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Bookshop Santa Cruz's Used Books

Please note: our Used Book Buying Desk will be closed December 14th-24th for the holidays. It will reopen at normal hours and policies December 26th. It will be closed on New Year's Day for our annual sale.

We Want Your Used Books!

Bookshop Santa Cruz has been buying used books from the community for many years. We are always excited to bring in a fresh, diverse selection of used books at affordable prices. We love going through boxes and bags of books, and we are happy to share our discoveries with the community. It is our hope that this website might provide answers to some of our frequently asked questions about our used book buying policies.

If you have any additional questions or comments not answered here, please call us at (831) 423-0900 or send us an email at We are happy to answer questions, though we cannot give quotes in advance.

Please note: As of Sunday, September 9th, 2018, our daily per person used book buying limits have changed. To better serve our community following Logos's closure in 2017, any single person is now limited to three bags or two boxes per one day. Our Used Book Buying Desk is still open on a first come, first served basis, starting at 9:00 am, seven days a week. If you have any questions about this new policy, please e-mail Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

How do I sell you my used books? Can I make an appointment?

Our Used Book Buying Desk is open 7 days a week at 9:00 am. We operate on a first come, first served basis, and because we can only take in the amount of books that we can process in one day, we often fill up for the day within an hour of opening. If you are interested in selling used books to us, we recommend that you arrive at our Front Street entrance right before we open at 9:00 am. We give priority to people who are at the store when we open, but if this is inconvenient, you can also call us at 9:00, and if we have space we can reserve a same-day appointment for you. Our daily maximum per person is two boxes, or three bags. We do not book appointments in advance or via e-mail. 

If you cannot be at our Front Street entrance before 9:00 am, please ALWAYS call us before coming down. If we still have room that day, we will give you a time by which you need to drop your books off. The closer you call to 9:00 am, the more likely it is that we will still have room on a particular day.

When you bring in your books, we will ask for your name, phone number, and an ID (a driver’s license, official state ID, military ID, or a passport will suffice), and the buyer will tell you what time to return that day to claim your offer. Due to limited space, we are unable to hold your books overnight, so we require that you return that day to claim your offer and any books we do not buy. Books that are not claimed by closing are automatically donated to charity. If you have any questions about this process, please ask any of our employees.

What kind of books are you looking for?

The easiest way to explain what we’re looking for is to say that we want a reflection of our current inventory. If you’ve seen a book in our store recently, we probably want to buy it used. We almost always need fiction, mystery, and science fiction titles. We also buy kids books, particularly early reader titles, popular series, and young adult novels. 

What kind of books do you NOT want?

We don’t take hardcover books that have come out in paperback.

We don’t take outdated nonfiction titles, such as travel books, health books, or reference books. We are not able to take textbooks.

We do not buy used audio books, as we have no way of verifying if they work properly.

We do not buy used magazines or periodicals.

All other books we will be happy to look at, though we do not guarantee purchase of any book. We purchase books, again, based on our current new inventory, as well as if we already have used copies of a particular book, and on the sales history of the book, as well as the condition.

What kind of condition should the books be in?

Condition is important! We automatically decline any books with water damage, highlighting, excessive underlining or writing, or damaged (cracked) spines. We also do not want books that are stained, ripped, torn, missing pages or material, or smell like mold. We do not buy book club editions. We may purchase books with a minor amount of wear for a lower price.

What do you pay?

We sell our used books for 50-60% of the book’s cover price, and so we buy them from you for 20-30% of the cover price—depending on the condition and whether you take cash or store credit. All books we purchase from you will receive both a cash offer and a store credit offer, with the store credit offer always being more than the cash. Our store credit is good for purchase of anything that we sell in Bookshop Santa Cruz, no limits.

We also sell used books!

Because we’re busy buying used books from the community every day, we also have a great selection of used books to offer for sale! Our used book stock is integrated throughout the store, in their respective sections, next to any new copies. All used books are marked on the spine with a "USED" sticker, and the used book price is listed on the back by the barcode. Our used books are typically priced at 50-60% of the original cover price.

We also feature several bins of new arrivals, sorted into fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, and science fiction. These are located near the Mystery and Science Fiction sections, next to the Information desk, and in our Paperback Fiction room.

The majority of our used books are in inventory, so if you are looking for something in particular in used books, ask a bookseller at our Information Desk - or call ahead at 831-423-0900. 

Further questions, or suggestions? Give us a call at 831-423-0900 or send us an e-mail at