Several years ago a classmate at UMSL told me about this great website (Paperbackswap.com) where you can swap books with other people. Since then, it has become my favorite way to get books for home and teaching!
You can post any books that you want to trade and create your own wish list of books you want. When someone wants one of your books, you mail it to them and get a credit. You can mail it using postage printed from the site or go to the post office. Then you can use your credits to get other books you want. The site will automatically notify you when one of your wish list books is available.
There is a membership fee for the site, but after years of them offering this service for free, it makes sense that they need funds to keep the site going. There are three levels:
- Standard Membership – $20 a year. Comes with a 500-item Wish List and the most new features.
- Limited Membership – $12 a year. Comes with a 200-item Wish List and some new features.
- A La Carte Membership – no annual fee. Instead, you pay 49 cents (or use a “free swap” that you can earn by mailing with Printable Postage) when you submit a book request. 100- item Wish List.
I chose the Standard Membership because I have been building up my library of books for teaching pre-K. I now have a huge bookshelf of titles for each of the themes I teach. I used to sell my old books on Amazon, but now there are so many listings on there and you have to register to have a seller account. Selling your books to a secondhand store or Half Price Books usually yields very little per book.
Ways to get cheap books to KEEP or SWAP:
- books my family no longer wants or has outgrown
- Good Will finds – you can often find good quality books for very cheap at Good Will. Sometimes I will get a book I want to read and then swap it!
- resale shops
- purchases from other teachers (often a box of many titles)
- hand-me-downs from friends
- used book sales (like at your local community center)
- Scholastic Book orders from your child’s school
- bargain books at bookstores like Barnes & Noble
- Half Price Books
- sale shelf at your local library
- garage sales
- Amazon.com third-party sellers
They also have a CD sister site and a DVD sister site. I have used the DVD site, too, and gotten lots of movies we wanted.
If you have any questions about swapping, let me know and I will be glad to help!
- Saving money – teacher edition (updated)
- Free consumer resources from Uncle Sam
- Items you don’t always (and in some cases shouldn’t) have to pay for