Buying UK Used Books Online That Ship to US
January 22, 2014 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I have a lot of favorite British authors whose books I'd love to purchase used in the hardback, UK versions. I'd also like shipping costs to the US not to be too high. Do you have any suggestions of where to purchase used books in the UK online? I'd prefer to use an independent seller, if possible, and not Amazon. Thank you!
posted by lagreen to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Alibris, which I think is also behind Waterstones' Marketplace.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:37 AM on January 22, 2014 will allow you to buy from individual bookshops worldwide. Each shop sets their own shipping price.
posted by monkeymonkey at 8:37 AM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Abebooks is owned by Amazon.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:38 AM on January 22, 2014

Abebooks is owned by Amazon, but you are buying from independent bookstores, so yes they get their cut but it's a super easy way to find small independent stores in another country. Usually you will be given contact information (or enough info so a quick google search will find you the contact info) so if you want to avoid Abebooks and Amazon all together you can then contact the store directly. I used to sell through Abebooks when I had a bookstore a few years ago, and there really are, for the most part, small independent stores on the other end.
posted by wwax at 8:49 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also check I've purchased a number of UK editions of out-of-print Norah Lofts books from them. It's worth taking a look at their website -- they support a number of literacy programs worldwide -- I'm checking them first for all my reading copies of every book. Prices are amazing in part because all of their books are donated, and many of them are de-accessioned library books. That means they have no collectible value, but I don't think that's your concern.
posted by janey47 at 9:02 AM on January 22, 2014

I bought several books online on AbeBooks from Scots writers, whose works were not yet available in Canada. I received excellent service from the booksellers that I ordered from.

I was not restricted - as I usually am, with Amazon - from buying books outside my "authorized region". To explain: I cannot buy anything from, I can browse there, but purchases must originate from my "home" Amazon site which is .com and restricts me to books sold for North Americans.

Abebooks does not (yet) have these restrictions.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:05 AM on January 22, 2014

I'm in the US and have been able to buy from
posted by brujita at 9:29 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Biblio is another clearinghouse for independent booksellers that includes a lot of UK sellers.

(Declaration of interest: I'm friends with the people who built and run the site, but also a satisfied buyer through them.)
posted by holgate at 11:23 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding Biblio - I've ordered through them several times in the past few years, and found the shipping costs asked by the sellers to be reasonable.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:05 PM on January 22, 2014

Response by poster: Wow, Biblio is exactly what I was looking for. Their advanced search has the exact features I want, the results are really easy to sort through and the costs reasonable. Best of all was reading each book's description...they were straight out of 84 Charing Cross Road. Thank you all for your help!
posted by lagreen at 1:39 PM on January 22, 2014

If you ever need a backup for Biblio, I've had good luck with The Book Depository. Good prices, free worldwide shipping, and they often offer multiple versions of the same book. I wanted a specific version of Mary Roach's Bonk and I got it from them.
posted by neushoorn at 1:56 AM on January 23, 2014

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