Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alibris.com - Used Books and More

Alibris.com is an excellent used book site. I was looking for a very particular book entitled Internet: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks and if you will click on the link, you will see what Alibris brought up in its search results. Pretty impressive indeed. I bought the book for $1.99 plus $3.99 shipping. This rate is nearly identical to Amazon.com. The point here is that this site is able to compete against one of the all-time monsters of the Internet in terms of 1st and 2nd-hand books. Remember way back when Amazon.com was strictly a bookstore? Actually, I have been able to find some used books on Alibris.com that I could not find (or at least not as cheaply) on Amazon Marketplace (Amazon's used merchandise center).

It is pretty simple to maneuver through Alibris's site. Like most online used book outlets, this site is expanding to now include movies and music, as well. A tip that I discovered is that if you click on the word "Search" in the top left corner of the site, it brings up the Advanced Search window. Here you can search Books, Movies (both old and new) and Music (pop/jazz or classical). The results will be listed with a New or Used icon at the left. So, you have results that are either new or used, depending on your price range and particularity. You can sort your results by price, for instance, or you can click on the Narrow your results by: link, which includes hardcover, softcover, signed, audiobook, first edition, etc. The site is filled with audiobooks, which I like a lot, so if you searched for a particular author, you could then click on the Audiobook link to bring up all of the audiobooks by that author. Is there a book you cannot find? Try the "Book Fetch" link at the left, or add a title to your Wish List. Submitting a request to Book Fetch works well. Every time a book gets added to the Alibris inventory, Book Fetch will see if it matches your request. If it finds a match, you will be notified via e-mail.

Search Tips:

  • Less is more. A few general search criteria will yield the greatest number of matches. If you're not sure about the accuracy of any of the fields, such as the book title, then it's best not to enter it.

  • More is less. The more search criteria you provide, the fewer and more precise matches you'll receive.

  • Use wildcard power. If you add an asterisk (*) to a partial word, you will get back listings with words that contain that root word. For instance, "rail*" will yield books with titles that contain the words: "rail", "railroad", "railways", "railroading", and so on.

If you buy $49.00 worth of books from Alibris at one time, which qualify for SVS (Super Value Shipping), all shipping will be free. Look for the little SVS truck icon. All of the books here quality for SVS.

One more buying tip: Alibris QuickBuy. This is where Alibris.com selects the lowest cost copy of a book in "very good" condition or better from their most reliable sellers. This is a great way to find the used book you're looking for at a very reasonable price. Click here to find out more about QuickBuy. Overall, I like Alibris.com, and would recommend it if you're looking for anything in the way of used books, music or movies. You can try the sites you use normally, but compare the results with Alibris.com and see if you don't add this site to your Favorites. My guess is that you will.

1 comment:

  1. www.chegg.com
    try this site, it's a great place to rent textbooks from. it saves me a lot money every year.

    ReplyDelete