8 Best Places to Find Cheap Bookshelves

Bookshelves aren't just for storing books! They add display and storage space to living rooms, bedrooms, dens and even kitchens! If you need a little extra storage space and don't want to spend a lot, here are eight places to find cheap bookshelves.

1 / 8
craigslist sell your stuff
Casimiro PT/Shutterstock


Scope out your local craigslist listings for cheap bookshelves. Even if they are a little worn, you can transform them with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Make old furniture look new again with these refinishing tips.

2 / 8


Haven’t heard of Freecycle? The network is made up of people who give and get stuff for free and thus keep perfectly good items (such as cheap bookshelves) out of landfills. You can join the network in your own community. Teach your child basic woodworking skills with this DIY bookshelf plan.

3 / 8


Cheap bookshelves can be found on Facebook buy and sell groups in almost every corner of America. Just search for local buy-sell-trade groups in your city or town. Try incorporating a bookshelf into your DIY kitchen island design.

4 / 8
Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock


Nextdoor is a free, private social network for your neighborhood. You’ll not only be able to keep up on crime, events and new businesses nearby, but there are also categories for selling items and even a free item section. The site even allows you to post if you’re looking for items such as cheap bookshelves!

5 / 8
My Life Graphic/Shutterstock

Resale Shops

If you’re in need of cheap bookshelves, check out resale shops and thrift stores such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. If you find one that needs a little TLC, trying lining the shelves with colorful self-adhesive or wrapping paper.

6 / 8

Alleys and Sidewalks

If you’re lucky, you can often find items for free in alleys and on sidewalks. If you’re unsure if it’s free for the taking, just be sure to ask the homeowner. You can build a bookshelf with little time and effort with these complete plans.

7 / 8
Ralf Broskvar/Shutterstock

Garage Sales

When looking for cheap bookshelves, look for neighborhood garage sales. Just be ready to transport the bookshelf yourself (or get a friend with a truck to help out). If you’re planning a garage sale, consider these 14 tips for a successful sale.

8 / 8

Nearby Apartment Buildings

Those who rent often move out at the end of the month and sometimes they leave furniture behind. If there are apartment buildings nearby, it doesn’t hurt to drive by at the end of the month to see if anyone left behind a cheap bookshelf. These 18 handy hints make moving a breeze!

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.