Skip to content ↓

Where to Find the Best Prices for Books

Resources Collection cover image

Earlier today I posted the results of a survey that asked where we buy our books and why we choose to buy them there. One interesting result of that survey is that our most important consideration when choosing a place to buy our books is price–we buy where the prices are cheapest. Or we think we do. In many cases we think Amazon offers the best prices even though other e-commerce retailers have undercut them.

Just to verify that other stores do, indeed, offer better prices, I put together a shopping list of 10 books and priced them at 4 different stores: Amazon, Westminster Books, Monergism and CBD. I did not tell any of the retailers that I was going to do this (so the prices are “pure”) and chose books that the people who read this site might really buy. And here are the results (with the lowest price for each book bolded):

TitleAmazonWestminsterMonergismCBD
Crazy Love
by Francis Chan
$8.99$8.84$8.99$7.99
The Reason for God
by Tim Keller
$8.65$8.65$9.36$7.99
Do Hard Things
by Alex & Brett Harris
$10.70$10.58$11.99$10.49
Think
by John Piper
$12.76$12.69$12.49$12.49
Radical
by David Platt
$8.99$8.84$9.99$7.50
Just Do Something
by Kevin DeYoung
$7.34$8.23$8.79$7.49
Adopted for Life
by Russell Moore
$10.87$10.71$10.87$11.99
The Next Story
by Tim Challies
$13.59$12.87$13.07$12.99
Dug Down Deep
by Joshua Harris
$13.59$13.39$13.49$12.99
The Christian Faith
by Michael Horton
$31.49$30.99$30.95$29.49
TOTAL$126.97$125.79$129.99$121.41

Shipping is also an important consideration, of course, since the price can’t be fully tallied until we’ve accounted for getting those books to our mailbox. Here is how shipping would play out (assuming that the order was to a US address):

  • Amazon: free (USPS, 1-2 weeks)
  • Westminster Books: $1 (UPS, 2-5 business days)
  • Monergism Books: free (USPS, 1-2 weeks)
  • CBD: $9.71 (USPS, 1-2 weeks)

That leaves us with something like this (which actually changes the picture quite a lot):

AmazonWestminsterMonergismCBD
TOTAL$126.97$126.79$129.99$131.12

So maybe I was a little too hard on Amazon. Though Amazon does not have the best prices on their books, when combined with their free shipping, they remain very competitive (if you are buying less than the minimum amount needed for free shipping you will probably find Amazon is not quite so competitive). Even then, it’s amazing that with 10 books plus shipping the difference between the 4 stores is less than 4%–a mere $4.33. Maybe the real lesson here is that we can’t lose. The Internet has made the world so much smaller that stores from across the world are now in direct competition with one another and are forced to remain extremely competitive.


  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 17)

    A La Carte: Honor good fathers and bad fathers alike? / Don’t give up, dad / How I respond to pride month / 5 myths about the pro-life movement / A seminar on biblical counseling / How do I know if I’m one of the elect? / Kindle deals / and more.

  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.