Though these days I’m more likely to read on my Kindle, a few weeks ago I got a hankering to read some of the old chapter books from my childhood. I inhaled a couple Rugrats books, and then ventured on to my beloved Junie B. Jones collection for Parks’ much needed comedic genius. And, then it occurred to me… why haven’t I bought the entire series by now?
Growing up, my parents bought me the Junie B. Jones books in random order, so I have bits and pieces of the series. I’ve always promised myself that I’d eventually fill in the gaps of the collection, and so that Sunday night a couple months ago, I did just that, using ThriftBooks. This was my first time using the website to add to my book collection, and here’s an honest review of how the experience went.
Disclaimer: I am not a paid associate of or influencer for ThriftBooks. The following review is an honest reflection on my experience shopping via their website and app.
What is ThriftBooks?
ThriftBooks is an online book retailer that offers new and used books, as well as collectible books. According to their website, ThriftBooks is currently “the world’s largest online independent used bookseller”.
Why Did I Choose ThriftBooks?
I chose ThriftBooks for filling in the gaps of my Junie B. Jones collection 1) Because my original books have the 90s/2000s covers, and I knew I could find the additions with those matching covers there, 2) I knew it may be a less expensive alternative for finding those editions, and 3) I had first heard about ThriftBooks years ago, and had never had the guts to try it.
My ThriftBooks Experience
Initially, I thought that finding the original covers would be difficult, as I didn’t know how many were still in circulation; however, ThriftBooks helped me located the ones I needed (seven different titles) within a half-hour on their app. The process may would have taken even less time if I had not been distracted by the TV that night. Both the app and the website are super user-friendly and easy to navigate.
ThriftBooks offers the following ranges of book conditions for shoppers to base their purchasing decisions on: New, Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable. Six books I bought were considered “Like New”, while the only copy they had of the remaining book, with the cover I wanted, was in “Good” condition. In my opinion, finding six out of seven books in the “Like New” condition, when the books are over twenty years old, was a blessing.
These seven books ended up costing me $35.24 total (sales tax included, with free shipping), which, yes, is a little steep considering the same books are available on Amazon for $3.50 – $4.00 each. But, since Amazon doesn’t have the editions with the 90s/2000s covers, I was willing to overlook that slight price increase.
The “Like New” books cost $4.79 each, while the “Good” one was discounted to $4.19. I was able to pay through PayPal, which eased my anxiety about purchasing from a website I had never done business with before.
My order was placed on June 27th, and by July 3rd, all the books had arrived. Though it’s not quite the same speed as Amazon Prime, ThriftBooks is still quick compared to Barnes & Noble, and other, non-bookish online stores I’ve purchased from recently.
Now, for the most meaningful part of the review… the quality. Because ThriftBooks is a used bookstore, I was wary about the products I would receive. In all honesty, however, despite being able to tell that some of the “Like New” books were previously owned due to some including name plates and stickers, the overall quality of the books were as good as the ones from my own collection. I had mentally prepared myself for the “Good” one beforehand, expecting the worst-case-scenario, and was pleasantly surprised to find the only thing wrong with it is a small, semi-questionable brown stain (I hope it was from chili or chocolate ice cream) on one page. Other than that, it looked just as good as the “Like New” books.
My first experience with ThriftBooks was better than I expected. Their user interface’s ease of access, as well as their diverse inventory when it comes to different editions of titles, impressed me. I will note that, because I mostly read ebooks now and prefer to buy physical books new, I may not use ThriftBooks as my go-to bookstore in the future, unless I’m looking for specific editions like in this case. Nevertheless, if you like to buy used books, I highly recommend checking out ThriftBooks.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Do you shop on ThriftBooks? What deals have you snagged there? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.