My BookOutlet review will help you decide whether BookOutlet is the best book buying website for you.
*Disclosure – I receive a small commission for any products purchased through the links below at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this book blog!
Many used book lovers know that part of the fun of searching through a library sale, used bookstore, or antique mall is not knowing what books you’ll find. Even though you may have a few books in mind to hunt down, you’re open to all the possibilities. The impulse buy is expected and since books aren’t very expensive, you can get a lot of bang for your buck.
My husband and I are frequent visitors of our local library sales. They’re diligently added to our shared calendar so we won’t miss any. When we travel, I usually seek out local used bookstores as well.
BookOutlet allows you to have this treasure hunt experience online. My BookOutlet review covers what it’s like to shop at BookOutlet, the condition of our books, and the shipping time.
– If your books need to be in pristine condition, BookOutlet is not for you!
– If you are dying to read a book and don’t want to wait weeks for the shipment, BookOutlet is not for you!
If you’re still with me, let’s explore more!
Comprehensive BookOutlet Review
Admittedly, I only discovered BookOutlet after they reached out and asked if I wanted to be an affiliate partner. When I started looking around on their site, I knew pretty quickly that it would be a perfect fit. Since I became an affiliate, I do receive a small commission if you purchase any books through their site after clicking on my links.
However, please know that I am only sharing this BookOutlet review because it’s a service I stand behind and will often use myself. I was a bit skeptical the first time we placed an order, so I hope this will help answer any questions. My Bookoutlet review is based on our first order but I’ll update sections if needed when we receive future orders.
Condition of Books
Technically all of the books that BookOutlet sells are new, but the condition can vary. The vast majority are in great condition and may only have a minor dot, dash, sticker, or other marking. This is usually because the books were overstocked or categorized as bargain books. Some may have minor bends or signs of wear, but that seems to be rare.
There’s also a section called Scratch & Dent books that have larger signs of wear, tears, stratches or dents. They will all be structurally sound, though. These are where you’ll find incredibly cheap prices!
If there are any structural issues with your book, you can contact customer service for a replacement or full refund.
In our experience, the books were exactly as listed. Most came with a marking but the cover was pristine. If you don’t mind these slight imperfections, then you should give BookOutlet a shot!
Since this company sweeps up bargain books, overstocks, and other unwanted books, you never know what you’re going to find there. I liken it to a TJ Maxx or HomeGoods, where the inventory is constantly changing.
We tried searching for a bunch of specific books and more times than not came up empty. So, I’d recommend just browsing the site and seeing what catches your eye.
I did have more luck when I searched for an author. For example, I looked up Fredrik Backman. They did have one of this books, Us Against You, so at least I had something from which to choose.
Otherwise, I typically start with the New Arrivals section and filter by the Categories I’m interested in reading. Then I move on to the Bestsellers and finally quickly check the Sale books.
You can browse their entire selection by Genre/Subject but that was too overwhelming for me. Currently, I’ve got my eye on The Girl He Used to Know, Miracle Creek, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and The Terror.
There’s no denying that we’re not talking Amazon Prime level of shipment times here. It felt like it took our order FOREVER to arrive. Plus, the box was pretty destroyed when we received it. That might have been a fluke and the fault of the shipping company, but still worth nothing. Thankfully, the books were packaged well and none of them appeared to be damaged from the trip.
In total, it took our books 14 days to arrive at our house after we placed our order. They filled the order in 7 days and the actual shipping process took 7 days. I’d say it’s a possibility that they were swamped with orders since it was Black Friday, so I’m hoping the total time will be cut down a bit in future orders. All in all though, two weeks wasn’t an unreasonable amount of time.
As for price, they offer free shipping to the US and Canada on orders of $35 or more year round. Otherwise it’s a flat rate of $5.
As with practically every other company, BookOutlet offers a rewards system if you sign up for their program. Thankfully it’s very straightforward. You earn 1 point for every $2 spent. 100 points gets you a $5 gift certificate.
Do the math and you earn $5 every time you spend $200. We’re not talking groundbreaking savings here, but at their prices that at least gets you a free book.
There are also plenty of other ways to earn points, including taking their quizzes, visiting them on social media, and of course referring friends!
If you plan on buying from them a few times, its probably worth setting up an account.
Our First BookOutlet Order
Here’s a list of the books we bought, including the final price (after the Black Friday discount). In total we ordered 13 books for $45!
Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam – $3.84
Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell – $4.96
Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam – $4.19
The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein – $4.54
The Diversity Delusion by Heather MacDonald – $5.31
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt- $4.54
Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith – $4.54
Enchantee by Gita Therese – $3.42
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – $3.42
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz – $1.60
Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian – $0.69
Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – $1.60
In summary, BookOutlet is a terrific way to buy cheap books, as long as you don’t mind a marking or two and a bit longer shipping times.
Did my BookOutlet review convince you to give it a try or stay away? Let me know in the comments!