Since 1983, we have bought, sold, and traded with customers through the northern Virginia area. We started with just books, but now we are so much more than that. Interested? Well, there are a few things you should know about our process, so keep reading.
Hi there! Doing new things 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 use internal software to set the prices, 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….
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+)
Put it in your car (or bike we suppose?)
Scoot on over here during incoming hours (at least an hour prior to closing, or 5pm on holidays)
Come into the store and up to a check-in window with your items – and your valid driver’s license.
We will ask you to transfer your items into our bins – up 4 on weekdays/3 on weekends & holidays!
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.
When can I bring my items in?
Bring in your merchandise 7 days per week up until 1 hour prior to closing, or up to 5pm on holidays. Large orders (more than 3 bins) are accepted as space allows. Please note that occasionally we have to stop or delay accepting incoming trades due to the size of the space available for processing, or the time available before we close.
How much can I bring in at once?
We can accept 4 bins* per adult per weekday, 3 bins per adult on weekends and holidays. For quantities more than this, you are welcome to inquire at check-in if there is availability for a large order (defined below).
Wagons are available to transport your items to the check-in area. We are unable to assist in bringing items into the store, and we do not make house calls.
Large orders generally accommodate 8-10 Xerox sized boxes of books, and take up to 2 weeks to process. Large order bins are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis. We do not accept reservations for large orders nor are we able to check to see availability prior to arrival. Upon checking in a large order, our check-in clerk will have you fill out a Large Order Contract. We will also obtain your mobile phone number and check you in with our text based check-in system. Your party/organization is able to check in one large order at a time, no more than once every 2 weeks. We will text you to let you know when your large order has been completed. Payment pickup for Large Orders must occur within 30 days of completion. There will be no returns of items we do not accept for sale; those items will be recycled.
*A bin is defined as one of our processing bins and is measured at 18”x13”x12”
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. If there is a cash option, any amount over $30 will be issued in the form of a check or PayPal, without exception.
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. Due to the nature of supply and demand, we offer cash/check/Paypal payment for limited items only, and we offer trade credit for everything.
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 the merchandise we accepted for sale for up to three days from check-in. We will hold returns (items we did not accept for re-sale) for up to three hours after you trade in. After three hours, we recycle or dispose of all returns, as we are unable to track and store at the volume at which we process.
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 will offer an amount 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!
What items do you accept?
- Fiction Books
- Non-Fiction Books
- Text Books
- Children’s Books – must be free of writing, stamps, and stickers on the exterior.
- Literature and Classics
- Comic Books
- Graphic Novels
- DVD Movies
- BluRay Movies
- Audio Books on Compact Discs(CDs)
- Music CDs
- Vinyl Records
- Board Games
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Wooden Children’s Puzzles
- Video Games –Disks and Cartridges
- Video Game Controllers
- Video Game Consoles – we do not accept PS4, PS5, XBOX 1, XBOX S, XBOX X
- Video & Computer Gaming Magazines
- Science Fiction Magazines
- Movies & Cinema Magazines
- Music & Musicians Magazines
- Cosplay Magazines
- Action Figures
- Funko Pops
- Beanie Babies
- Matchbox sized Diecast cars
- Nerf Brand Nerf Guns
- Magic The Gathering Cards
- Pokemon Cards
- Legos, bulk and sealed sets. Legos must be clean.
Is there anything you don’t take?
Yes, there are items that we do not accept due to saleability. Those are as follows:
- Library books or rental copies, current or discards
- Books missing disks where previously included
- Children’s books with writing, stickers, or stamps on the outside
- Anything that is wet, or water damaged.
- Any items from orders containing live insects
- Encyclopedia sets
- Pornographic materials
- Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 consoles
- XBOX 1, XBOX S, XBOX X Consoles
- Items with exposed/repaired wiring
- Time Life Series Books
- Books containing excessive highlighting or writing
- Any items we deem to be in poor or unsaleable condition
- Books with missing or ripped covers
- Disk items without complete cases
- Records without inner sleeves
- VHS/VCR Tapes
Need Further Assistance?