Buying Used Books On Amazon (Things You Should Know Before Buying)

Amazon is the undisputed leader in U.S. e-commerce, with over 12 million items for sale across household goods, office supplies, electronics, books, and more.

Whether you’re an avid reader or need reading materials for school or work, you’ve probably seen books for sale on Amazon.

If so, you may be wondering about buying used books on Amazon and if it’s a smart idea. I wanted to know the same thing, so I investigated more, and here’s what I can tell you!

Can You Buy Used Books On Amazon?

Amazon is the largest book retailer in the world, with over 33 million new and used titles available for shipping to more than 100 countries. There’s a wide range of used paperback and hardcover books on Amazon for slightly lower prices than new copies, covering every genre from mystery to modern fiction, education to entertainment, and so much more.

If you’re curious about everything you should know before buying used books on Amazon, then keep on reading for all the details!

Are Amazon Used Books In Good Condition?

Amazon rates all used books before selling them to ensure customer satisfaction and transparency. With its rating system, used books will be in like-new, very good, good, or acceptable condition.

While new books on Amazon are brand-new copies with the original cover and protective wrapping, the “like new” label is reserved for books with minimal cosmetic defects.

This may include light marks, bends, or wear and tear on the cover, spine, or pages.

The very good used rating applies to books with slightly more cosmetic defects or missing bundled media. Boxed set cases, shrink wrap, and dust covers may also be missing. Any remainder marks will be included in the listing comments.

In comparison, a good condition rating means the book’s cover and pages are intact, although the spine may show some wear. Sometimes pages have notes, highlights, or library labels.

Additionally, dust covers, shrink wrap, and boxed set cases may be missing from good used books on Amazon.

Lastly, acceptable used books have all the pages and original covers, although dust covers, boxes, and shrink wrap may be missing. These books could have minor water damage, notes, or highlights, but the text is always readable.

Amazon assigns an unacceptable rating to used books with missing pages and obscured text. These copies cannot be sold on Amazon, and neither can uncorrected proofs, not yet published, or in-print books.

What Kind Of Used Books Does Amazon Have?

The most popular categories for used and new books include literature & fiction, mystery, thriller & suspense, science fiction & fantasy, contemporary romance, and reference.

It’s easy to search for used books on Amazon. If there’s a certain title you want to find, you can search for it in the book department or from any Amazon page.

Otherwise, you can browse by genre or author to find good deals on used books.

Amazon has bestselling used titles with hardcover and paperback options in dozens of languages.

If you’re unsure whether you want a used or new book, prices for both will be displayed when available.

Does Amazon Sell Collectible Used Books?

Does Amazon Sell Collectible Used Books?

In addition to generally used books for casual or educational reading, Amazon also sells collectible books.

Collectible books in acceptable condition may show significant wear, although they are still readable.

Otherwise, only collectible used books that are new or in very good condition are accepted for sale on Amazon.

How Much Do Used Books Cost On Amazon?

As the brand behind the Kindle e-reader, Amazon is known for its affordable reading materials.

Amazon Used books are no exception, with prices ranging based on the condition and the demand for the title.

For the most part, you can expect up to 50% discounts on used books compared to the cost of new titles.

Additionally, used paperback books are less expensive than hardcover, but the available stock and sales volume may cause used book prices to fluctuate, just like new books.

In most cases, used books are also eligible for Amazon’s Return Policy.

How Fast Does Amazon Deliver Used Books?

Books are relatively lightweight and easy to ship, so as long as Amazon has them in stock, they should be shipped to you relatively quickly.

Amazon Prime members can get fast, free delivery on eligible items, including used and new books within one or two days.

Non-Prime members can still get quick delivery within a few days on most titles. When shopping for used books, the available shipping speeds and delivery dates will be listed along with prices.

You can decide on the right shipping date and cost for your used book order, which may be packaged with other items ordered off Amazon.

If you want to know more about shopping at Amazon, you can also see our related posts on whether or not Amazon Prime includes books, if Amazon buys books & textbooks, and Amazon book sale statistics.


Shopping for books on Amazon is easy with the world’s widest selection of new and used books.

Amazon carries more than 33 million titles in many global languages, and you can search for books based on language or genre. You may also browse by bestselling titles, genre, or condition.

Used books on Amazon are assigned a condition rating, whether it be like new, very good, good, or acceptable. Prices vary according to the book itself and the condition of the cover and the pages.

Not only are used books affordable on Amazon, but you can also get them shipped quickly through Amazon Prime free one or two-day shipping. Even outside of Prime, most in-stock books will ship within a few days.

Photo of author

Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

Leave a Comment