Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most commonly asked questions we receive about donations. If you have any questions we have not addressed here, please send us an e-mail or give us a call at 978.284-2500.
What kind of books do you accept?
We accept all books including hardcover and paperback books, new and old, textbooks, children’s, fiction and non-fiction – we accept them all. We take anything in basic functional condition except encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, and catalogs. We have the most success finding new uses for books published in the last 40 years. In addition to books, we also are happy to accept CDs, DVDs, Audio Books and Records. We never turn books away*. We accept records on a pick-up which includes other items, as we cannot schedule a pick-up for only records and reserve the right to refuse a record donation as necessary. You may also donate records in one of our drop-off containers. We collect books from residents and other individuals, organizations, businesses, schools, libraries, or any other groups that want to take advantage of our exclusive FREE pick-up service offered in many areas of MA and Southern NH.
We DO NOT accept the following:
-sets of law books
Please see below for more details.
*Got Books reserves the right to refuse the collection of books and other items which it deems unsafe or unsanitary for employees.
Can I donate encyclopedias, magazines, VHS tapes or newspapers?
Encyclopedia sets become outdated quickly and thus provide little to no value. We prefer that you recycle them through other means because we are unable to find new uses for these kinds of publications. We pretty much take anything in basic functional condition except encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, journals, sets of law books, VHS tapes and catalogs, though we have the most success finding new uses for books published in the last 40 years.
Is there a minimum or maximum number of books I can donate?
Our free pick-up service requires a 50 item minimum. There is no maximum and with the right planning we’re able to accommodate any amount of books that you may have. For smaller donations, or for those who wish to drop off books, we have hundreds of local drop-off containers around New England. Learn more about donating here.
Do you get all of your books for free?
No. All of the books we receive via container donations, our pick-up service, or in-store donations have costs associated with them.
Many of our books come from our hundreds of local drop-off containers around New England. Each of these containers is being hosted by a local nonprofit group, such as a school, church, or community organization, and every time the container fills up we BUY the books inside the container from that group. This way, we get a great variety of books and we are able to raise thousands of dollars every month for all of our fundraising partners.
While we don’t pay donors directly for donations made through our FREE pick-up service, providing the service of coordinating and picking up these books is quite costly. There are costs for staffing phones, paying drivers, running a fleet of large trucks, and having employees sort the books by hand after pick-ups. We offer book collection as a free service for the community to make donating unneeded items easy for everyone. Got Books will even help you box up the books and carry them out.
All books donated at any of our Used Book Superstore locations benefit our exclusive nonprofit book store partner RARA (Remarkable, Active, Resilient Adults). When books are donated at the stores RARA gets paid for every donation and donors are able to get a tax receipt. Since partnering with RARA, we’ve been able to raise more than $90,000.00 for them and they’ve even been able to buy a brand new 15-passenger van for their services.
What happens to the books?
Collections are hand sorted by Got Books employees to determine the best possible use for each item. Some books will be sent overseas to local servicemen and women as part of the ‘Books for Troops’ initiative, in which Got Books sends books overseas to service men and women and some will be given to teachers for their classrooms as part of our ‘Books for Teachers’ program. Others are sold online or at one of the Used Book Superstores. As a last resort, items that are unsalvageable will be recycled. Items will never, ever end up in the dump.
Are you a nonprofit organization and are my book donations tax-deductible?
Got Books is a for-profit professional fundraiser and used book seller. Though we do not directly issue tax-deduction receipts, contributions made onsite at the Burlington, Danvers, Plymouth, or Salem, NH Used Book Superstore and the following book donation containers are tax deductible (NOTE: book donations collected by way of our home pick-up service or any other book drop-off containers are not tax deductible):
Town Hall Annex (Benefits RARA), 1009 Main St Tewksbury, MA 01876.
Please call RARA (Remarkable, Active, Resilient Adults) at 978.453.5598 to arrange tax receipt details. They’ll mail one to you; there is no need to enter the Town Hall to get a receipt. map location>
Lowell Wish Project, 1A Foundry St Lowell, MA 01852 978.441.9474 map location>
RARA, 295 High St Lowell, MA 01850 map location>
Meadow Glen Mall (Benefits RARA) 3850 Mystic Valley Parkway Medford, MA 02155
Please call RARA at 978.453.5598 to arrange tax receipt details. They will mail one to you; there is no need to enter the mall to get a receipt. map location>
So. New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force, 12 Amherst St Nashua, NH 03064 603.595.8464 map location>
Donations made inside the Burlington, Danvers, Plymouth, or Salem,NH Used Book Superstore help raise money for our exclusive nonprofit book store partner RARA. We pay RARA for every book donated at these locations and you get a tax receipt on behalf of RARA.
Used Book Superstore, 256 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA 01803 map location>
Used Book Superstore, 139 Endicott Street, Danvers, MA 01923 map location>
Used Book Superstore, 419 South Broadway, Salem, NH 0307 map location>
Why should I give my books to you if you’re a for-profit company?
We are a for-profit company that finds great new uses for used books and media. Many people who give us their books are simply looking for a way to clear some space, while also helping their used items get a second chance. Got Books reuses as many donated items as we can, and recycles whatever we can’t, so that no books ever end up in the trash. We work with and help support hundreds of local nonprofit groups through our fundraising program. All of the books dropped into our donation containers help to raise money for the charitable group hosting it. We buy the books inside the container from each group, so they get paid every time their container fills up. We also use a portion of profits to fund our Books for Troops and Books for Teachers programs, so that we can provide needed and useful services to local community members at no cost to them. If you are looking for an easy, convenient way to lighten your book load and ensure your items will have a second life, please contact us. With more than a decade of experience of handling books, we are the absolute best at finding great new uses for your used books. Schedule a pick-up here or find a local drop-off location here.
How much money goes to nonprofit groups?
We’ve partnered with hundreds of local nonprofit groups through our no cost container fundraising program. Every time a group’s container fills up we send a Got Books truck to pick them up. We send the nonprofit a check to BUY the items inside the container. It’s a win-win situation because we get a great variety of books and hundreds of groups in need are able to effortlessly make hundreds of dollars a month. We also have a major nonprofit partner, RARA (Remarkable, Active, Resilient Adults), who gets paid for all donations made at our Used Book Superstores, as well as when their several fundraising containers fill up. We also regularly donate books and Used Book Superstore gift cards to local groups who need them for educational purposes.
Money raised for fundraising partners in 2008: $206,800.00
Money raised for fundraising partners in 2009: $260,800.00
Money raised for fundraising partners in 2010: more than $600,000
Why give us books?
We’ll find a great use for them! We are dedicated to keeping books out of the trash and putting them in the hands of those who need and want them. The majority of books you give allow us to raise funds and support local nonprofits and other groups within the community. Plus, we make donating simple by offering an exclusive, complimentary pick-up service to your home or place of business (in many areas of MA & Southern NH). There are a variety of additional reasons why you should donate to us, but if you still have any unanswered questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 978-284-2500
How do I donate?
We sincerely appreciate the items you give us and therefore provide a variety of convenient ways for you to donate your books. Visit the Donate Books page of our website to schedule an appointment for our exclusive pick-up service in many areas of MA and Southern NH or find a local drop-off donation container in your area. Books can also be dropped off at our Burlington, Danvers, or Salem Used Book Superstore.
What areas are covered by your free pick-up service?
We offer free pick-up in many areas of eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. If you’re outside this area, please visit our Donate Books page to choose an alternative donation vehicle that best suits your needs.
How do I schedule a pick-up?
It’s easy. Here are the ways:
» fill out the online pick-up request form
» print our form and fax your request to 978-284-2500
» send us an e-mail and a representative will call to arrange a time that’s convenient for you
» or simply call us at 978.284-2500
I donated a book that I need back. Can I get it?
Once you have deposited a book or other item into one of our book donation containers or donated an item through our free pick-up service, we are unable to retrieve it if you then decide that you want it back. Please make sure that the items you donate are intended to be given away by either yourself or the owner. Because our containers are only emptied when they are completely full, your item mixes with thousands of others, and because the daily schedules for our drivers are very structured, we are not able to dispatch an employee to retrieve your item. When books return to our warehouse they are put through a sorting process to determine their best possible use and they join thousands and thousands of other books, making it impossible to locate any one specific item.