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Selling Second Hand Books

Home > Sydney > Markets
Published December 31st 2010
There is nothing more satisfying than finishing an engaging novel. But, the problem most of us face going into the New Year is figuring out what to do with those books we don't want to save for posterity.

Luckily, there are a variety of options that a canny Spring cleaner can make use of.


While we all enjoy the feeling of a pristine new book, the hefty price tag can make us baulk at the thought of simply giving them away. So, if your books are in good condition - or form part of a collection - perhaps you should consider selling them on Ebay.

This option is particularly useful for those rare, collectable, or antique tomes that you no longer enjoy storing on your shelves or coffee tables. The books on Ebay are ordered according to classification, ranging from fiction to comic books.

Of course, not every book will sell itself on Ebay, and for the more battered and pre-loved books, it may be advisable to avoid the impersonal online forum, and instead sell your books in a more community orientated garage sale.

Although many of us will have grown up with garage sales advertised through home made banners plastered around telegraph poles in our general area, the 21st century garage sale is publicised on Facebook, Twitter, and even on specialised websites.

It may be useful to bear in mind that most people frequenting garage sales are not inclined to make large purchases. Make sure that you price your books accordingly.


If you are an avid book reader, you may want to trade in old books for new books. If this is your preference, you should look up your local second-hand book stores and see whether they run a book exchange program.

In a book exchange, such as the North Sydney Book Exchange, you can bring in some of your old books and trade them in for other second-hand titles.

One common pitfall in this process is assuming that the shops will be interested in every one of your titles. Take the time to contact the bookseller to see whether they are interested in your collectable back issues of Mad Magazine before making the trip and you will spare yourself and a harried shopkeeper a lot of inconvenience.


This third and final option is perhaps the best way to ensure your pre-loved books will be most appreciated. Although several suggestions have been made below, you might consider contacting your local churches or community organisations to see whether you can offer your collections in your local areas.

Alternatively, the Smith Family charity bins will accept book donations. But, do make sure that you're donating only those books you genuinely think will be useful for the charity; the bins are primarily for clothing disadvantaged people.

Some wings of the St Vincent de Paul Society accepts donations of books, so you should contact your nearest centre to confirm.

Finally, The Footpath Library seeks to deliver a varied supply of books to homeless and disadvantaged people living in temporary accommodation or on the streets. Book donations must be of a high quality and fall into the category of fiction and non-fiction, although some genres are not accepted, including true crime, restaurant crimes, sport, and books with suicide, depression or drug themes.

Regardless of the avenue you choose to explore, it is evident that clearing out your old books can enrich you, your bookshelf and even other people.
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Why? To clear out your shelves
Lifeline and local libraries (even school libraries) are two more places you could donate your books.
By Vanessa M - senior reviewer
Sunday, 3rd of June @ 01:05 pm
My Probus Club has a 'Library table'. We take, bring back to share our favourite authors. Last month James Patterson was the 'flavour of the month'. Cook books, travel books - you name it, we have it!
By Gloria - reader
Monday, 20th of August @ 08:01 pm
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