I thought I’d write a bit of a different post today and that is how to get super cheap books! I know we all love our books and there is nothing more satisfying than having a full bookshelf.
But, the sad reality is, books can actually get quite pricey, especially here in Australia. I know other countries like the US and the UK have much cheaper books but for those who are literally living on an island, it can get pretty difficult to cough up $20 every time you want to buy a new paperback! (Don’t even get me started on the hardbacks!)
That is part of the reason I like to borrow more than buy, but sometimes, eve I feel the urge to buy a few of my favourites so I can read them wherever I want! And here are some of the tips I have found useful to pay less for a great book!
1. DEPARTMENT STORES
I love my local bookstore and I do try and support it as much as possible. But, the sad reality is that it can get pretty pricey when buying from bookstores! That is why, occasionally, I try and purchase books from a department store such as Kmart and Big W (which both have a pretty decent range of books + they keep switching the titles up so you get a variety) which sell books for WAY cheaper than bookstores and even online stores at times!
To see if the book you’re after is available, use their catalogue to try and find it or ring them up. (Prepare to be put on hold for a while though!)
2. ONLINE SHOPPING
The other alternative to buying books in person is of course, online shopping! Two of my favourite websites are Book Depository and Booktopia which are both scam free and terrific because they 99.99% have the book you’re after AND at a great price!
Book Depository is a UK based company that offers FREE SHIPPING worldwide and has some fantastic book prices! If you’re wondering why their prices are so low AND they offer free shipping, firstly, it’s because they don’t have to pay for salespeople or rent shops to display their books which saves them money. They also adjust for shipping in their book price depending on where you live, which is why they don’t charge additional for shipping.
So they’re not a scam – which is what I used to believe and didn’t order books from them for the longest time because of that – they’re just very good at business.
Booktopia is an Australian company that also sells books at fantastic prices! However, they have a flat shipping rate of $7.95 but that means you can order a 100 books and it’d still cost the same for shipping! They sell for pretty much the same prices as Book Depository except you have to pay for shipping. (Keep reading to learn how to avoid shipping though!)
I like to order books from them whenever I can as I want to try and support the Australian book industry!
3. USED BOOKS/LIBRARY SALES
If you aren’t too fussed about buying old books, check out your local Salvos or library as they often sell really great books at very good prices! You just have to keep an eye out for a great bargain with that one.
I bought my copy of Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman at my library sale for 50c which was the first time I’d ever gone to one of them. It was in great condition and meant I saved almost $20 as I didn’t buy it new! Score!
This is also a great way to support your local charity shop or library and means you get cheap, pre-loved books!
4. CREATE A WISHLIST ON BOOK DEPO
I think this and tip #6 (below) are my absolute favourite from all that I’ve shown you.
One really good way to save money is to create an account on Book Depository and then, to create a wish list and add books to it. (I’m not sure if you can do this with Booktopia too but you probably can!). On the left hand panel of your wish list, there will be a settings menu that says ‘email me when prices drop’. Make sure to tick it.
Then add all the books you want to that wish list and wait. When the price drops and it’s more reasonable to buy, you’ll get an email notification saying the price has dropped and you’ll be able to buy it at the cheapest possible! Voila!
It’s a great way of knowing when the price of a book you want has dropped and means you can buy it for cheaper than it was before!
5. ORGANISE A BOOK SWAP
Try and search for a local book swap happening in your community where you can take the books you’ve already read and swap them for books you want! It requires no money and is an opportunity to meet new people!
I know there are many Melbourne book swaps happening every now and then and although I have yet to be to one, they sound like fantastic opportunities to meet new people and get some new books!
The best way to find a book swap is either to Google or to follow some people (either on Instagram or Twitter – although Twitter is better for chatting and meeting people) from your city/area and see what they’re up to. If you can’t find one, try and organise one instead with your new pals!
6. SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTERS
Sign up for newsletters of the online book websites such as Book Depo and Booktopia!
They then send emails notifying you when books are on sale, what books are on sale and when they have other special offers or promotions running so you can get books at their cheapest possible!
Another top tip from this is to especially sign up to the Booktopia newsletter as every once in a while, they email you with… a free shipping coupon!
How cool is that?
You can then use that coupon code until it is valid to get free shipping on ALL your orders! Best thing is, you can use the coupon code more than once until the offer closes!
That basically means you can order 100 books WITH FREE SHIPPING!
I know Book Depo already offers free shipping but I really like supporting local stores, especially when they offer such great deals!
I hope all these tips have helped you! If you have any tips as well, please leave them in the comments below so we can all read and learn from this!