Condition problems are the number one reason we pass on books. Whether we're buying in person or online, we only accept books that we consider to be in good condition. Please take a moment to review our condition requirements below.
Keep in mind: If you're selling your books online and they do not meet our condition standards, we may change our bid or decide not to use the books at all. Books we cannot use cannot be returned.
Good Condition Only: A Checklist
No rips, tears, stains, or odors
Rips and tears:
Our general guideline is that any title with a cover tear of more
than a quarter of an inch or any title with multiple rips or tears to
the edges will be passed on.
Some books may not have obvious rips or tears but are still
generally beaten up or in worn condition. These books may be passed on.
Books with tape repairs to any portion of the interior or exterior
will also be passed on.
For dust jackets, the same rule of thumb should apply, albeit with a
slightly less demanding eye. It's possible that we will keep a
book at a lower bid even if the dust jacket is in poor condition.
Stains and/or water damage in the form of wavy or brittle
pages that have since dried are also
reasons to reject a title.
Books are made from organic materials that can and will pick up the
scent of things around them. Poor storage such as in basements or
garages can result in a musty, if not downright moldy, smell that
won't leave no matter how long you let it air out. Smoke or fragranced
storage materials will also be absorbed by the paper and can't be
removed. Regardless of whether these books are in perfect condition
otherwise, they can't be saved and will be passed on.
No writing or highlighting
No writing and/or highlighting of any kind will be accepted. This
applies to any part of the book, including its covers and dust jacket.
Please check your books thoroughly before sending them.
No loose pages or broken spines/bindings
Please thumb through any book you are trying to sell at least twice
before sending it to us. Beyond the obvious pages that may come loose in
this process, you are looking to see if the book naturally falls open or
stops at a certain section, which is often the indication of a broken
spine. Broken spines can also be spotted by noting white crease lines down the spine of a paperback title.
Additionally, paperback books with a pronounced angle to their spine may also be passed on.
You won't be able to see a broken spine as easily from the exterior
of a hardcover, but you'll find the same internal symptoms as those
described for the trade paperback above.
Inspect mass markets carefully
Please be aware that there is a high rejection rate on mass market
Due to the cheaper construction of mass market bindings, they will
tend to have more condition issues than other titles. Always flip
through the book first to check for loose pages. Also, be sure the book
have visible cracking internally
have white crease lines on the spine
No mass market title with a pronounced crease in the spine should be sent, as this is most often a sign that the binding is broken or near enough to breaking that we may not be able to resell it. Any mass market with a
visibly broken or cracked spine will be passed on.
No book club editions
Identifying a book club edition can be tricky. Of course, if you belong to a book club from which you receive regular shipments of new titles in the mail, such as the Book of the Month Club, then this is a very good
indication that you have book club editions.
If you're unsure of the book's origin, here are some signs that you're dealing with a book club edition. Please note that any or all of the below points can apply and that trade edition ISBNs are often mistakenly on
the book club edition.
Signs that your hardcover book is a book club edition:
● It feels noticeably lighter and cheaper than a regular hardcover edition.
● It is smaller in size than a regular hardcover edition.
● It doesn't have a price on it. Most regular editions will have the price on the inside upper front or inside lower rear of the dust jacket.
● It has a five digit code on the rear cover and may or may not include the original edition's barcode and ISBN.
● It has a number/letter line near or in the gutter of the rear pages.
● If it's an older book, look under the dust jacket on the back of the book. A blind stamp, a very small indentation, or an inked mark (circle, square, etc.) on the bottom right near the spine is an indication
that it's a book club edition.
● Some older BCEs will sometimes have "Book Club Edition" in italics on the inside front cover. Please note that a book referred to as a "Book of the Month Club" selection does not necessarily mean the book you
have is a book club edition — but it does mean that BCE copies of that book were published.
● Look at the title or copyright page. Sometimes a book club will identify itself as the publisher.
Signs that your paperback book is a book club edition:
● It is slightly bigger than a regular paperback.
● It doesn't have a price on it. Regular edition paperbacks have a price listed, usually on the back cover either by the bar code or near it.
● Some older paperback BCEs will have only an author photo or publisher blurbs on the rear cover without an ISBN or barcode.
● Look at the title or copyright page. Sometimes a book club will identify itself as the publisher (QPB of Quality Paperback Book Club is a common one).
No ex-library books
Ex-library books are pretty self-explanatory, as they most often
have the common markings of any book formerly housed in a library,
including but not limited to:
call numbers along the spine
barcode tags on the cover or interior
library name stamps
check-out cards or the dried glue remnants of them
a withdrawn stamp
Please note that removing the markings of an ex-library book will not affect our decision to accept it. All ex-library books will be passed on. Books with personal library markings/stickers on the spine will be
passed on as well.
No ARCs, UPs, or books marked "not for resale"
Advance reader copies (ARCs) and uncorrected proofs (UPs) are
usually marked as such on the front cover and will have marketing and
publicity information on the rear cover. They are pre-publication
editions produced only for booksellers and reviewers and are not meant
for resale. All of these types of books will be passed on.
Hardcovers originally sold with a dust jacket must include
the dust jacket
Some titles are not issued with dust jackets, but these are few and
far between and usually apply only to computer, technical (as in any
higher math, science, engineering, or mechanics), and/or textbook
titles. If an ISBN and barcode is printed on the rear cover of a book,
this is often (though not always) an indication that a book was
published without a dust jacket.
Books sold with accompanying media must include the media
CDs, DVDs, access codes, or any other additional inserts, maps, or the like must be
included with any items sold. Please be sure to check that anything that
originally came with a book is included with the book and in good working order.
No labels or stickers
Please be sure to remove all price and discount stickers from
books. We pass on books with excessive stickers — whether price,
sale, discount, or store labels.