10 Awesome Ways To Score Cheap-ass Books in the PH

July 22, 2017Krisha

Ever wanted a book but can’t afford it?

Ugh, we’ve all been there. It’s just one of the worst feelings in the world. The good thing is there are a lot of affordable books out there.

You just have to know where to look! Here are 10 ways to score cheap ass books:



The usual suspect! That green and white sign never fails to lure me in. Whenever I pass by a Booksale store, I stop and shop. You can score really good books— modern classics like Lord of the Rings and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, usually— for as cheap as Php50. But you gotta admit it’s usually a hit and miss, no? There are days where you can score an armful of good and new book babies, but on other days, you’d take hours and hours only to end up with a back issue of a magazine with Coco Martin on the cover. Oh well.

Pro Tip:

Don’t be afraid to search behind the stacks. For some reason, the best ones are hidden behind other books, so don’t be scared to really dig in. And don’t be scared of the tindera, either. Patience (and your thick skin lol) is a virtue! Just make sure to arrange the books back after. The tindera might ban you from ever entering their shop again if you don’t.




Thrift Shops

Manila is blessed with so many physical thrift book shops! I think I can hang out at Bookay Ukay for hours.

There was also this one time when I found myself in Recto a few years back and saw these hardbound Harry Potter books, right there in the curb. I wanted to stop but I was running with my heels on (lol don’t ask, it’s a long story 😀 ) so I had to let them go. Sadly, in Cebu, it’s pretty difficult to find a legit thrift book shop. We had one called La Belle Aurore a while back but they’ve since shut down. 🙁

Social Media!

But we shouldn’t give up just yet! There is always social media for all your bookish needs. Facebook, for example, is teeming with online shops that sell really cheap brand new and preloved books. Instagram, too. The best part is that some of these books are new releases or popular YA books that you can’t otherwise get in Booksale. So far all of my transactions with Facebook and IG stores have been great. That doesn’t mean you can let your guard down, though. In dealing with transactions online, please be wary of scammers—they’re everywhere! Make sure that seller is legit by checking their feedbacks album. It should contain screenshots of customer feedback. Any reputable seller should have one. Happy customers are proof that a seller is doing their business right.

Pro Tip:

Join book seller and swap groups on Facebook! These groups are where bookworms swap and sell books among each other… like a huge book marketplace! I had most of my best finds here.  You can get your books here for much cheaper and with greater, newer variety, too. Again, as with any online transaction, make sure that the seller is legit. These are individual sellers, not shops so you gotta be extra careful. Don’t forget to ask photos of the books before finalizing your purchase. Sellers usually ask for your name, shipping address, and phone number, but that’s it. Never give sensitive information like credit card numbers.



Like social media, OLX is also a good place to scout for books. Facebook groups don’t allow you to search a seller’s location. Fortunately, you can do this on OLX and it’s really great if you want to find a seller within your area so you can save on shipping fees.

Book Depository

Well, TBD isn’t the cheapest way to score books, because they sell brand new ones. What I like about them though is that they offer free shipping. The mailman delivers your goods straight to your door, too, so I find it very convenient, especially if I can’t find a book in our local shops. They often have sales, too! I scored my A Court of Wings and Ruin copy for Php350; local bookstores sold them for Php460. Great, right? Also, have I mentioned I’m a TBD affiliate? Ha! You can use this link to buy your books! (PS I earn a small commission when you use that link, at no additional cost to you. :))


Pro Tip:

TBD uses our local post service so it might take a bit for your book babies to arrive. Kindly allow 3-4 business weeks. Now, it helps if you know your mailman. No, really. There should be a mailman assigned to your area and you should know them by name. My city conveniently gave me the contact # of my mailman so I get notified once my package is in. IDK if other mailmen are as friendly, but I think you should give it a shot.

Joining Rep Searches on Instagram

This, I’ve recently discovered. And I am so glad that I did. If you’re on bookstagram, there are loads of shops and subscription boxes who look for people who can represent their businesses. In other words: they send you free stuff in exchange for promotions! Not a hard job, right? Before joining a rep search, make sure you love their product. As a rep you’ll be tasked to make regular posts about their books and merch. You gotta have really nice photos and followership, too.

Pro Tip:

Try and try until you succeed! Build a great bookstagram feed. Subscription boxes usually look for accounts with clear photos and great interaction with followers. 🙂

That’s it for my tips! Any other tips and hacks I might have missed? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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