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Tips & Techniques > Buying used books, saving money

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Posted by: meanjean
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About meanjean star
TX United States
Member since: 5/4/05
Reviews: 51 (tips: 7)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 11 people
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Posted on: 12/9/06 9:33 AM
Last Updated: 1/14/07 10:37 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 13 people   
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This isn't a sewing tip, but one related to most sewer's journey through their hobby. I posted a book review on Pattern Review recently and realized I had taken for granted that everyone knew you could purchase used books on line.

Some sewiing books are a gamble in terms of laying out hard earned dollars, and libraries don't always have the book you are looking for. In this case, you have a third option. By it used. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble tap into used books sellers, and there is also my favorite: As someone else pointed out, there are other sites like

The prices will be all over the map. Don't judge based on price, judge based on condition. I've had at least 100 experiences buying via alibris and have never had a bad one. And I've saved tons of $$$, and my judgement mistakes weren't nearly as painful.

Lastly, just a warning: For used books, I prefer *not* shopping off If you go to or, you can actually read details about the condition of books. If you shop on Amazon for used books, you can't easily get to that detail.

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kfletch1 said... (3/18/07 11:12 AM) Reply
Great tip! I never thought of that but alibris will be my next stop online.
Janime said... (1/25/07 12:58 PM) Reply
Aha! My DH has used alibris for ages to get used books. Don't know why I never thought to use it myself. Great tip, thanks!
nancy2001 said... (12/11/06 10:46 AM) Reply
Great tip. When I'm shopping online, I always buy used books if they're available. I judge by price, seller's reputation and geographic distance from me. Why spend $25 for a book, when you can get it for $5? Also I've borrowed many books from the public library. If a library book is turns out to be a must have, I track down a used copy online.
Irene Q said... (12/10/06 3:17 PM) Reply
Excellent tip! My husband also uses - never had a problem.
BARBARA J said... (12/10/06 9:19 AM) Reply
Rather than check sites such as Amazon, Half, and Alibris individually, I found a shopping bot such as will check multiple sites, figure the shipping, and list the results in order of ascending price. Invaluable when buying DD college texts!
Elaray said... (12/10/06 6:44 AM) Reply
I've made purchases from Alibris. In addition to used books, you can get OOP new books at discounted prices. I usually check Alibris first when looking for sewing books.
Patzee said... (12/10/06 2:00 AM) Reply
Good tip!
solosmocker said... (12/9/06 9:05 PM) Reply
Thanks, this is great information.
Linda Mae said... (12/9/06 11:07 AM) Reply
I've used for some time now and have never had any problems. Books are usually as described (be sure to read the listing carefully) and receive items quickly. Great web site to find any book you may want.
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