The Cheapest Book Lover Ever

I absolutely love a good deal. Unless it’s the groceries, I have a hard time buying things at full price. The same is true for books. I love books, especially children’s books, but they can be quite pricey here in the Philippines.

If you buy them new from regular bookstores, they’re usually Php 400.00-800.00 (USD 8.00-16.00) each. So a trip to the bookstore can easily eat up my modest freelancer’s paycheck.

So whenever I could, I would always ask Mikey to give me an hour (or three) so I could shop at Booksale. Booksale is a chain of bookstores that sells secondhand books. They always dedicate a huge section of their store to kid’s books and I could find books for as low as Php 15.00 (USD 0.30) and they’re usually capped off at Php 300.00 (USD 6.00).

When the pandemic and lockdown hit though, I had to be more creative with my bargain book shopping. Over the last month or so, I found online shops that sell and deliver pre-loved books. Here are the three online shops I successfully bought from.

3 Tried and Tested Online Sellers of Secondhand or Discounted Kids’ Books

1. Books for Less

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Second batch of books ordered from Books for Less (still waiting for my first batch).

I loved shopping in Books for Less even before the pandemic. They didn’t have as many physical branches as Booksale, but they would do a lot of pop up stalls in malls every now and then.

I was so happy when I found out that they launched a website during the pandemic. They add new titles every now and then. They have classic best sellers, like Eric Carle or the Dr. Seuss books. But they also have one-off odd ball ones like Dancing With Jesus by Sam Stall.

Here are some other details about this seller:

  • Payment options: PayPal, GCash, and Cash on delivery (COD)
  • Delivery: Store-organized
  • Shipping fee: Standard fee of Php 150 for Metro Manila addresses.

Favorite thing about this seller: Unlike most secondhand book sellers, they have a dedicated website where you can just keep adding titles to a cart. I like this because I’ll add all the titles I want first and then go through them again before I checkout.

Confuzzlement: Their payment verification process for Gcash payments is kind of confusing. The website says you just need to send verification to another mobile number (different from the GCash number where you send your payment to). And then you’ll receive a reply from the second number to re-send the verification to their FB Messenger account (and only then will your order be processed). So even though I paid already, it took another day for them to pack and ship my orders.

My second order also arrived before my first order, so that was confusing. As of writing, I only have my second order. I’m still waiting for my first order.

2. Bookery for Kids and Mums

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A few of our favorites from Bookery for Kids and Mums.

I’ve been buying from Bookery for Kids and Mums even before the pandemic started. They have a great selection of pre-loved books and new, low-cost editions of more recent titles.

Usually, the owner of the shop will post available titles in batches on Facebook. You go through the photos of the book and comment “MINE” if you want them. It gets pretty intense when new uploads are available—kind of like a bidding war.

I had a specific title in mind for my latest transaction with them, so I just messaged them directly to check for its availability. They had the title and it arrived at our place in two days. It was pretty amazing!

Here are some other details about this seller:

  • Payment options: Bank deposit (BPI, BDO, PNB, and Security Bank) or GCash
  • Delivery: Store-organized
  • Shipping fee: Depends on delivery location (they use Lala Move or ABest Express for Metro Manila deliveries)

Favorite thing about this seller: As Facebook stores go, her store is pretty organized! They also reply pretty quickly. I don’t have trouble navigating through her titles. I also love the variety of titles they carried in the past two years. I think I got most of Max’s “How Do Dinosaurs…” books from them.

3. Book Boutique PH

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I got all of this for Php 745.00 (USD 14.85)—including the shipping fee!

I discovered Book Boutique PH accidentally when it popped up on my Instagram feed (the ad spies are working). After a quick perusal of their Instagram page, I switched over to their FB page because they updated that more regularly.

Just like Bookery for Kids and Mums, they have a first-come-first serve commenting system. But apart from this, you need to take screenshots of the books you want and send them via FB Messenger as well.

They have an interesting selection of books. I found Japanese Children’s book which are always quirky and fun! They also had a bunch of Rosemary Wells books too.

Here are some other details about this seller:

  • Payment options: Bank deposit (BPI), Palawan/Cebuana/LBC pay, and Paymaya
  • Delivery: Store-organized
  • Shipping fee: Depends on delivery location (they use J&T Express)

Favorite thing about this seller: I love their week long reservation policy. If you want to take advantage of it, you have one week to shop for books. That way, you can make the most out of your delivery fees incase they add new titles during your reservation period.

Confuzzlement: Certain photos have comments that are hidden (I think it’s set to “show relevant” rather than “show all”), so sometimes you don’t know if the books are already reserved/sold. They verify this pretty quickly though when you chat them up on FB Messenger.

While I always try to honor Max’s natural interests, I have to admit that I try to sway his interest towards books whenever I can. Heck, we’ve been reading to Max even before he was born. I’m just glad that we’ve found an affordable way to keep getting him books even though we’re on lockdown. ❤

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