Sell Used Books

Powell’s City of Books Review – Legit or Scam

Powell’s City of Books is a company that was established in 1971. The company has 5 stores located around Oregon plus their online store. You can visit their online store to sell your used books or buy used and new books. If you happen to live near one of the stores in Oregon, you can take your books to the store to sell. Powell’s will take a look at the books and the ISBN number to see if they re interested in purchasing the books from you. The company offers free shipping within the United States; however, anyone can sell their used books to Powell’s. You’ll need to pay your own shipping charges though.

How Does it Work:

  1. Anyone worldwide can sell books to Powell’s as long as you’ve created an account on the website.
  2. Everyone needs an account in order to sell books and be paid. Unless you’re selling the books at one of the stores in Oregon.
  3. If you live near one of the stores in Oregon, take your books to the store. They will examine your books and make you an offer.
  4. You can take your books to any one of the stores 7 days a week. Go to the used book counter to sell your books. You’ll need to check online for the hours at each store.
  5. The store will examine your books and let you know which ones they are interested in buying and how much they’ll pay for your books.
  6. If you choose to sell the books, you’ll have the option of receiving a store credit or cash for your books.
  7. However, if you live outside of Oregon, you’ll need to go online and enter your ISBN number.
  8. You will enter all the ISBN numbers for the books you want to sell in the space provided on the site. One book per line.
  9. After you’ve entered all the number, you’ll need to hit the “Sell These Books” key. This will send your listing of ISBN number to the site. You will be directed to only click the button once. Therefore you’ll need to enter all the numbers before submitting them to Powell’s.

What to Expect:

  1. Powell’s won’t accept any Book Club Editions books. So don’t bother to try and ell them or even enter the ISBN online.
  2. If you live in the continental United States the company pays UPS ground shipping for the books they have accepted to buy from you.
  3. Keep in mind if you have chosen an online quote for your books, the price may be different than the price quoted to you in the store.
  4. The company purchases used books based on the needs of each of their stores.
  5. Your books must be in good condition when selling them to Powell’s.
  6. The company requires that you show them a current government-issued photo ID when selling your books in the store. If you’re selling them online, you’ll need to scan your ID or take a photo and send it to the company.
  7. The company won’t purchase any outdated textbook or old encyclopedia sets.
  8. If you go to the store to sell your book, they request that you arrive one hour before their buying tables close.
  9. If you are planning on selling a collection of 1,000 books, you’ll need to contact the store by email.
  10. The company will only purchase books from you that they can resell.
  11. The company bases their bid on the expected retail value of each book that they buy from you. The price is based on several factors like stock levels, historic market values, and the books’ desirability.
  12. If you make a mistake when sending in your books and have sent in a book Powell’s doesn’t want. The company will donate the books to a third party, recycle the books, or sell these books with a portion of the proceeds they will donate to a charity of their choosing. The company won’t return your books. So when packing the books, make sure you send in the right books because you won’t get them back.
  13. Quotes on books are only good for 7 days. You’ll need to box up and ship the books before the time expires or ask for another quote when you’re ready to ship the books.
  14. If your book was rejected once, you can try again at a later date. At the time of rejection, the stores could have had too many copies of this book. Now they are sold and they are looking for new ones. It is a good idea to try again if your book was rejected the first time. They might be interested in the book the second time.

What The Company Won’t Buy:

  1. Advanced Reader Copies
  2. Uncorrected Proofs
  3. Print-on-demand titles
  4. Books marked Not for Resale
  5. Book Club Edition
    1. The Book of the Month Club
    2. The Literary Guide
    3. Book Club Editions
  6. Ex-library books
  7. Books without an ISBN

Shipping Books:

  1. After you’ve accepted the bid and the price from Powell’s, you’ll need to box the books up for shipment. The company will first send you a confirmation email.
  2. You have the chance to choose one of the companies’ free shipping options or you can pay to ship the books yourself.
  3. If you choose the company’s shipping option, you’ll need to go to the website and print off the shipping label. Afterward, take the box to any local UPS in your area and drop it off. The company will pay for UPS Ground Service only when the box is shipped to them.   If you have more than one carton to send in, you’ll need to print multiple labels. Just make sure that you use the link to generate more than one label so the company can keep the boxes together.
  4. Don’t photocopy the label and print multiple copies of the same label. Each label needs its own number and a link to the previous label.
  5. You will need to use a sturdy box when packing your books and it is a good idea not to pack more than 30 books in a box.
  6. Don’t use newspaper when packing your book because the newsprint will rub off on the covers of the books.

How Are You Paid?

  1. Once your books arrive at Powell’s, you’ll be notified by email.
  2. The buyer will examine your books and note the price that the company pays.
  3. Once the complete examination has been done, the buyer will enter the buying price in your account.
  4. You can now choose to take a store credit and use this to buy other books.
  5. You also have the option of being paid by PayPal.
  6. If you choose PayPal, the company will automatically issue your payment.


This is a legitimate company and they’ve been in the book business for over 30 years. The company has stores across Oregon that anyone living in the state can visit and sell their books at. Furthermore, if you live out of state it is easy to sell your books to this company. The company pays all shipping costs as long as you live in the United States. If you happen to live outside the US and want to sell books, Powell’s will give you a quote. It will be your responsibility to box up the books and pay the shipping charges to the company.

If you are a fan of reading, have too many books lying around your home, or are looking to trade a few books for new ones. This is an excellent company to work with. Has anyone every used Powell’s before to sell your used books? If so, can you tell me how it was in the comments section? Looking forward to hearing from you.





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