12 Best Places to Buy Cheap Books Online in the UK

Key Takeaways:

  • Used book websites like World of Books, AbeBooks, and Better World Books offer the lowest prices on secondhand books.
  • Check eBay for cheap auctions and bulk book lots.
  • Amazon Warehouse Deals, Book People, and The Works sell discounted new books.
  • Charity shops, library sales, and swapping sites are great budget options too.
  • Consider ebooks if you want free or deeply discounted books.
  • Sign up for newsletters and check for sales, coupons, and promotions.
  • Compare prices across multiple sites to find the best deals.
  • Set up alerts and notifications to snag coveted books when they become available at a low price.
  • Be flexible on book condition and edition if you want the absolute lowest prices.

Buying books can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn't have to be if you know where to look. With a bit of digging, you can find cheap books online in the UK at these budget-friendly booksellers without sacrificing selection.

Here are 12 of the best places to find cheap books online for UK buyers:

1. World of Books

World of Books is one of the largest sellers of used books in the UK. They have over 2 million titles available on their website.

The prices are very affordable, often starting from just £1 plus shipping. You can find cheap paperbacks, hardcovers, textbooks, and more. World of Books sources its inventory from charities, libraries, and individual sellers. So buying a used book helps prevent it from getting thrown away while also supporting charities.

2. Awesome Books

Awesome Books has a wide selection of over 3 million new and used books at discounted prices. Hardcovers start at £2.99 and paperbacks at £1.99.

They offer free delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Awesome Books also has a buy one, donate one model – for every book purchased, they donate a book to someone in need. So you can feel good about shopping here.

3. AbeBooks

AbeBooks is one of the largest marketplaces for independent booksellers, with over 40 million used, rare, and out-of-print books listed.

You can find books starting at just £1 plus shipping. AbeBooks is especially good for finding cheap textbooks, vintage paperbacks, and hard-to-find titles. They also regularly run sales offering 50-60% off select books.

4. Better World Books

Better World Books has one of the largest selections of cheap used books you'll find online. Prices start at just £1.99 plus delivery.

They have over 18 million titles across a variety of genres. You can also choose to donate a book to a literacy partner for every book purchased. Better World Books diverts books from landfills and helps fund literacy initiatives around the world.

5. eBay

eBay can be a treasure trove for cheap books if you don't mind buying used. Search for specific titles or browse the Books category for sellers unloading books in bulk or at low fixed prices.

Delivery is free on many eBay book listings. You can often find auction listings for books at just £1 starting bid. Hardcovers regularly sell for under £3-5 and paperbacks for £2-3.

6. Amazon Used Books

Amazon has one of the largest selections of new books around. But don't overlook their used books marketplace. Amazon sellers list used books in various conditions, from like new to acceptable, at discounted prices compared to Amazon direct.

Amazon Warehouse also sells used books, including customer returns, at discounts up to 50% off. Free delivery is available for Prime members. Check the Amazon Outlet for steep discounts on overstock books too.

7. Books 4 People

Books 4 People specialises in remaindered books and overstocks at discounted prices. Remaindered books are new books that did not sell at retail and are sold at a steep discount.

You can find bestsellers starting at just £2.99 and kids books from £1.99. Delivery is free in the UK on orders over £10. Book People also runs regular sales events with extra discounts.

8. The Works

The Works sells new bargain books, with prices starting at £2.99. They stock all the latest bestsellers and classics. You can browse categories like cookbooks, crime fiction, and sci-fi.

Kids books start at just £1.99. Delivery is free on orders over £10. The Works also has stationary, craft supplies, and gifts at discounted prices.

9. Charity Shops

Never overlook your local charity shops when looking for cheap reads. Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, and other charity shops sell donated secondhand books at low prices, often £2-5.

Selection will vary by location and donations received. But you can find bestsellers, classics, paperbacks, hardcovers, kids books, and more for a fraction of the retail price.

10. Library Book Sales

Many local libraries hold regular used book sales to sell off old, donated, and weeded inventory. Hardcovers can go for as little as 50p and paperbacks 10-20p.

Library book sales are best for browsing since selection is random. But you may stumble upon some hidden gems. Check your local library's website or social media to find upcoming book sale dates.

11. BookMooch

BookMooch allows you to swap used books you no longer want for books other people are finished with. Users build up points by mailing out books that can then be redeemed for books you want.

The only cost is shipping. There are no listing or transaction fees. The selection depends on what users make available to swap. But you can request specific books and be notified when someone lists it.

12. PaperBackSwap

PaperBackSwap also lets you trade books for free with other members. List books you want to swap, request a book, and pay just shipping when you trade.

Credits can also be purchased to redeem for books if you don't have books to trade. The available selection depends on the over 2 million books members make available to swap.

Happy book hunting!

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