really nice. I agree with you on ebay shipping. It does seem to be getting out of hand. Thanks for the great ideas and new sites I didn't know about!
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Aug 07
I was going to give you the link to the "mall" but you are in the U.S. For Canadians who collect Air Miles you can shop at airmileshops.ca and collect Air Miles while shopping on hundreds of different websites.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
Thanks so much for adding that, I appreciate it!!!
@horsesrule (1960)
• United States
9 Aug 07
When I buy new books, Amazon is usually the cheapest though Overstock.com also has some good prices. I have found that Barnes & Noble doesn't have quite as low prices as Amazon. If I am buying used books, I check Bookfinder.com and it pulls up nearly every book dealer on the entire Internet [except in ebay]. If I can't find the book cheap enough or the shipping seems too high, I check ebay's prices too. I do try to buy the cheapest book but I also factor in the shipping fee too and sometimes the cheapest book is the one with the lowest shipping but a higher price on the book. So, I do my homework when ordering books just to read.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
Thanks, I'll have to check out bookfinder.com . That sound really interesting. I agree you do have to look at shipping and quality sometimes. Depends on what you want it for too. Thanks so much for commenting!
@cjsmom (1423)
• United States
9 Aug 07
I have never bought books online before until just recently and it was just one, for CJ. He loves, Murder She Wrote and wanted to have a book by her. I researched it online and found several sites that were selling the books. I basically went with the less expensive and crossed my fingers for the outcome. I was very impressed with, DeepDiscount.com. They sent the book within a few days and it was in excellent shape; CJ just loved it. My daughter sent me an gift certificate from Amazon and I used it to get a book I wanted quite awhile ago and was very impressed with the results as well. That's about as far as my experience goes when it comes to online book purchases.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
I forgot about deepdiscount.com. I think my sister has mentioned that one to me some time ago. I'll have to check that one out too. My parents watch Murder She Wrote all the time on their dish. So when I go home I get to see it. They are really good stories. Thanks for the reminder!
@shinjiao (1464)
• China
8 Aug 07
Hi,simplyshawn! I have never bought books online but I'm a member of a book club.I often visit the website of this club,choose the books I like and then go to the neariest outlet of this club to buy my targets.
• United States
10 Aug 07
Hey that sounds great to live near a book outlet, although it also sounds hard on the pocket book...lol. That would be nice though. Thanks.
@MGjhaud (20861)
• Philippines
8 Aug 07
actually i never bought a book online. but im having plans for that since i love books. well then when i get the thought of doing that, i'll make sure i know the author very well that would assure me of how worthy am i buying for. then of course, i won't buy it unless i really need it that badly. the amount matters as well since i noticed some of the products online a bit expensive than purchasing it here in my town.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
It is a good thing to be aware of the resources close to you. I hope you learned a few tips here about buying books online. I've learned several already and am thankful I started this discussion. It is proving to be very helpful.
@maximax8 (28860)
• United Kingdom
7 Aug 07
I like to see books in libraries or book shops so I can check them out. If I really like one of them and want to buy a copy of it I look for it on Amazon. Sometimes it there are some sellers that offer a cheaper second hand copy of the book. Often sellers charge less than Amazon would itself. I do buy things on E Bay sometimes, but is sad to miss out on a special book that I really wanted to have. Once I found a first edition of the favorite book I read when I was a child.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
Yes I wish I could look at the books I want to buy first. But with my location that's rare that I'm going to find it at a local library. So I think I'm going to take a chance this time. That's great you found a book that was special to you. Thanks for sharing!
• United States
7 Aug 07
I honestly prefer amazon,they are much cheaper and you can qualify for free shipping on some books. No wait time and the books are always in great condition.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
I just noticed yesterday the free shipping on some books. Thats nice incentive and I'm sure more people are more likely to buy that way, I know I would. Thanks for responding!!!
@suman76 (648)
• India
8 Aug 07
I would only usggest that you should go to the market and explore it because some time we get some good advance version of that. But yes if you are looking for a particular book then you can take it from online.
1 person likes this