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Europe Second Hand Books Market

Europe Market Study on Second Hand Books: Rise in Subscription and Bundle Packages Aiding Market Expansion

Europe Second Hand Book Market by Type (Action & Adventure, Academic Books, Art, Music, Film, and Photography), The action and adventure category accounted for 5.7% share of the Europe Second Hand Book Market in 2022.

Europe Second Hand Books Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)

The Europe Second Hand Books Market is projected to expand at 4.6% CAGR and reach a valuation of US$ 9.76 billion by the end of 2033, up from its market size of US$ 6.24 billion in 2023.

Rising number of reading enthusiasts and their interest in educational, fictional, religious, and self-help books is leading to the rising demand for second-hand books in the European market. As technology is continuing to advance, various market players are offering online and digital books to attract book lovers in the European region. Numerous social, psychological, and cultural factors impact the perception and buying decisions of consumers. Digital media interaction, demand for trending books, and increased consumer spending are driving market growth. Many people have a huge preference for premium quality second-hand products. Rising standards of living and disposable incomes have made consumers want to purchase high-quality second-hand books.

Audiobooks constitute another important format of digital consumption. In Europe, the audiobook market is growing faster than that of e-books. There are several established audiobook providers such as Audible, Storyteller, and Google. The publishing industry is also experimenting with new learning-teaching formats using innovative digital tools, such as Learning Management Systems (LMS), which help provide additional sources of revenue for publishers.

Governments and public institutions are leading initiatives toward making reading and research material widely available, providing content-books and journal articles-typically second hand for users to access. In this model, since the cost of publishing is financed by authors or universities or government/private grants, it may deter authors from choosing this option. Although the lack of a fee boosts readership, concerns about potential copyright infringement are there. Publishers such as Pearson and Wiley and platforms such as Khan Academy are now actively providing Open Educational Resources (OER), which is driving the expansion of the second hand books market where more and more people are gaining access to in-depth books and research materials easily.

Europe Second Hand Books Market Size (2023E)

US$ 6.24 Billion

Projected Sales of Second Hand Books (2033F)

US$ 9.76 Billion

Market CAGR (2023 to 2033)


Market Share of Top 5 Second Hand Books Manufacturers

5% to 10%

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Demand Analysis of Second Hand Books in Europe (2018 to 2022) Vs. Market Projections (2023 to 2033)

Between 2018 and 2022, demand for second-hand books in Europe increased at a CAGR of 3.2%, with the United Kingdom, France, Poland, and Germany holding significant shares in the market.

Various government efforts emphasizing the value of education in children's lives have prompted lower- and middle-income families to educate and send their children to school. Due to the necessity of having books to study, such low-income families have been compelled to turn to second-hand books, and the growing popularity of budget-friendly second-hand books is allowing these families to enhance their quality of life via education.

Over the next ten years, regional sales of second hand books are anticipated to increase at 4.6% CAGR.

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What is Aiding the Sales Growth of Second Hand Books in Europe?

“Environmentally Conscious Readers Driving Demand for Second-hand Books”

The most significant benefits that second-hand books have is their environmental benefits and their eco-friendly nature. Buying second-hand books save trees, water, power, and various other resources as these books can be reused and recycled. Besides, no new material printing machines or other resources go into making them, which is why many environmentally conscious readers prefer these books.

Furthermore, nature protection campaigns by various NGOs and governments are working mainly to save plants and trees that are used to make paper. To minimize the use of paper, the demand for second hand books has gained traction in Europe.

“Growing Penetration of Bookstagrammers & Booktubers in the Region”

The penetration of Bookstagrammers and Booktubers on the Internet and other social media platforms has drastically increased. These bloggers and experts have played an important role in influencing people’s buying preferences.

Bookstagrammers and Booktubers hold an important place in the second-hand books market and they possess some kind of appeal with the look and aura they hold. Carrying coffee along with vintage books brings an aesthetic vibe. Increasing prevalence of social media to carry out promotional activities by market players serves as an excellent market strategy for the growth of the market. These efforts on the part of Booktubers and Bookstagrammers have positively impacted the sales of second hand books across the continent.

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Country-wise Insights

Why is the United Kingdom a Huge Market for Second-Hand Books?

“Rise in Online Purchasing of Second Hand Books”

Due to online platforms in the United Kingdom, second hand book demand has risen sharply. In fact, many books are surprisingly valuable for their price. Online second-hand books retail is a whole new market segment in the country, comprising variations in books. In the United Kingdom, people prefer buying second-hand books rather than new books that are priced higher.

  • World of Books brought surplus books that were being chucked out of a charity shop and also bought a new warehouse where 2.8 million books could be stored. In the past, charity shops were the only place where used books or second-hand books were present but now there are firms such as WeBuyBooks and World of Books where book owners are allowed with the help of specially designed apps to sell their used books.

How are Sales of Second Hand Books Evolving in Germany?

“Retail Book Trading of Second Hand Books High in Germany”

Retail book trade holds the most significance and serves as an important channel of distribution in Germany. In 2020, Internet bookselling reached 23% to 25% of overall book sales, which was higher when compared to all the years before. Printed second-hand books and e-books are exhibiting high demand where there is a product range for every book publisher and the market is seeing more sales, with online retail an important growth driver for the publishing industry.

In Germany, this mode of business accounts for approx. one-third of the total sales in the publishing market and is growing faster than offline channels.

Why is the Market for Second Hand Books Expanding in Poland?

“Rapidly Rising Prices of New Books in the Country”

People’s interest in second hand books in Poland has increased due to the rising prices of new books. Used books cost customers only half the rate of new books.

One of the trends for used books is growing consumer awareness of environmental issues such as pollution and other environmental problems. Adopting reusable items is crucial to do everything we can to protect the environment. Purchasing used books lowers the production of new prints, eventually using less paper, thus positively affecting the environment. Customers who are concerned about the environment thus give these kinds of concerns a lot of thought before making purchases.

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Category-wise Insights

Which End User Accounts for High Sales of Second Hand Books in Europe?

“Adults Account for High Revenue Generation for Second Hand Book Suppliers”

According to this analysis, based on end user, adults hold a major share of the second-hand books market in Europe. Around 60% of the share of the overall sales is accounted for by adults and the rest by kids. People in Europe, including adults, are more inclined toward reading comics such as DC and Marvel. Fiction books are the most popular books among most readers.

Fiction authors write books not only with experience but with innermost thoughts. Therefore, these books help readers think from a different point of view and also help in improving memory, a fact that has helped the second hand books market grow in the region.

Which Types of Books Exhibit the Most Sales?

“Books Depicting Action & Adventure Most Preferred in This Space”

The action and adventure category accounted for 5.7% share of the market in 2022. Readers mostly prefer books that tell stories of adventures while being available on online channels at affordable prices. They prefer books that are classified as highly rated and highly reviewed on online platforms.

It is anticipated that over the forecast period, the online segment will grow substantially and will give several benefits to users, including coupons, free delivery, and exclusive offers. App-based vendors will also see a significant rise in numbers, which will drive the sales of second-hand action and adventure books.

Competitive Landscape

Second hand book manufacturers across Europe are implementing various strategies for regional establishment and to increase their sales. Several companies are focusing on expanding their market footprint and are increasing their sales by targeting new customers instead of developing long-term relationships with their existing customers through initiatives such as thrift stores and collaborating with Bookstragrammers and Booktubers.

Europe Second Hand Book Industry Report Scope



Forecast Period

2023 to 2033

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2022

Market Analysis

  • US$ Million for Value
  • Units for Volume

Key Countries Covered

  • UK
  • France
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Rest of Europe

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Book Type
  • Price Range
  • End User
  • Sales Channel
  • Country

Key Companies Profiled

  • EBay Inc.
  • MyBookStore.Com
  • Powells Book
  • BookMooch
  • BookChor Literary Solutions Private Limited
  • Crossword Bookstores Ltd.
  • Skyo
  • Bookadda.Com
  • BookMafiya Study Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  • AbeBooks Inc.
  • Powells.Com
  • Thrift Books
  • Better World Books
  • The Strand
  • PaperBack Swap
  • Others (as per request)

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives


Available upon Request

Key Segments of Europe Second Hand Book Industry Research

By Book Type:

  • Action & Adventure
  • Art, Music, Film, and Photography
  • Academic Books
  • Biographies & Comics
  • Crafts, Home & Lifestyle
  • Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction
  • Health, Personal Development, Politics
  • Politics & Religion
  • Sciences, Technology & Medicine
  • Sports and Travel
  • Other

By Price Range:

  • Mass/ Economy
  • Premium

By End User:

  • Adults
  • Kids

By Sales Channel:

  • Wholesalers/Distributors
  • Specialty Stores
  • Independent Books Stores
  • Online Retailers
  • Other Sales Channels

By Country:

  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Rest of Europe

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Amazon Inc.
  • EBay Inc.
  • MyBookStore.Com
  • Powells Book
  • BookMooch
  • BookChor Literary Solutions Private Limited
  • Crossword Bookstores Ltd.
  • Skyo
  • Bookadda.Com
  • BookMafiya Study Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  • AbeBooks Inc.
  • Powells.Com
  • Thrift Books
  • Better World Books
  • The Strand
  • Paperback Swap
  • Other Players (As Requested)

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The European second hand books market is forecasted to expand at 4.6% CAGR through 2033.

The market for second hand books in Europe reached a valuation of US$ 5.99 billion at the end of 2022.

Between 2018 and 2022, the second hand books market in Europe expanded at 3.2%.

Some of the leading providers of second hand books are EBay Inc., MyBookStore.Com, Powells Book, BookMooch, BookChor Literary Solutions Private Limited, Crossword Bookstores Ltd., Skyo, Bookadda.Com, and BookMafiya Study.

The market for second hand books in Europe is anticipated to reach US$ 9.76 billion by the end of 2023.

Rising sales of used books through online platforms, strategic partnerships between companies and online third-party retailers, and thriving traditional second hand books stores are key trends in this market.

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