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Posted 10/28/2005 12:01 AM
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Edward C. Baig
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How would you like to buy today's best-selling books for 30% or
40% off the suggested retail price? You can on the Internet as
long as you don't mind buying a "slightly used" copy. There's
hardly a wait because used copies of best-sellers are often
available just a few days after their release. (Related item: Ask
Kim)
Big online retailer Amazon (www.amazon.com) lists used books
alongside new ones. On a book's product page, there's usually a
link for used copies. It lists the number of available copies and a
starting price.
Click the link to see what's available. Sellers list the price and
condition, along with special notes. You buy used books the
same way you buy new ones. Amazon processes the payments
and the seller ships the book directly to you.
If you're skeptical about a seller, review the rating and comments
left by other buyers.
Amazon isn't the only game in town. Alibris (www.alibris.com)
specializes in used and new books. It connects independent
booksellers to buyers. Again, the book's condition is listed along
with other notes. The selection is impressive.
Abebooks (www.abebooks.com) and Barnes and Noble (www.
barnesandnoble.com) are similar to Alibris. Sellers are
independent booksellers. None of these sites takes possession
of the books. They simply facilitate the transactions.
Powell's Books (www.powells.com) also has a separate used
section. It's like a traditional book store. Copies are shipped
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/2005-10-28-used-books_x.htm (1 of 2)10/28/2005 1:05:44 AM
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USATODAY.com - Get best-sellers on the cheap at Internet's used bookstores
directly from the store.
You also can try eBay (www.ebay.com) if you feel like bidding. Or
eBay's subsidiary, Half.com (www.half.com), lists items at a predetermined price. Books are grouped by condition, and sellers
can leave special notes for buyers.
Most people who buy from these sites are looking to buy recent
releases at deep discounts, but you also can find old classics.
Avid collectors peruse these sites looking for rare books. The
rare ones are easy to spot because they have hefty price tags.
If you're a student or know one, many of these sites sell used
textbooks, which can add up to considerable savings, too.
You also might want to sell your slightly used books. Amazon,
Half.com and eBay make it easy. Commissions are low, so you'll
likely make more than at your local used bookstore.
Amazon has a "Sell Yours Here" link on product pages. Click the
link and set your price. Amazon charges 99 cents, plus15 percent
of the sales price and a low closing fee (usually less than $1).
You get a credit to cover shipping. You pay when your book sells.
Half.com takes a percentage of the selling price. It varies based
on the price range. For items under $50, it's 15%. Half.com
reimburses you for shipping.
Ebay charges a listing fee and a percentage of the sale. Fees are
tiered; consult eBay's fees page for details.
Komando hosts a national talk radio show about computers and
the Internet. Go to www.komando.com to subscribe to her e-mail
newsletter or find a station near that broadcasts her radio
program. E-mail her at [email protected]
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http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/2005-10-28-used-books_x.htm (2 of 2)10/28/2005 1:05:44 AM