is the fun search, for me, because you have so many options.
The trick is to think like a computer and guess how a
dealer will enter his book data. By the way, once a book
is out of print, it cannot technically be called a new
book, even if it has never been previously owned. If you
find a “used” book described as “like
new” it is often a “new” book gone out
most productive way to search for a used book is generally
by author last name and title.
searching by author and title both, enter author last
name only, as some dealers will abbreviate author first
name and some will enter the whole first name, some will
include middle initial, etc. Entering the last name only
will bring up all these variations.
the main title, not the subtitle, as, once again, some
dealers will include the subtitle in their listing and
some will not and you want to bring up all the listings
for your book.
looking for a specific illustrator, try illustrator in
the author field, as some dealers will put it there. If
that doesn’t work, try illustrator in the keyword
you are looking for a very common book, we will not necessarily
show every copy of this book available from every used
book site that we search. We give you up to 100 results
from each of the sites that we search, having found that
more results were unmanageable and counter-productive
for most of our users. The very large sites rotate the
results they give us to insure equal exposure for all
of their dealers.
tend to use our strict used book search, where spelling
cannot resist saying it again: SPELLING COUNTS. As a friend
of mine likes to say: “Computers have no sense of
humor.” If you don’t bring up a match for
your search, check first to make sure you have spelled
author and title correctly. Try different possible spellings
for words that are spelled differently in British and
American English, like gray and grey, for example, or
one that caught me up: encyclopedia and encyclopaedia.
Archeology and archaeology is another example.
is no way to search by subject or content in our used
book search. However, some dealers do include some content
in their description of the condition of a book, so you
can always try keywords for content or subject.
and publication date are keyword searches but read the
description carefully as a dealer will sometimes include
the original publication date in the description of a
of our users who are used to going to just one listing
service to look for a book wonder why our First Edition
and Signed parameters are not more exact. This has to
do with the fact that we search many different listing
services, each with a different way of entering searchable
data. I have found that ordering my results by price in
descending order and reading descriptions is the most
helpful way to look for first and signed editions. And,
the truth is, if I am putting out that much money for
a signed and/or first, I want to be carefully reading
the descriptions anyway.
plan to add search hints here as they come to mind and
welcome your hints on what has worked for you. You can
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please indicate as subject: Tips & Tricks.