McKay Used Books

8345 Sudley Road, Manassas Virginia 20109

Hi there! Doing new things, especially for people with anxiety, can be really challenging. That’s why we have this page. We want to assure you that it’s okay to be the new person, it’s okay that you’ve never done this before, and it’s super okay (and strongly encouraged) that you ask our staff questions when you get checked in.

What is trading in or selling?

Well, here at McKay’s 95% of our merchandise comes from our customers. We either pay cash or trade credit for almost every piece of merchandise on our shelves. That happens as a result of people going through their old cool stuff, our buyers pricing it out, and our greeters completing the process by paying the customer for it.

What exactly do I do? I don’t want to look like I don’t know what I’m doing….

To trade or sell us your stuff you want to:

Figure out what you want to trade in

Load it into some kind of bag or box that you can lift (we can process up to three xerox-copy-sized boxes per adult (18+) on weekends, and four boxes on weekdays)

Put it in your car (or bike we suppose?)

Scoot on over here during incoming hours (at least an hour prior to closing)

Come into the store and up to a check-in window with your stuff

Tell the staff member helping you if you have any questions at all!!! We want your questions. We also have large posters in English and Spanish on our walls to explain the trade-in agreement.

If you are not 18, we cannot check you in – sorry, it’s the law, but we can pay your parent(s)/guardian so be sure to have that person with you upon check in and payout. One order/payout per adult per day.

I’ve never done this before, do I get a lot, or a little? How do you price your items?

Everything is based on supply and demand. The higher demand we have for it in our store, the more we will pay for the item. The lower the demand, the lower the payout.  Our prices range from 15 cents to $50 and our payouts are a portion of the selling price. Lower and general demand items usually yield trade credit with no cash option while higher demand items will offer a cash option. More in-depth info about the items we accept can be found here:

I don’t really like to talk to people, do you have an electronic option? I just want to do it through an app.

Honestly, we get that, you just want to drop it off and be on your way. Right now, we’re working on making our system work both ways. Some people need to talk to a person, some people prefer not. With time comes improvement, so we hope we can get something like that up and running in the future.

I am confused about the amount I get for my items, I always bring in the same amount of stuff, but I get different amounts.

Yes, this is very common. The reason being that books all have different values, and those values can fluctuate. Books by the same author can have different values, even books from the same series can vary greatly in price. 

There are a lot of people trading in, how do you keep track of everything?

We have a proprietary system that allows us to check you in with either a paper ticket or a text message. The code you get when you check in ties you to the bins you loaded at check-in. As long as you keep your ticket or your text, we will be able to pay you for your acceptable merchandise for up to three days from check-in.

I’m nervous about the amount that you’re going to offer me, what if I don’t like it?

Well, that certainly does happen. We are a used bookstore selling used things for a used value. Our average customer cash register sale is generally less than $30 and those people leave with a nice pile of books. We are going to offer a sum of trade, cash, or a mix of both for any items you have that we can accept to sell. This number represents a portion of what we hope to sell your items for.  Putting that into perspective: you’re not getting rich selling your stuff to us. If you think you’d like to take them back or sell them elsewhere, that’s okay – but please let us know quickly! You have 3 hours from the time you drop off to request your merchandise be returned to you. If you think that you may want to take your merchandise back, please let us know at check-in!