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ThriftBooks and Barbershop Books Partner Up to Inspire Young Boys to Read (2021 Review)

Books not only have the power to transport young minds to faraway places, stimulate the imagination, entertain, and provide a healthy escape, reading also helps kids develop language skills and expand their understanding of the world. Unfortunately, not everyone has the “early, positive, and culturally meaningful reading experiences” that help create lifelong readers.

In America, more than 85% of Black male fourth-grade students are not proficient readers, according to the U.S. Department of Education. That is why ThriftBooks is teaming up with the community-based literacy organization Barbershop Books—to make reading fun and inspire Black boys and other vulnerable children to identify as book lovers at an early age.

This innovative partnership will draw from ThriftBooks’ extensive catalog of millions of quality used books to get high-interest titles into the communities that need them most.

Ready to find the books you love and help others do the same? Here is our ThriftBooks review.

What is ThriftBooks?

Reading books from thriftbooks

ThriftBooks is the world’s largest online used book retailer, purchasing and grading every book in its inventory before selling and distributing items to various online marketplaces in multiple formats and conditions, including rare collectibles and signed first edition copies.

ThriftBooks also sells new and used DVDs, CDs, vinyl, and video games.

What is Barbershop Books?

Barbershop Books, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literacy organization based in New York City that “distributes fun, kid-approved books to barbershops and community-based organizations.”

More than 200 participating barbershops and other community partners across 56 cities and 23 states are committed to helping Barbershop Books inspire Black boys and other vulnerable children to read for fun. Together, they focus on culturally responsive and community-based content and programming primarily involving men in boys’ early reading experiences.

ThriftBooks x Barbershop Books Partnership

Barbershop Books sees reading for fun as the key to improving reading proficiency and a lifelong love of reading and helps connect young boys to books most likely to encourage out-of-school reading time (like titles that make them laugh).

ThriftBooks is helping to make that happen with an annual commitment to donate 20,000 kid-approved books curated by Barbershop Books. To date, ThriftBooks has sent its first batch of about 6,000 books and will ship roughly 5,000 books next.

How Does ThriftBooks Work?

ThriftBooks does an excellent job of putting “quality, affordable books into the hands of those who love to read” and achieves this through many different services and programs.

1. ThriftBooks Purchases and Collects Used Books

ThriftBooks buys books in bulk

ThriftBooks buys books in bulk from thrift stores, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army, paying by the pound. These books are sent to multiple distribution centers nationwide for sorting and grading quality. They process 170 full truckloads every week through their supply chain!

Staff uses inventory histories and current demand to select which books to keep, grade and put on their shelves. The titles are then ready to sell on ThriftBooks.com and their preferred marketplaces. When you place an order, your items ship from one of eight ThriftBooks facilities.

The company also has many partnerships and programs to give used books a new home. 

The ThriftBooks Library Program is a profit-sharing opportunity for public and private schools, colleges, and universities large or small. Libraries looking to “repurpose the books they no longer want or need on their shelves” can send their unwanted titles to ThriftBooks, which handles the listing, shipping, and customer service for selling the books online. When items sell, ThriftBooks splits the profits with the libraries and sends them monthly checks.

2. ThriftBooks Hand-Grades the Books

Books collection

Staff members individually rate and verify the condition of every book they sell.

ThriftBooks condition ratings are:

  • New: A brand new, unused, unread copy in perfect condition.
  • Like New: An “apparently unread copy in perfect condition” with dust cover intact. It has clean pages without notes or folds of any kind.
  • Very Good: A copy that has been read but is in excellent condition. The pages are intact and the spine is undamaged; there are no notations but may have the previous owner’s name inside.
  • Good: A copy that has been read but is in clean condition. It may have a worn spine, limited notes, library stamps, or previous owner inscriptions.
  • Acceptable: A readable copy with all the pages and cover intact. The book may have many markings in pen or highlighter, but the notes do not make the text unreadable. 

ThriftBooks also provides photos and detailed descriptions of its first editions, signed books, and other rare finds, often noting the reading condition, authenticity, origin, and flaws for each item.

3. ThriftBooks Resells the Books

ThriftBooks Resells e-commerce site

ThriftBooks resells its books and other media through its own and other e-commerce sites like Amazon, eBay, and Abe.com. More than half of its sales come from ThriftBooks.com.

What Sets ThriftBooks Apart from the Competition?

Shipping Costs

ThriftBooks offers free shipping on US domestic orders of $10 or more and charges $0.99 shipping for each item on orders under $10. To put this in perspective, BN.com requires spending $35 or more to qualify for free shipping within the continental US. That’s more than double what it takes with ThriftBooks, and Barnes & Noble doesn’t offer free shipping to book lovers in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii like ThriftBooks does!

Best Online Media Brand in 2021

ThriftBooks ranks as one of the best media brands on Newsweek‘s annual list of Best Online Shops for the second year in a row (moving from fifth to third!) and beating the overall scores of competitors like Barnes & Noble.

High Customer Satisfaction

ThriftBooks has a Trustpilot rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 with over 760,000 reviews.

Trustpilot.com is a review website (similar to the Better Business Bureau) that hosts and posts nearly 1 million consumer-led assessments of businesses worldwide each month. ThriftBooks receives consistently positive reviews praising its transparency, excellent customer service, book deals, and quality of its used books. Trustpilot also reports that ThriftBooks has replied to 93% of its negative reviews (which accounts for only 3% of its total star ratings).

Ways to Save the Most at ThriftBooks

Customers who shop at ThriftBooks.com revel in everyday low prices and earn points towards free used books with the company’s loyalty program, Reading Rewards.

Other ways to save more at ThriftBooks:

More Ways How ThriftBooks Gives Back

ThriftBooks Cares is the philanthropic arm of ThriftBooks. Here are just a few of the initiatives they use to give back:

  • Donating books in the US and globally to those in need, including schools, nonprofits, and communities rebuilding after natural disasters
  • Recycling millions of pounds of unusable reading materials every year, which helps save trees, water, electricity, and air pollution
  • Providing reading materials and volunteering time to promote literacy in underserved communities, including Title I schools and prison libraries

ThriftBooks programs has led to:

  • 750,000 books processed every day
  • Over 1 billion books saved from landfills
  • 6,000,000+ books donated to literacy programs

ThriftBooks also ships books in 100% recyclable packaging and has provided more than $100 million to charity partners through purchasing books from charities and applying the funds towards programs that give back to communities.

How You Can Give Back When You Shop ThriftBooks

Shopping at ThriftBooks with Giving Assistant not only fills your bookshelves with affordably priced new and used books from a prolific, reputable bookseller. It also helps you save more and donate to nonprofits working on causes you care about.

We partner with thousands of retailers that offer deals and make it easy for you to earn cash back that you can keep or share with your favorite charitable organizations. See how Giving Assistant works and how you can support nonprofits today with your everyday shopping.

If you haven’t already, you can download our free browser extension, the Giving Assistant Button, and start applying coupon codes, finding the latest deals, and donating to nonprofits automatically as you shop online at ThriftBooks, one of our favorite brands that give back!