Find New and Used Items for Way Below Retail!
If you love reading, music and movies as much as I do, you’ve probably noticed that these can be expensive habits. Over the years, I have found several ways to save money without skimping on quality or waiting months for new releases to find their way to the bargain bin. Of course, you can save even more if you are willing to buy or swap used items, but by using the resources below, you can also find new books, CDs and DVDs at discounted prices.
Where to Swap Online
There are several websites dedicated solely to swapping goods via the Internet. Most of them are easy to use and have a wide selection of items to choose from. This is a great way to exchange books, CDs, DVDs and other items that you no longer want for things that will be “new” to you.
Swap Tree – This is my favorite swapping site for books, CDs and DVDs. When I began using this site it took me about 5 minutes to register and list the books that I had chosen as test swaps. Within 24 hours, I already had two swaps and was completely sold on this great site.
So, here’s how it works – you find books, CDs or DVDs that you no longer want and list them on the site simply by typing in their ISBN or UPC. With that info, the site automatically creates a listing with a picture and description. Then, you enter items that you want on your “want list,” or browse the site and click on available items to add them. Once a trade has been found, you receive an email with the option to accept or deny the trade. If you accept, you print a media mail shipping label right on the site and send your item off to your trade partner.
Most of the items I swap were purchased used or on sale either online or at stores, so I didn’t pay full price for them in the first place. Now, swapping them for something else that I want and only paying shipping (about $2.50 per book) makes my little frugal heart smile. And, here’s a tip to save even more money – keep the shipping envelopes from the swaps you receive and reuse them for your next swap!
Bookins – This is another site where you can swap books and DVDs with other registered users. Books are given a point value, so you get points for each item you ship and then use those points to select items you want. You pay a flat shipping rate of $4.99 for each item that you receive. Items that you send are shipped with a free shipping label you print off the site.
Paperback Swap – This is another points-based swapping club where you can print a shipping label on the site (usually about $2.13) and can swap CDs, DVDs, and books.
Title Trader – Title Trader is also a points-based swapping club where you can swap not only books, but also CDs, DVDs, sporting goods, tools, jewelry, office products, software, toys and even VHS tapes. Like the above sites, you list your items and get points each time you send one of your items to another user. Then you use those points to “purchase” things on the site. You can also buy points if you don’t have enough for something that you want.
Another great way to swap (and save on shipping) is to start your own local swapping group in your community, on yahoo groups or with your friends.
Where to Compare Prices and Buy Online
Another great way to save money on books, CDs or DVDs is to use one of the many websites that will search and compare prices for you. If I can’t find what I’m looking for on a swapping site, this is the next place I look for the best prices.
Cheapest Book Price – Simply type in the ISBN, title, author or keywords for the book you are looking for and this site will tell you which online stores have it and allows you to see all of the prices at once. It will also tell you if the item is new or used and how much you will pay for shipping.
Cheapest CD Price – This is a sister site to Cheapest Book Price and works exactly the same way, just for CDs instead of books.
Cheapest DVD Price – Yep, same thing as above, but this time for DVDs.
Amazon – Amazon, of course, is a major online marketplace for books, CDs and DVDS and tons of other items. For the best deals, bypass their listed price and look for the link that says “used & new available from…” – that is where you will find the best prices. It still goes through Amazon, even though many of the sellers are smaller stores, and these purchases aren’t eligible for Amazon’s Super Saver Shipping. But, with used books for as little as $1.50 in some cases, it’s definitely worth a look.
Price Viewer– On this website, like Cheapest Price Books, you enter the book you are looking for using the title, author, keywords or ISBN, then the site searches for you and presents you with a list of booksellers and their prices. If you are serious about saving, it’s worth doing a search on both Cheapest Book Price and Price Viewer – I’ve noticed that sometimes different sites are listed on each one.
eBay – eBay is great auction website for finding lower priced goods. The key to big savings is to have the patience to lose a few auctions and to watch out for the shipping prices. Sometimes you will find a great price on an item, only to find that the shipping charge is more than the item is worth. Also, always check some of the search and compare sites listed above before you bid – quite often I will find a price through those sites that is lower than the minimum bid for the same item on eBay.
Book Closeouts – You may not always find bestsellers on this site, but all of the items are listed below retail price. For the best deals, check out the “Scratch & Dent” section, where most items are discounted by 75%.