In the age of digital reading, there’s something uniquely satisfying about flipping through the pages of a physical book. ThriftBooks, with its extensive collection of used books, promises a treasure trove for readers at a fraction of the retail price. But can a used book retailer really deliver quality and reliability? Let’s dive into what makes ThriftBooks a popular choice among readers.

Origin and GrowthFounded in 2003, grown from a small storage unit to one of the largest online used book retailers.
Product OfferingOffers a wide range of used books, including rare finds, bestsellers, and textbooks.
PricingCompetitive prices, often cheaper than major retailers. Regular promotions and bulk discounts.
Book ConditionsBooks graded from ‘New’ to ‘Acceptable’ with detailed condition descriptions.
ShippingBooks shipped within 48 hours. Free shipping in the US on orders over $10. Global shipping available.
Customer ServiceResponsive support via email and phone. Known for effective issue resolution.
Environmental ImpactCommits to sustainability with recyclable packaging and recycling unsellable books.
User ExperienceUser-friendly website with efficient navigation but can slow down during high traffic.
Deals and Loyalty ProgramFrequent sales, ‘Deal of the Day’, and a tiered loyalty program offering more benefits as you spend.
Security and TrustStrong data protection policies, regular security updates, and high customer trust ratings.
Overall VerdictThriftBooks is a legitimate and reliable option for affordable books with a commitment to customer satisfaction and environmental sustainability.

What is ThriftBooks?

The Origins and Evolution

ThriftBooks began in a small storage unit in 2003 and has expanded to a global operation with multiple processing centers across the U.S. It’s a story of growth fueled by a passion for books and sustainability, aimed at providing affordable reading options to millions.

The ThriftBooks Catalog

Offering millions of titles, ThriftBooks is like a grand library that’s always open. From scarce first editions to contemporary bestsellers and educational textbooks, it’s a go-to for diverse reading needs. Their stock refreshes regularly, providing endless new discoveries for book lovers.

From bestsellers to rare finds—ThriftBooks offers the thrill of the hunt and the joy of discovery in every purchase.

How ThriftBooks Works

The Buying Process

Shopping at ThriftBooks starts with a simple search but can turn into an exciting hunt as you filter through various editions and conditions. The site also offers recommendations based on your browsing, making it easier to find books you might love.

Book Sourcing and Grading

Books come from a variety of sources: libraries culling their collections, overstock from bookstores, and direct donations. Each book is graded from ‘New’ to ‘Acceptable,’ with clear guidelines on what to expect in terms of condition, such as notes on binding, markings, or cover wear.

I have purchased from ThriftBooks many times for myself and my children and the books are usually always in great shape. You might find some handwritten notes inside the pages from its previous owner, but if you’re like me, that just adds to the charm!

Pricing and Affordability

Cost Comparison

A comparative analysis shows that ThriftBooks often undercuts even the big players like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, especially when you consider their frequent promotions and discounts. While many of their new releases are comparable in price to the big sellers, older titles are much more affordable. I find that many books fall within a $3 to $10 price range, especially if they were first published at least a few years ago.

Saving More

ThriftBooks shines in making reading affordable. With extra discounts on bulk orders and special sales, building a personal library becomes less of a financial burden.

Book Condition and Quality

Honest Descriptions

Each book’s condition is detailed on the product page, helping buyers make informed decisions. For example, ‘Very Good’ might mean slight wear on the cover but pristine inner pages, while ‘Acceptable’ could include noticeable wear but remains fully functional.

I can personally attest that most books are in great shape and only have slight wear and tear. However, I have received a few that had ripped pages or scribbles in them.

Customer Feedback

The authenticity of customer reviews adds a layer of trust. Many reviews include images of the books received, providing a real-world look at what the condition ratings actually mean.

ThriftBooks can help you save a lot of money if you frequently shop for books.

Shipping and Customer Service


Books are shipped within 48 hours, with options ranging from standard to expedited shipping. International shipping is also available, making it accessible to global book lovers.

I typically received my order within 5 to 7 days using standard shipping.

Support Response

Customer support is accessible via email and phone, with a reputation for being customer-centric. Whether it’s a missing order or a query about a book’s edition, the support team is known for their prompt and effective resolutions.

Environmental Impact

Sustainability Practices

Every purchase from ThriftBooks is a step towards sustainability. The company is committed to recycling any books that are unsellable, ensuring minimal waste.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

Orders are shipped in 100% recyclable packaging, reflecting the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility. This approach not only helps reduce the carbon footprint but also appeals to eco-conscious consumers.

User Experience

Website Navigation

The ThriftBooks website offers a clean, easy-to-navigate interface. However, during sales or high-traffic periods, some users have reported slower loading times, which could impact shopping experience.

I’ve noticed the app being a little laggy from time to time. The back button can also take you all the way back to the home screen when it wasn’t intended. Overall, the site is clean, easy to use, and simple to navigate.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

The platform is designed to be accessible for all users, including those with disabilities. This inclusivity extends to their vast catalog, offering books in various languages and formats, including large print and audiobooks.

ThriftBooks Deals and Loyalty Program

Maximizing Savings

Regular promotions, like the ‘Deal of the Day,’ offer deep discounts on select titles. Their loyalty program, ThriftBooks ReadingRewards, is tiered, providing more benefits as you spend more, such as earning points faster and getting access to exclusive deals.

Their rewards program is actually really great. I’ve gotten a few free books just from my regular purchasing habits. There is also a little progress icon in the app that tells you when you’ve reached your next freebie!

Loyalty Benefits

Members of the ReadingRewards program also enjoy perks like birthday discounts and personalized recommendations, enhancing the shopping experience and fostering a stronger reader-retailer relationship.

Security and Customer Trust

ThriftBooks prioritizes your privacy: Shop with confidence knowing your data is secure under strict protection policies.

Data Protection

ThriftBooks adheres to strict data protection policies, ensuring that customer information is secure. Regular audits and updates to their security protocols keep customer data safe from unauthorized access.

Building Trust

Accreditations from trusted organizations and positive ratings on platforms like Trustpilot bolster ThriftBooks’ credibility. They transparently address customer concerns and actively work to resolve any issues, which has helped them build a loyal customer base.

I have never had problems with ThriftBooks’ customer service or data protection.

The Verdict

After thorough exploration and personal experiences, it’s clear that ThriftBooks offers a legitimate service that caters well to book lovers seeking affordability without compromising on quality. It stands out as a reliable resource for readers of all kinds.


ThriftBooks proves to be more than just a bookstore—it’s a community for readers built on the pillars of affordability, diversity, and sustainability. Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for a rare gem, ThriftBooks likely has something for you.

I invite you to explore ThriftBooks and discover your next great read. Share your finds and experiences in the comments to help other readers navigate this vast sea of books. Happy reading!

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