Buying second-hand textbooks

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 8.36.23 pmBefore we talk about where to search for second-hand textbooks, let’s address the first question.

And of course – you can always just borrow textbooks from the library, or even search online to see if there’s a free copy somewhere.

But if you prefer having a copy of the textbooks, here are some places you can search for second-hand textbooks.

StudentsVIP textbooks

StudentsVIP textbooks is where I’ve found majority of my textbooks, and it used to be called Textbook Exchange. This is a free online service where you can buy and sell textbooks.

Website: House noticeboard

Just near the food court area of Union House, there are a couple of noticeboards on the ground floor where people advertise their books.

For more info:


Encompass books is located just off campus at 656 Swanston St. They also sell second-hand books BUT I remember my first year psychology lecturer warning us about this place. He mentioned something about this shop being shifty and dodgy in the way they sell their books or something. Just thought I would pass on the warning to you guys.

DSC00947Website: Uni facebook groups

Lots and lots of people advertise their books on various facebook pages – usually on their faculty’s club page. So for example if I’m looking for science textbooks, sometimes people posts statuses on the Science Student’ Society (SSS) fb page etc.

Here are some other relevant facebook pages within the MU community:

Textbook exchange:

Free and for sale:

Co-op Bookstore

Okay, so they don’t sell second-hand books, but you save a little bit when you join their membership program – it’s a lifetime membership for $20, and I’ve already got my money’s worth.


Other websites

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 12.17.07 AM

Lots of my friends get their books from ebay, amazon, book depository etc. Although, sometimes the books take a really long time to be delivered to Melbourne. A bit annoying.

Uni book sales

There are occasionally second-hand book sales at uni. I know that BSS (Biomedicine Students’ Society) hold their booksale at the start of semester – you can find details here. And UMSUInternational (formerly known as MUOSS), also run some booksales during the year.

My quick tips when buying books second hand

1. When someone advertises their books as “hardly used, almost brand new”, sometimes this may imply that they didn’t use the textbooks that often in that subject. However – there are plenty of legitimate resins why people hardly used the book. Maybe they withdrew from the subject, maybe the actually really took care of the book etc.

2. Make sure the book is the edition you are after. Some people advertise that the book is the latest edition, but who knows how long their ad has been online for.

3. Ask for a deal if you are buying more than one book off a buyer – there’s no harm in asking!

4. Double check the postage time if you are buying online. Sometimes it takes MONTHS for it to arrive (I have made the mistake before!)

5. Shop around before buying. Someone else might be selling the same copy for cheaper.


New Harbinger Publications The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, 2nd Edition
Book (New Harbinger Publications)
  • Used Book in Good Condition

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