Our Buying Policy

Selling your books to Powell’s Books Chicago

Powell’s Books Chicago does buy used books from the general public as well as overstocks from other sources. We are quite selective about condition and we buy on a book-by-book basis. We will only be able to give you an offer on your books if we have seen them in person. Although we occasionally arrange to come out to look at large, specialized collections, in general we ask that you bring your books into our Hyde Park store for one of our buyers to look at. We recommend that you phone ahead to make sure there is a buyer on duty.

We buy in over 100 different subject matters and we buy both hard covers and trade paper, and we do buy a limited amount of mass-market especially in science fiction and mysteries. There are several fields in which we do not buy, including, but not limited to, first-editions, romances, self-help, business books, horror, thrillers, biographies, etc. We only buy mysteries and science fiction in paperback. We do not buy magazines, audiobooks, music or other materials. We do not buy books in poor condition such as when the covers are missing, when the book is mildewed, or underlined or highlighted.

Our buyers have been trained in what sells for our stores and should your books not be a fit for us we are happy to tell you whether in our opinion someone else might be interested in purchasing them. We do not haggle.

We are interested in scholarly collections from out-of-state, especially in our specialty fields of medieval and classical studies, and would encourage you to email us at buybooks@powellschicago.com should you have a collection of scholarly books.

Publishers only

If you are a publisher looking to sell overstock, please click here to contact Powell’s Books Wholesale.

Our buying locations

You must phone ahead before bringing in books to sell to confirm the availability of our buyers.

Hyde Park

Buying hours: Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday by appointment only.
1501 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
phone (773) 955-7780
fax (773) 955-2967

Please note that we will not give a definitive purchase price without seeing your books.