SELLING YOUR BOOKS TO AQUA BOOKS
Please Note: Aqua Books is not currently buying books. This page is left here for your information, enjoyment and possible confusion.
Hi, bookstore owner Kelly Hughes here. So you want to sell your books, eh? This page will tell you how we do that.
(If you're too impatient to read this whole thing, at least read these first two paragraphs so you don't
waste your time [and mine]. Don't get mad at me later if you haven't read things right.) On average, 2500 books walk in our front door every week. If you
bring books in, you will be asked to leave them with your name and number, and we'll get back to you within a week or so. (In addition to the bookstore, we run a bustling
restaurant, plus one of Winnipeg's busiest venues upstairs.) We only buy books, we don't do trade or
When buying, I pay 15-20% of our selling price. Our selling price is generally 1/4 to 1/2 of
the price of a new book, depending on condition and demand. We keep our selling price lower
than many other bookstores, and therefore you may get more money somewhere else. I like to think I have a reputation for
paying a fair price, but I also want to be really straightforward. If you're trying to get as much cash as you can, you may want to try somewhere else
(see the list at the bottom of the page). If I agree to buy some of your books,
I'll write down the cash amount, and you can say yes or no. Because that's the final number. I don't negotiate.
(Do these seem like odd things to be saying? You understand that I'm running a business [and paying staff and overhead], but you'd
be surprised at the number of people who don't get it. Having an unhappy and failed transaction with someone can ruin both
their day and mine, and I try to head these things off at the pass.) If we come to an agreement on the phone or via email, you
have four months to pick up your cash/cheque/books. After that, everything goes away.
Okay, if you're still reading, good for you. People are in such a hurry, no?
Now Aqua Books is one of the few used bookstores in
the city to offer quality and selection without
sacrificing affordability. From this year's titles to the
enduring classics to the just plain interesting, we have some of the best books
in a variety of areas, and over 85% of our 40,000
in-stock books are priced under $10. There are
certain authors that we are almost always buying,
but our need for other books depends on our stock
and the demand for those titles. We put out almost
1000 new books a week and reject hundreds of
others. Before you lug ten boxes of books across
town, check out our sample list of wanted authors, which also
includes details on book condition, and transportation and storage.
If you're still not sure, call
Kelly at 943-7555 during store hours, or email me
anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to
give you a better idea of our current needs.
(NOTE: But please don't email me an Excel sheet of all of your books.
I would be happy to give you a general idea of what we'll buy, but I don't have the time to go line-by-line through
a list and check yes or no. It's more time-consuming for me than actually physically buying books. I'm afraid I would
rather judge a book by its cover than look up every unfamiliar-sounding title or author. Thanks.)
Additionally, you can go to our New Books This Week page to see some of the things that
we consider very saleable. Or, if all this is way more than you ever wanted to know and you just want your old books
to go away and you don't want anything for them because they might not be worth anything anyway [deep breath], just drop them off anytime. We'll use what we can use, donate what we can't use and recycle the unsaveable.
SELLING & TRADING YOUR USED BOOKS IN WINNIPEG
- A ROUGH GUIDE
At this writing, there are about 20 used bookstores in Winnipeg. All of them buy books from people and some of them trade as well. Most stores are packed pretty tight, with anywhere from 20-100,000 books in stock depending on their square footage. Some of these books sit on the shelves for a long time before the right buyer comes along. Partly as a result of this high inventory, most bookdealers pay 15-20% of the price they will sell a book for. (Winnipeg has some of the lowest buying and selling prices in the country. Book dealers in some other cities pay 30% and even up to 50%.)
For a newer book, a dealer's selling price will generally be about 50% of the original price. (Older books may vary.) For example, if you bring in a book that you bought last week for $20, a dealer might sell it for $10 and pay you $2. Selling your books may not make you rich, but it can be a great way to make some space at home. Trading is another way to go, although some bookstores, such as Aqua Books, Nerman's and Greenfield's, only buy. The stores that do trade will offer anywhere from 30-66% in credit. The Bookshelf, Red River and Bookfair (Bookfair gives 66%, although they generally only take newer books) are three of the largest used bookstores that offer trading.
Many bookstores that offer trading now charge 6% GST, plus a 7% or 10% trading fee. Many of these stores also require that you trade like for like (ie. within a specific section).
One thing that affects selling prices is the internet. Almost half of the used book dealers in Winnipeg also sell their books on the web. These prices can be quite high and almost all internet prices are in U.S. dollars. (If you want an idea of the price range, check out www.abebooks.com.) Burton Lysecki, Nerman's and Greenfield are three major internet players.
At Aqua Books, we sell our books for 1/4 to 1/2 of what you would pay for a new book, depending on condition and demand. We are proud to be one of the most affordable bookstores in the city, and as a result, our buying price tends to be a little less. If you brought us that same $20 book, we might sell it for $7, and give you $1.40.
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