Hey guys! Look, I don’t think I can turn this into a Top Ten list, but I kind of like the topic. So I figured I’d talk about what I did discover this last year, even if I’ve already done an essayish post on this before. It’s worth mentioning again.
Look, I’m cheap. I’ll own it. I’m a millennial who only last month finally paid off all college loans and I now have a massive mortgage I’m working on. I want to get books for a good deal and Thriftbooks helps me do that. But there are some pros and cons.
Pros: Thriftbooks has a pretty wide selection of books. Hardback, paperback, and even collector editions if you’re interested in that. Prices most often fall around $4.29 per book if you want it to look newish, but they can go lower than that.
You also earn rewards points as you buy. When you earn enough rewards points, they let you pick a free book under $5 in value, which is most of their site.
They also have a wish list feature, where if you see something you’re interested in but you’re trying to avoid temptation, you can add it to the wish list for now and decide on it later. This feature also tells you if the book is out of stock (like if it’s been on your list for a while) and will show you when it’s back in stock.
Cons: For purposes of keeping it cheap, I assume, they ship the books in these bags, not boxes like I was expecting. That means sometimes your books get a little beat up at the corners before they get to you. I’m not a big fan of that.
Also, shipping takes an incredibly long time, in my opinion. My first order took about 10 days to get to me. Most of my orders take about a week. I think once it came in 5 days and I was surprised. And the books typically ship separately, so you’ll get one and then a few days later get more. (They come from various warehouses, which I understand, but then it’s harder to watch for 3-4 different packages.)
But perhaps my biggest beef is that sometimes I get what I’m not exactly expecting. I’ve gotten ex-library copies when I specifically tried to not choose those. It literally tells you when you’re buying it that it’s ex-library and I picked a different version to avoid that. Nope. Also, one time they sent me an ARC copy of a book, which you’re not even legally allowed to sell. That was a shocker, let me tell you.
They do have a return policy, but at the time I received the ARC copy I was unaware of it and missed the deadline for returning it.
Overall: Look, I know I just aired a lot of complaints, but the truth is that I do get a number of really awesome books from there that I have no complaints about. I got the entire Girl of Fire and Thorns series from them for like $14 total. I picked up 2 of the Harry Potter books in French for pretty cheap. I’ve been using the site to try to complete series that I have 1-2 books for but not the other 1-2 books and that’s been working out for me pretty well.
Yes, I have complaints, partly from the fact that I can’t pick the books out myself. I’m very picky about these things. But honestly? The complaints I listed above are the only complaints I have. Those were my only bad orders and I’ve ordered like 5 times now.