Tips for Finding Bargain-Priced Children’s Books

On my way home from work last night I made one of my favorite stops to visit the kids section at Barnes & Noble.  This is a very dangerous section for me (even more so when my kids are with me!).  And it’s no secret this is not the cheapest place to purchase books for your children.  My husband was flabbergasted to find out I spent $50 on 4 books last night, and that was even with my Barnes & Noble membership card.  I’m honestly embarrased to admit I spent that much too..but when I got to the counter I just couldn’t find a book to put back!

So it got me thinking that my obsession with children’s books needs to be put in check.  That doesn’t mean I need to stop buying them all together, but I need to be better about looking for deals, shopping at the right stores, and buying at the right time of year.  Here are a few tips to finding deals and paying less for your favorite children’s books.

Shop at Discount Book Stores.  Ok – yes this is an obvious one.  Often it’s more convenient to pick up a book at Target or a pricey bookstore in a mall – because you are already there doing other shopping.  But you are going to pay for it!  My favorite discount book store is Half Price Books, which sells new, used, and out-of-print books.  They have a children’s section and have many well-known titles and authors at prices that will make your jaw drop.  I have purchased several books there for 99 cents.  Don’t go in there looking for something specific though as it may be hard to find.  I love it for discovering new authors and finding old books from my own childhood.  They even have a website where you can search for books by title or ISBN and then purchase online.

Buy Online.  Buying children’s books online is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to save money.  The only downside is you can’t read the book beforehand, however some sites like Amazon allow you too look inside the book.  You have many options here, Amazon.com, Overstock.com, BookCloseOuts.com, Booksamillion.com, you get the idea.  Each of the sites I listed link directly to their children’s section to make shopping easier.

Check out Thrift Stores.  Shopping at your local thrift store for children’s books is a fantastic way to find the lowest prices.  What’s cool is you can find many vintage children’s books at thrift stores that you or even your parents may have read as a child.  Sure some of the books might be a bit worn…but for the low prices they are worth it (think shabby-chic children’s books)!

Shop the Bargain Priced Section.  You don’t have to avoid the big book-sellers such as Barnes & Noble all together!  When shopping in the kids section at Barnes & Noble look for the “Bargain-Priced” section or sale tables with featured authors or holiday books.  The best time to buy the holiday books of course is after the holidays.  Right now many of the Valentine’s Day books are 50 percent off!

Membership Cards.  Many bookstores will offer discounts such as 5-10% off books if you become a member.  There is often a small fee to join, but it doesn’t take long before your discount exceeds the price to join.

Where do you buy children’s books?  I would love to hear your tips and book store recommendations to save money on children’s books!

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