Over the last few months, I've really gotten serious about trying to declutter our house. With Goose's growing toy collection, I realized it was essential to get a handle on our STUFF. J-bird and I have struggled with saving every book we ever bought or were gifted. We were mentally tying our knowledge to the books on our shelves. Like most of you, we didn't have the room to keep all of the books, and wanted to free up space for other things. So we've sold or donated many books over the last few months.
Here are some options for unloading unwanted books:
DonateMake sure to ask for a tax receipt. The Salvation Army has a valuation guide that may be helpful for your tax preparation. If you have any questions for tax purposes, please review IRS publications or consult a tax professional.
We normally take donations to Goodwill, mostly because it's convenient for us.
Though they are mostly for furniture and building supplies, our ReSale also takes books and some other smaller household items.
Your Local Library, Children's Hospital, or Domestic Violence Shelter
There are numerous other options for donating books, but in my experience, if it takes a trip to the post office and calculating/paying for shipping, it's more unlikely it will ever happen. The goal is to declutter, the path should be simple.
SellThe goal is to get rid of STUFF that's keeping you from living the life you want, the bonus is any money you make.
Prices typically aren't that great, probably topping out at $1. A yard sale is a great option for books that other sellers won't accept, but that you still want to try to sell for a bit of money. Yard sales take a lot of preparation and significant time commitment during the actual sale, but if you have several items to unload and a good location, it's a great option. (More on yard sales in a future post.)
If the books don't sell at the yard sale, then you can load them up with everything else that doesn't sell and donate.
I recently sold two books to Cash4Books and made around $16. Pretty good for two old books that I didn't need anymore. Easy shipping, similar to Amazon, and I received a check in the mail within two weeks. They will also pay via PayPal. (Disclosure: I am affiliated with Cash4Books.)
Half Price Books
In our area, we have Half Price Books. We've sold a lot of books to them. Probably more than we should have. When they first opened in our area, they were paying great for books. Lately, their prices seem to be extremely low. I guess everyone got the same idea to unload old books. Half Price Books will also buy recent issues of magazines in good condition.
I've sold several old textbooks to eCampus over the years, mostly during college. Free shipping, prompt payment. Again, it's for selling textbooks.
Amazon Book Buyback
I recently sold some textbooks back to Amazon and got $15 in Amazon credit, and just sent off a box of two other non-textbook books for another $13. You print out a prepaid label and send the books on their way. When Amazon gets the package, they put the credit in your account. Easy and quick!
We've never sold on Amazon Marketplace, but it appears to be similar to eBay. This is not an ideal option if you're just looking to unload unwanted books with minimal time commitment.
Remember, just because you donate or sell a book doesn't mean you didn't value it or remember the lessons it helped you learn. You're not running a library. Good luck with getting rid of your books and decluttering your life!