Brand new kids books can be expensive. If you walk into any book store and pick a kids book from the shelf to buy, you can expect to pay a lot–sometimes up to $20+ (for one book!) Prices on books for kids are outrageous, so I take the time to find books for almost 75%-100% off at the following places:
1. Garage Sales/Yard Sales
You can find great books for about $0.25-$1.00 at garage/yard sales. I try not to pay more than that, unless the book is just that awesome. You can even try to talk the price down. If you wait until the very end of the sale, you may walk away with free books that the family just wants to get rid of!
2. Thrift Stores
Depending on the thrift store, you can find books that range anywhere from about $0.50-$1.50. Often times, hardback books are a little more pricey than the softback books. I have found several great books at thrift stores–in new to like-new condition!
3. Local Consignment Stores
You can find inexpensive books, depending on the store. The prices on books at a consignment store are usually higher than kids books at thrift stores, mainly because someone has consigned the books and are trying to make money off of a sale.
Need a specific book and don’t have time to search garage sales of thrift stores? Browse through the children’s books at Amazon. You can find new to used books here, but you will be paying a shipping charge. You have to determine if the shipping charge is worth it or not.
5. Once Upon a Child
This children’s consignment store usually has a great selection of gently used kids books, for $0.50-$1.00 or more. If you have any gently used books you would like to sell, you can sell them to Once Upon a Child, getting cash or store credit (depending on their policy).
6. Ross Dress for Less/T.J. Maxx
If I need cheap kids’ books to give as gifts, this is the place to go. You can find great board books here along with titles from popular authors like Eric Carle or Dr. Seuss. Sometimes they put the books on sale, even when they are already at a low price.
7. Book Swaps with Family and Friends (hand me downs)
This is a good way to get books for free! Trade with family or friends. Some family or friends may even pass down their kids’ books to you
If you have a strong and active Freecycle community, you can score a ton of great items, especially kids’ books. I have used this site many of times and have received several great books. You request that you are looking for kids’ books and if someone has a few to offer, you can set up a way to get them, FREE!
9. Dollar Stores/Dollar Aisles
You can find a few books at Dollar Stores. You won’t find many classics or popular books here, but there are a few great ones for kids. I remember buying a few Sesame Street books from the dollar store. I also buy coloring books there. You can find cute books in dollar aisles (such as Target) also.
10. Book Store/Library Sales and Closeouts: Book stores and libraries usually hold book sales when they need to make room for new inventory. You can usually find some great deals on kids’ books at these sales and closeouts.
Do you have any other places to add to this list?