Good places to sell used books in Ann Arbor, MI
March 12, 2007 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Where's the best place to sell used books in Ann Arbor, MI?

Who pays the most? My books are a mix of fiction and non-fiction and a few textbooks, and they're in great shape (and yes, I've already sold a bunch of them online).
posted by take me to the river to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
What about Mike's in downtown Ypsilanti, across from EMU?
posted by santojulieta at 8:28 PM on March 12, 2007

Are you interested in offline vs. online sales to avoid the wait?
posted by reeddavid at 9:58 PM on March 12, 2007

Shaman Drum
posted by k8t at 10:11 PM on March 12, 2007

There's just a little commentary, but the rec.arts.books FAQ includes sections for new and used bookstores across the U.S. The midwestern list includes Detroit/Ann Arbor and says it was last updated in February.
posted by mediareport at 10:56 PM on March 12, 2007

I've dealt with Dawn Treader and David's in the past. Dawn Treader pays slightly better but is more selective. David's bought more. Both my experiences were from before David's relocated, so this may have changed. If you're only cleaning out unwanted books and not trying to raise money, you'll get more in exchange credit than cash back.

Shaman Drum only buys textbooks listed for the coming semester -- even fiction titles are usually taught from a specific edition. West Side Book Shop primarily deals in collectible and antiquarian titles, Aunt Agatha's only deals in mysteries, Motte & Bailey wasn't around when I was selling, and Books In General has never been interested in my books but they're polite about it. You can also try Kaleidoscope if you have books with late-20th cen pop culture interest. In all cases you should phone to inquire before visiting, because some require appointments and others only buy periodically.

Names, addresses and phone numbers.
posted by ardgedee at 5:46 AM on March 13, 2007

And of the midwestern bookstore list mediareport links to: Wooden Spoon has been defunct for years, the Liberty St. address for David's is now a sub shop, and Afterwords shut their doors over a year ago.
posted by ardgedee at 5:52 AM on March 13, 2007

The textbooks are going to be a different situation than the others, FWIW. If any U of M professors are still teaching classes using those books, you'll be able to get pretty good money for them. If nobody's using them but they're current editions, you'll get okay money. If new editions have been released, they're basically trash.

To find out if anyone's still teaching from the books you've got, you should visit both Shaman Drum and Michigan Book & Supply. (When I worked for Shaman Drum maybe five years ago, they refused to carry book lists for classes that were also being sold elsewhere, so the two stores had mutually exclusive lists. That may have changed now, but I doubt it, so I'd visit both stores just to be safe.) Ask if they're currently doing "buybacks." They may not be, in which case you'll need to come back later.

As ardgedee mentions, you can also try to sell fiction to the textbook stores. If an English or Comp Lit professor is using the book they'll buy it, although they're sometimes picky about which edition. Last I was there, Shaman Drum carried more English classes, but both stores carried some.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:42 AM on March 13, 2007

Seconding the Dawn Treader suggestion. If you want to turn your books into more/other books, they'll offer you (in my experience) favorable in-store credit rates. I don't think they'll touch your textbooks, though, unless they're something outside of the edition-update treadmill; for instance, I sold them an Arabic dictionary (it was a required text), but it had an actual non-textbook market value.
posted by pullayup at 7:23 AM on March 13, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody--that's super helpful. I'll give your suggestions a try and give you a book report.

reeddavid: I've sold all I can on, so this is take two on my booksales effort.
posted by take me to the river at 1:35 PM on March 13, 2007

Response by poster: The verdict: Dawn Treader wanted the majority of my books but offered an outrageously low amount of cash (and not much more in trade). I didn't hold out for other shops because I'm just trying to lighten the load before moving out of town.
posted by take me to the river at 9:10 PM on March 15, 2007

Motte and Bailey is an antiquarian shop---they're unlikely to be interested in anything that isn't either old or rare. . .
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:22 PM on March 16, 2007

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