How To Buy Used Books on eBay

If you consider yourself a certified bibliophile, then know that whichever type of book that you’re on the lookout for – whether it be rare antiquarian books or new bestsellers -  you’d have a great chance to acquire it and add it to your collection. One of the easiest ways to hunt for books would be through online book searches and shopping networks.

The greatest thing about buying books from online trading sites is that you would usually be able to find better prices than those offered in physical bookstores. That’s because the overhead costs of maintaining a store is much costlier than maintaining websites. However, do factor in shipping and handling costs to make sure that you would definitely have a better deal buying online. Also, make sure that you’re buying from a reputable trading site, so that you’d know that what you’re dealing with is a legit business. Some of the most reputable trading websites include and

If you’re relatively new to the online buying scene, here are some tips and pointers for buying used books on eBay:

  1. Go to If you aren’t registered yet, take the time to do so, as only registered customers would be able to buy and sell items on eBay. To register, you’d just have to supply information such as your name, city, state, country, your phone number, and your email address. You’d also need to think of your eBay user ID and password. Remember this information, as you’d be using the user ID and password every time you log in in the future. You’d also get a notification notice in your email to confirm your registration.
  2. Once your eBay account has been set up, you’re all set to do some serious book shopping. How you search would depend on whether you have a particular book title in mind. If that were the case, you just need to type in that specific book title (or author) and choose among the different choices for that particular book. Of course, used books would sell for much cheaper than those available brand-new; usually sellers would give a description as to the physical condition of their books. You would find that prices at eBay for similar items are extremely varied: for example, an Education textbook by Suzanne Krogh goes from a range of $58.60 to a mere $2.10. Make sure that you check the seller’s ratings (to help you gauge his trustworthiness) and the described condition of the book.
  3. If you’re not searching for a particular book title but for a category, you could narrow down your search by choosing any of the available book categories such as antiquarian and collectible books, textbooks, and catalogs. You could also narrow down your search by subject, format (paperback or hardcover), special attributes (such as first-edition printing, illustrated version, etc) and the printing year.
  4. Once you’ve chosen your particular book, you could go ahead and bid on the item. You can be guided by information such as how many other users have placed their bid on that product, and the maximum bid so far.
  5. The usual mode of payment is through PayPal. You would be sure you’d get the item if you were the highest bidder once the time for the online auction expires. Most sellers would ship their product after one to two days upon receipt of payment. 
  6. You may become interested in becoming a seller yourself; if you have some inclination to sell textbooks or some of your old books for example, just click on the “sell” tab at the upper portion of the website and follow the supplied directions. Do be careful about your credibility and reliability as a seller; you wouldn’t want to have other users giving you low ratings, or even blogging about failed trades with you!

There you have it! These are just some of the useful tips that would help you navigate your way through the world of online used book trading. Have fun!


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