How to find Used Books

Finding Used Books

How to find Used Books

Library Sales 

Libraries are a great resource for finding used items and books. As public institutions, they often receive book donations from the community, which can result in a surplus of inventory. Some libraries have their own bookstores, which are typically run by the Friends of the Library (FOL), a non-profit organization that promotes membership, organizes sales, and provides valuable resources for the community. The money they raise from book sales is typically used to support community programs and purchase necessary supplies. So, if you're looking for great deals on used books, don't overlook your local library!

To find library book sales in your area, you can check websites such as and These websites offer comprehensive listings of book sales across the country. It's a good idea to regularly check these websites and add upcoming sales to your calendar so you don't miss out on any great deals.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are another great option. Estate sales occur when someone passes away, and their family hires a professional company to sell their possessions. Books are often sold at a low price, and you can find great deals on rare and valuable titles. To find estate sales in your area, we recommend using, which is a database that provides information on upcoming sales, including the location, date, and time. You can also sign up for email alerts, so you never miss a sale.

Keeping Track of Book Sale Events

To help you keep track of upcoming sales, we recommend creating a calendar in which monthly sales are automatically repeated. You can use a variety of calendar apps, such as Google Calendar, Fantastical 2, or iCloud Calendar, to set up reminders and alerts for upcoming events. By keeping track of library book sales, you can save money on books and support your local community at the same time.

Whether you're visiting a library sale or an estate sale, it's important to bring cash and arrive early to get the best deals. Don't be afraid to haggle, as many sellers are willing to negotiate on the price. With these tips, you can build your book collection at an affordable price.

Tips to help you get ready for a sale:

                If you're planning on attending a library book sale, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:

                1. Arrive 30 minutes to 1 hour early, depending on the popularity of the sale. This will give you the best chance of finding great books before they're picked over.
                2. Bring your scanner, a rechargeable battery, and charging cables just in case. This will allow you to scan books quickly and efficiently, and ensure that you don't run out of battery life.
                3. Bring a bag, banker's box, or crate to carry books. You'll want to be able to carry your purchases easily, so come prepared with a sturdy container.
                4. If possible, indicate how the books are organized and which sections you would like to see first. This will help you navigate the sale quickly and efficiently, and find the books you're most interested in.
                5. Connect to the Library’s wireless network, if it is available. Cell phone service is occasionally unreliable inside buildings, so take advantage of the available Wi-Fi to scan books and search for pricing information.
                6. Scan everything you can and ensure that you check type-ins and picture scans. Don't leave great books behind just because they don't have a barcode. Take the time to scan them or manually enter the information once you have time.
                7. Occasionally libraries receive large donations from estates, containing books that are not generally available. Listen to library announcements or ask a librarian for more information. You never know what treasures you might find!
                8. Make sure to return if there is a half-price or bag sale scheduled. Often, books are left behind by booksellers who do not want to pay the full price. Since the price is lower during these sales, it may be worthwhile to return and pick up books that you passed on earlier.

                How to find Sales

                  There are several online resources available to help you find used book sales in your local area. is a great site to search for libraries and organizations that sell used books. is also a useful website that lists sales for each region in the US, as well as ongoing sales. Additionally, includes most of the sales listed on book sale finder, but also includes some local events and rummage sales that are not advertised. If you cannot find a specific book sale on these sites, using Google can also be helpful. Finally, consider following libraries and bookstores on Facebook to keep track of sales and announcements. With these resources, you will be able to stay informed about upcoming sales and find great deals on used books in your area.

                    To stay on top of upcoming book sales, it's important to update your schedule regularly and check the websites we mentioned at least once a week. Don't assume that every sale will be announced in advance, as many occur unannounced. If you have a repeating calendar, be sure to verify the date of each event to avoid any confusion.

                    When planning which sales to attend, take the time to research each one and determine which will offer the best selection for your needs. If you plan on visiting multiple sales in a single day, make sure to keep track of your time and plan out when to arrive and leave each one.

                    It's also a good idea to keep an eye out for the same booksellers at each sale. By getting a feel for their schedule and staying ahead of the game, you can maintain a competitive advantage and be more likely to find the books you're looking for.

                    Working with Librarians and Volunteers

                    When attending library book sales, it's important to remember that librarians and volunteers are providing a valuable service to the community. They work hard to raise funds for the library and provide important programs for the public. As a result, it's important to treat them with respect and be as helpful as possible.

                    If the opportunity arises, don't be afraid to mention that you buy and sell books. Establishing a friendly relationship can be beneficial for both you and the library. You may even be able to get a sneak peek at new books or receive advice on the best times to attend sales. Remember that building positive relationships with librarians and volunteers can go a long way in helping you find great books and make the most of your library book sale experience.


                    During a busy sale, it's important to remember to be helpful, respectful, and kind. If you can, offer to help the volunteers carry or organize boxes. Remember, it's not all about competition with other sellers, so try to establish relationships based on mutual respect.

                    Be mindful of the public, who may be visiting the sale to donate or find new reading material. It's important to be polite and patient, even when it's crowded. Use phrases like "pardon me" or "excuse me" when passing through the sale.

                    Organize your scanning process as much as possible to help the volunteers and reduce the time spent reshelving items. Always be respectful of the library's books as they belong to the library and should be treated with care.

                    Showing respect and courtesy to everyone at the sale, including volunteers, the public, and other sellers, can go a long way in building positive relationships.


                    There is no need to be intimidated by the competition out in the field. It is unnecessary to be aggressive or antagonistic. Booksellers tend to be friendly people who are passionate about working for themselves. You will see competing booksellers come and go. The learning curve for bookselling is quite steep and turnover is high. At the end of the day, every "competitor" is a potential ally. It is fine to discuss business-related topics with other sellers (avoid disclosing your sources). You can learn a lot from other people, and sharing a few business tips doesn't hurt.

                    What is Online Arbitrage?

                    Online arbitrage can be a profitable business model for experienced booksellers who are familiar with the intricacies of the trade. To start, it is important to have a solid understanding of how books sell and the risks involved in purchasing higher-priced books. It is also essential to use reliable software tools that can filter results based on important criteria such as book rank, MF and FBA prices, number of competing offers, and publication date.

                    Keep in mind that this business model requires more startup capital compared to other models. Rather than buying books for a few cents or a dollar, you'll be spending $10 or more per book. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly research the booksellers you are purchasing from to ensure they are reputable and provide a quality product. If the book condition does not match the description, it could lead to negative reviews and ultimately harm your business.

                    Despite the risks, online arbitrage has proven to be a profitable model for many businesses. With the right knowledge, tools, and research, you can take advantage of the "Prime Bump" and potentially earn a high-profit margin. When searching for products to buy inline consider the following:

                    • Rank
                    • Used MF price
                    • FBA price
                    • Numbers of Competing Offers
                    • Publication Date
                    • Seller Reputation

                    Before you begin Online Arbitrage:

                      • You should be aware of seasonal trends and Keepa data.

                        • Due to the much higher COGS, you should keep a record of every cost. 

                          • Make a list of trusted booksellers

                            • Be sure to monitor ROI. (Return on investment)

                            Use a Calendar to your Advantage

                            Organizing your sourcing with a calendar is an effective way to stay on top of your game. Plan your routes weekly and take note of the best locations to visit. This allows you to maximize your time and resources while minimizing unnecessary travel. Make it a habit to communicate with the librarians and volunteers, and ask when they plan to stock more books for sale. This will give you a better understanding of when to visit each location. Be sure to add these dates to your calendar to keep track of your schedule. By doing so, you can have a clearer picture of where you need to be and when. Whether you prefer to use Google Calendar, Fantastical 2, or Slack, you can take advantage of these tools to help you schedule your sourcing activities more efficiently.

                            • Plan weekly routes. As you track your sourcing, you will find the best places to visit. Knowing the best times to visit a certain location will help you decide when to visit next.
                            • Ask the employees and volunteers when they will stock more books for sale. Ongoing book sales have a stocking schedule so you should know when to be there. Put that information on a calendar, and you'll have an exact idea of when to visit each location.

                            Other Resources/Sites to Visit:

                            Thrift Stores - Search on Google or

                            FOL - Facebook,,

                            Used Bookstores -,

                            Yard Sales - Yard Sale Treasure Map, Try to come early and find a yard sale that includes books.

                            Church Book Sales -

                            Estate Sales -,

                            Colleges - Purchase from students at the end of the semester

                            Businesses - Businesses may need to get rid of books (such as attorneys, architects, doctors, professors, etc.).

                            Public Surplus -

                            Auctions - - Thrift Stores like Goodwill may arrange book auctions every so often.

                            Flea Markets -

                            Recyclers - Let them know that you are interested in buying good books in bulk.

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