Bity Book Bite: Online or Bookstore? Used books

One major obstacle when choosing between buying a book at the bookstore or ordering the book online is whether or not the book will be in good condition. Especially used books.

There is a catch 22 of sorts when buying a book from the bookstore may produce a book that when you flip through a few pages they fall out or when ordering online a person says the book is “used-like new.”

At least at the University of Dallas, they allow students to sift through a used book before they buy it. That way they can see for sure whether or not the book will last.

Online there is no way to check and see. You just have to wait and hope for the best. Also what may seem to the online seller as “like new” may turn out to be different than what you consider.

Personally, if one has to use the internet to get used books then one good guide is to pay attention to the grades people give the seller. Here are a few examples:

  • Amazon.com uses a star system with their sellers but they also have sellers promoted by themselves. Those are the sellers to buy from because it is more likely to get a used book in good shape though their prices may be higher than other used book sellers.

  • Half.com uses votes but allows people to scroll down and choose what condition of used book they want and choose the star rating of their seller feedback in regard to the used book.

  • Barnes and Noble.com uses ratings and stars for their used books. Along with where the book will be shipping from and its due days of arrival:

If anything, when buying used always make sure the money going into the purchase was spent wisely.

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