Where to Buy Used Homeschool Curriculum

by Jimmie

Homeschool curriculum is expensive. Save money by buying gently used books and materials instead of brand new. Know where to shop and how to gett the best deals.

Buying used homeschool curriculum is a smart move. Books are expensive, and as long as they are in good shape, their being used in no way hinders their use a second, third, or even fourth time around. With the money you save by buying used books, you will have more money for other books! And you know that buying used is a more green approach to shopping.

Have You Ever Bought Used Curriculum Online?

Stretching your Homeschool Budget by Buying Used

Well Loved Books
Well Loved Books

Sites Where You Can Buy Used Homeschool Curriculum

Better World Books
Better World Books sells both new and used books and offers free shipping worldwide.

Homeschool Reviews Swap Board
This site has a place where moms can post books for sale. Visit often for the best bargains.

Well Trained Mind Forums
This active forum has a section just for buying and selling used books.

Homeschool Classifieds
I love the search function of this site. When I am looking for something specific, I hit this site daily, and look for that one particular item.

VegSource
This site has four different used book boards: grades K-2, 3-6, 7-12, and misc. It's not as visually appealing as many of the other sites, but I've found good bargains here.

Hip Homeschool Mom's Classifieds
This is another potential place for finding good books.

Used Books

With Plenty of Life Left
Used Books
Used Books

Tips for Buying Used Curriculum

When buying used materials online, you need to take your time. It is common to exchange three or more emails before reaching an agreement with the seller. If the seller tries to rush you by saying that she has another offer pending, let it go. That is a classic tactic to pressure a sale. Don't fall prey to it. Take your time and make a good decision once you have all the information.

Ask questions.

  • What edition is it?
  • What does the cover look like?
  • What is the condition of the book?
  • What is included (if it is a set)?
  • May I see a photo?

Make an offer.

You don't have to pay what the seller is asking. Try for less. Or ask for some perk such as reduced shipping costs or throwing in something else at a cheaper price. It never hurts to ask. Most of the time I've done this, the seller is willing to work with me. If she didn't accept my offer, she came up with a counteroffer than was acceptable to me.

Research

Just because the ad says "$24 new" doesn't mean that the book will really cost you that much new. Very few stores sell books at full retail price. Check Amazon and Rainbow Resource for competitive prices on homeschool curriculum. My general rule of thumb is that if I can save 1/3 to 1/2 of a competitive price, it is worth it to buy used. If I'm only saving 1/4, I'd rather pay more and get a brand new copy.

Another tricky area is when a seller is offering an incomplete set of materials. Look carefully at what is included and what you would have to otherwise buy to make the set complete. Add up your costs and be sure to get a bargain. If you are not savvy, you can end up saving just 10-15% with a hodgepodge mix of used books. For just a little more you could've bought new with the convenience of one single transaction.

Time your purchase.

Generally spring and summer are great times to find what you are looking for because so many moms are purging their homeschool shelves. However, there are lots of other  moms shopping at the same time, so the competition is a bit tough at times, especially for curriculum sets.

Use Paypal.

It's easy, fast, and safe. And it's the main way that sellers want to get their money. Get your account set up before you even start looking for books.

Updated: on 02/27/2012, Jimmie
 
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