Random Thoughts: Are Second Hand Books Expensive?

Posted November 27, 2014 by Charlotte in Random Thoughts / 6 Comments

Are Second Hand Books Expensive?

This week I want to know how much are you willing to pay for a second hand book?  And are Second Hand Books Expensive?

Once a week I volunteer at a local Charity shop. It’s fun and I get to meet a lot of lovely people. Also each day is different which means that I do a different job each week. This week it was pricing and sorting the books that had been donated.

The Charity shop has a general system for books, where the average is £1.99 for a good paperback and £2.99 for a hardback in good condition. Books start at a mere 59p! And all prices end in 59 or 99. These numbers vary depending on the thickness of the book, the state it is in and occasional (but rarely) what edition it is.

But that’s enough waffle. Back to the question at hand, how much are you willing to pay for a second-hand book? Before working in the Charity shop I never really thought about how much I was willing to pay. The Charity shop was cheaper than the actual bookstore, I was doing a good deed and the end result was a lot more books. It was kind of a win-win situation.

There’s always little gems to be found, surprises and books I didn’t know existed to found. There’s been first editions, bargains, ARCS and battered books all waiting to be taken home. Sometimes it’s been a struggle to put the book back on the shelf.

When I started to think about this topic and how much I was willing to spend I was shocked at the fact that I was only, really, willing to spend £2 and preferable £1.50 – £1. And, perhaps more shockingly the price I’m willing to pay doesn’t vary depending on the type of book. Yes I would probably still buy the book if it was more, it would depend on how much I wanted it. But there has been times when I have put a book back, thinking “It’s too expensive”.

Do you guys have a limit on what you are willing to spend on a second-hand book? Do you have a limit? Are second-hand books expensive?

Let me know below!

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6 responses to “Random Thoughts: Are Second Hand Books Expensive?

  1. Like you I love supporting charity shops but find my upper limit to be £1.99, I have paid £2.99, but do prefer the £0.99 – £1.99 range. There are always bargain hunters but something which made me uncomfortable was the man I saw going through lots of books looking them all up on the internet on his phone to see what price he could re-sell them for.

    • Charlotte

      Oh my days! That would make me very uncomfortable too. I love getting books from the charity shops because you never know what you will find. It’s always a little treasure cove.

  2. While there’s no doubt charities need support, do consider borrowing from the library (for free) if you don’t want to buy a new book – authors get nothing from second-hand!

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