Thursday, November 20, 2014

Guest Post: A Review of

At my local Goodwill, I constantly find great deals on books. Earlier this year I was pleasantly surprised to find 4 out of the 7 Chronicles of Narnia books in hardcover editions. Each book was only 50 cent, a fraction of the $29.99 retail price. Despite looking for the other 3 volumes for the last few months I have been unable to find them at all in used bookstores and the only copies available on eBay or Amazon were, in my opinion, overpriced ($16+ each used).

My search for the three books: Prince Caspian, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle eventually lead me to the online retailer,
I was surprised to find each book for $0.99 each bringing my subtotal for the three hardcover books to $2.97. After a simple search online, I was able to find a coupon code for $1 off my order, which brought my total down to $1.97 and after shipping I still paid less than $12 total. The user experience was very pleasant on the alibris website. I was able to narrow my search to chose the exact edition and cover type and then was presented with multiple vendors offering the book. After choosing the vender Better World Books because of their feedback rating, I placed my order without a second thought because of the great pricing.

Shortly after placing my order, I decided to look into alibris since I had never heard of them and found an overwhelming amount of negative reviews telling of unfulfilled or incorrectly fulfilled orders and poor customer service. I contacted Better World Books to make sure I was getting the editions I ordered and, to my disappointment, found that the editions I would be receiving were library bound. Accepting the fact that I would be disappointed with my order, I knew I could do nothing until I received the books, which took 12 days.

When I received my order, to my delight, I found that all three books still had their original hardcovers rather than library binding. The books were in great condition and the only damage was to the dust jackets of Prince Caspian and The Last Battle - a result of library barcodes previously put on the books. These two books also had the library’s stamp on the page edges which is of little worry, especially when they cost only $0.66 each!


Overall,  I was very happy with my purchase from alibris! I received exactly what I ordered and it was at a lower price than offered anywhere else on the web. With that being said, I would not be comfortable placing an order for an expensive book on the site, especially if it was from a seller without a large repertoire of positive feedback.  The next time I am looking for a hard to find book I will certainly check the alibris website and if I find a good seller at a cheap price I’ll likely order from them again, particularly since they have been sending me emails for 15% off my next order. 

Oh, and most importantly I finally finished my hardcover set of the Chronicle of Narnia!

Michael is the brother of Tracy, founder of He is currently a student at Bridges College working on his Bachelor's Degree in Theology and hopes to start the Master's program in counseling at Wake Forest University next Fall. He loves to read if he can get any free time between classes and homework. Michael's favorite author is C.S. Lewis and he's totally obsessed with acquiring every edition of The Chronicles of Narnia ever published.

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