Tips for Bargain Book Shopping
Are you normally a Goodwill shopper? If not, you should definitely check out their book section if nothing else. Each store prices their items differently, but ours prices children’s books from $.25 to $1.00 usually. AND, our local stores do several sales a year where the entire store is 50% off! I get a babysitter and set aside some time to sift through the book section and go home with no less than 10-20 books at a time. You do need to flip through the pages to ensure there is no damage, or they aren’t too worn for your liking as Goodwill takes just about anything and just puts the items out. If used books skeeve you out, think of it like the library. All of the books in a library are “used.” Even so, I do try to wipe down hard cover and board books with a gentle cleaner before putting them on the bookshelf.
Where we live, we have a children’s consignment store called Once Upon a Child. I think most towns have something similar even if the store goes by a different name. These stores take ONLY children’s items, and they only take items in good condition. This will save you some time as you are going through the book selection because you shouldn’t have to worry about books with writing in them, ripped out pages, etc. Prices may be slightly higher than Goodwill, in the $.50-$3.00 range, but still significantly cheaper than buying new. Also consider braving the crowds at children’s consignment sales. These functions are usually biannual, and are set up only for a few days in a local school. Sellers price their own items though, so you never know what kind of deal you will be getting.
Last but not least, the bargain shopper’s holy grail, YARD SALES! Obviously this is a seasonal thing, so from Spring until Fall, keep your eye out for advertisements on Craigslist, in the newspaper, and on all the electric poles on street corners. This is where you will find the absolute best deals and on top of that, you can barter a bit to get the price down. Don’t be afraid to make an offer, especially when buying in quantity. People just want to get this stuff out of their house so they are almost always willing to make a deal to see it gone.