Book Exchange

Hours | How Much? | What Do You Accept?Condition Guidelines | What is a BEC? | Donations

A COVID-19 Update

At this time book exchange is paused, and will probably remain so until the pandemic is over. Even under normal circumstances book exchange costs us a large amount of time and effort. With the pandemic, we now have to do extra sanitizing on everything coming in from the outside. On top of that, we are presently short-staffed as most of our volunteers have (understandably!) returned to their homes in the North or are self-isolating to minimize their chances of becoming ill. In other words, we are running on a skeleton crew. That crew is 100% occupied with processing used books that are coming in through donations (thank you!!) and the new books from the warehouse. Considering all of this, I hope that you can understand that we simply don't have the resources to conduct book exchange during a pandemic. As soon as that changes, I will tell you, I promise!

If you want book exchange to return, here's what you can do: shop at the store now! Encourage your friends to shop here. Order online. Encourage your friends to do the same. When our sales increase, then we can afford to resume extras like book exchange and special events. 

If you just want to get rid of them: consider donating your books. (Please call or email us to schedule a time.) We really appreciate those of you who have donated your (clean, intact) books to help us get through this crazy time. 

Trade Ins Book Exchange at Sandman Books Punta Gorda Florida Used Bookstore

Book Exchange at Sandman Books

We DO NOT pay cash for books, but we do accept certain books in trade. If your books are accepted at book exchange, you will receive a Book Exchange Coupon that may be applied towards the purchase of qualifying in stock used books. 


Do not want to hassle with the book exchange process? We take book donations any time we are open, and will accept all genres.

Exchange Hours

We have limited book exchange hours, on certain days each week. We will ONLY accept books during designated trade-in hours. (To find out when the next time is, subscribe to our email newsletter - or call the store and ask.) You may not drop off books outside of these hours. When book exchange is open, you may bring in up to ten books (for more details on this limit, read the "What Do You Accept?" section). Trades are taken on a first-come, first-served basis - expect to wait in line. Our Book Specialist will review your offering and discuss it with you. After your trade has been processed (which can take up to an hour), your Book Exchange Coupon (BEC) will be ready at checkout. You will be able to use your BEC the same day or save it for later (it expires after one year). Remember, if your current balance is above $100, you must use some of it up before you trade in again.

What books do you accept?

We are looking for books we can re-sell in our brick and mortar store. What does this mean? Condition is a major factor, but this ultimately comes down to our current stock: hardcover vs. paperback, and the allocated shelf space for the genre. Publication date is also a major consideration; about 80% of our in-store sales for genre fiction are books published in the last three years. However, 80% of the books brought in are more than five years old. That is a huge discrepancy, and we have to strongly limit the exchange of books more than a few years old in order to balance it out. Before each trade in date, we publish a list of book genres we are seeking, and those we do not want. This list is fluid and changes based on our anticipated needs and shelf-pace. During the winter season, this list can change a couple of times per week. Cookbooks, Self-Published, Foreign Language, Textbooks, oversized books, and old reference books are rarely accepted.

Additionally, there is a limit of ten books per customer, per trade in day. This helps to balance out the number of books coming in the door with those going out. If you would like to request an exception to this policy, be prepared to demonstrate that your in-store purchase history will justify such an exception.

What is the Exchange Rate?

The amount given in exchange for a book is dependent on its publication date and overall condition. Our exchange matrix for standard titles, which is based on the publication date, is updated before each scheduled trade-in date. Generally, books over a couple years old are under fifty cents and books over 20 years old are under twenty-five cents (if we accept them at all). Again, this matrix is for standard books (such as bestsellers like James Patterson) and does not cover rare, special editions, or unique titles.

What does excellent condition mean?

Only about 25% of the books we see are clean enough to qualify for our book exchange program. We are very picky about what we accept. Books with mold, smoke odor, water damage, missing or torn pages, foxing, mildew, tears, missing dust - jackets, and other blemishes will be rejected. Former library books, clearance returns, non-fiction books which are out of date, periodicals, and most textbooks will be rejected. If your book has ever been stored in a garage, shed, or other non air conditioned location, we probably don't want it. The Florida environment is very hard on books!

At a minimum, the following are not allowed:

• dirty, musty, moldy, smoky, mildewy or other vile smell

• critter bites (dog chewing, bookworms or other)

• no growths (mold, foxing, or other)

• no cracked, failed, discolored or unreadable spines or binding

• no loose or missing pages

• no water damage (including from humidity)

• no writing or highlighting

• no former library books

• no Book Club editions (smaller hardcover books)

• vermin or spiders

What can I get with my Book Exchange Coupon?

Book Exchange Coupon may be applied towards the purchase of select used books which are currently in stock.

It will not work on items marked NO COUPONS or NO TRADE CREDIT which generally includes books in the following categories:

• New Arrivals 

• Special Orders 

• Rare Books 

• Florida Books 

• Textbooks 

• Audiobooks 

• Online purchases

• Items with yellow tags 

• Items with blue tags 


As a reminder, the following items are not used books and may not purchased with a coupon balance:

• Toys 

• Puzzles 

• Stationery  (including greeting cards) 

• Apparel   

• Games 

• Gifts

You can not stack your book exchange coupon with any other coupon, sale, or discount.

Speaking of discounts, are you interested in saving money? Join our mailing list!