Buying & Selling Used, Discounted and Rare Books Online. Resources for Book Lovers

An Annotated List of Selected Resources

By Axel Schmetzke, Ph.D.,  Library, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point,


1. Introduction

1.1  General Information for Book Collectors

Collectors' Corner at the American Booksellers' Association of America

Various Resources at the Open Directory Subject Guide

Books and Book Collecting

Book Collectors' Glossary. For Beginners & Others.

Electronic Discussion Forum: rec.collecting.books

1.2  Creating a Comprehensive Bibliography of Books for your "Wish List"

Large Library Catalogs, such as UW Library catalogs combined (access from anywhere via the UWSP Library homepage).

WISCAT--a Combined Catalog, incl. the books found at most college and public libraries in Wisconsin (access from anywhere)

WorldCat (access only from campus via the UWSP Library Homepage)

Library of Congress Catalog

  2. Shopping Mainly for New Books

        2.1  Large Online Stores (also some used) (FS)

Barnes and Nobles (also some used) (ASE, FS) (FS)

          2.2  Bargain Bookstores

                    Book Closeouts

                    Aardbargain Books

                    Bargain sections of  Barnes and Nobles,, and many others.

          2.3  Speciality Book Stores

Materials Science & Engineering Books (slight discount)

2.4  Comparison Shopping for New and Discounted Books

Best Book Buys* (also some used)

AddALL--Book Search and Price Comparison

DirectTextBook (also some used)

FetchBook.Info (also some used)* (also some used)

3.  Buying Used Books

3.1  From Individuals (Mainly) (WL)

EBay (Books)

3.2  From One of Hundreds of Independent Bookstores, such as: (FS above $50)

Powell's (also new; FS above $50)

3.3  From Listing Services (searching for used books in many bookstores at once)

3.3.1  Search-only Services (buy directly from individual online stores)

Antiqbook (focus on European books) (ASE)

BiblioDirect (ASE, WL)

Bibliophile (ASE, WL)

Bookavenue (ASE, WL)

International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB-LILI) (ASE)

Zentrales Verzeichnis Antiquarischer Buecher (ZVAB) (mostly European/German book sellers) (ASE)

3.3.2  Search-and-Sell Services (similar to 3.3.1, but with convenient one-stop shopping option)

Advance Book Exchange (Abebooks) (ASE)

Alibris (also new) (ASE, WL, FS)

BiblioQuest International (located in Australia but sells internationally) (ASE)

Maremagnum Librorum (mostly European/Italian book sellers) (ASE, WL) ABookCoOp (ASE)

3.4  Utilizing  "Meta" Search Sites ("Search-Them-All" Sites) to locate wanted books

In my view, this is by far the most efficient approach since such searches cover the most ground.
 (emphasis: North American sellers )*
 (formerly: Search and Find Books; emphasis: European sellers)*

4. Selling your books

4.1  Through Online Book Listing Services (see 3.3):

          Abebooks (monthly listing fee starting with $25 for up to 500 books; 8% sales commission;
          plus 5.5% credit card processing fee--if processed by Abebooks)

          Alibris (one-time sign up-fee of $19.99; 20% of sales/credit card processing commission
          for books under $500; no monthly listing fees; permits listing of books which are not included
          Alibris' database; unlimited listing period)

 marketplace ($ .99 plus sales/credit card processing fee of 15%; no monthly
          listing fees; biweekly payments to seller's checking account; listing needs to be renewed if
          item does not sell within 60 days; for non-ProMerchant subscribers, items need to be included
          in Amazon's database).

          BiblioDirect (previous experience as book seller, monthly listing fee, starting with $25)

          Bookavenue (monthly listing fee, starting with $5 for up to 200 books; no sales commission;
          credit card processing option)

 (sales/payment processing fee of 15%--less for expensive books; only books with
          ISBN in's database can be listed; originally scheduled to cease operation in Nov. 2004,
          it now continues operation for "indefinitely.")

 (set-up similar to, but with a lower sales/payment processing commission
          rate of only 8%; payments are transferred biweekly to seller's PayPal account.)

           Maremagnum Librorum (European focus; 1 Euro plus 5% fee for CC transactions; no monthly
           listing fees; monthly payments to U.S. bank account)

  4.3  Through Online Auction

E-Bay (Books) (listing fee plus commission on final sale)


5. Other Book Buying-and-Selling Options

5.1  Electronic Discussion Groups, such as:

Bibliophile Mailing List (for buying and selling rare, out-of-print, scarce books; $30/year)

5.2  People-Mediated Book Search Services, such as:

Abracadabra Booksearch International

For similar services see Books and Books Collecting.

5.3  Books Sales in the USA (by state):  Book Sale Finder




          *          author's favorite for book searches

ASE    advanced search engine options (or default)

WL     wish/wanted list option

FS      free shipping for orders above a certain mimimum


Last updated: 02/02/2007