Zapper are an online buyer of secondhand books and other items. My Zapper Review compares them with other similar online buyers and shares my experience when selling to them.
Zapper made a name for themselves by appearing on Dragon’s Den in 2012 and securing funding from Theo Paphitis. They had been operating since 2009.
The company is based in London and only operate in the UK.
Entering Your Books at Zapper:
- Enter items via their mobile app or website
- The app scans your bar codes – Android and iOS versions available
- If you don’t use the scanner you must enter the ISBNs one at a time.
Additional items Zapper can buy:
Zapper can buy a very wide range of items in addition to books:
- CDs, DVDs and video games
- Electronics; mobile phones, tablets, cameras, iPods, mp3 players, games consoles and sat navs
- And LEGO!
Zapper Review – Creating a Trade:
Minimum trade £5. This can be a mix of books and other items.
You must be at least 18 years of age to sell to Zapper.
Books not accepted by Zapper:
- any book without a barcode
- books with significant stains, rips or mould
- significantly damaged cover or missing dust cover
- missing extras such as CDs if they were originally included
- loose or missing pages
- writing or highlighting that affects usability
- Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include “From the library of” labels.
Like all the sites they won’t accept books that aren’t in good condition ie no damp or damage. Feedback on forums suggests they are particularly fussy about condition and seem to want the books more or less as new.
What Zapper do with Rejected items:
If they don’t like the condition of a book when it arrives they ‘recycle’ it. They cannot send it back and won’t pay you.
Zapper are unusual in offering a specific Recycle option on all items. You’ll only get paid for those items they’ve given a price of course, for but you can opt to also send others in for recycling and Zapper say, “These items will be redistributed to charities or repurposed as something new so nothing goes to waste.”
Post is via Collect+. You print off a label and take it to your preferred Collect+ point, which are generally in local corner shops.
Getting Paid by Zapper:
Payment is by bank transfer or PayPal.
Bonuses & Offers at Zapper:
I am not aware of any bonuses or special offers available at Zapper. They used to give occasional bonus payments for limited periods but I haven’t seen any of these for several years now.
Zapper Review – My Experience with Zapper:
In the past (some years ago) I avoided using Zapper because in my experience although they offered on lots of items they tended to be very low offers compared to their competitors, plus they only paid by cheque and would only accept trades over £10. They attracted lots of poor reviews with users finding them slow in paying – up to 4 weeks from Zapper’s receipt of the goods was not uncommon. However, they’ve evidently changed their practices over the years. They are now much more popular amongst users, with plenty of favourable reviews on Trust Pilot. So I decided to give them another try recently and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of offers and the service I received.
I’ve only completed one trade with Zapper so far, which took a pretty efficient 10 days end to end, most of which was the delivery journey.
Zapper Review – in Summary:
My comparison of online book buyers found that Zapper are on the low side as far as their book offers go. They gave me offers on a good percentage of my books, and about two-thirds of the time theirs was the best or only offer. They often offered on books other sites didn’t want, although such offers were very low. This, plus the fact they’ll take any book you want to send them for their charitable recycling scheme, means they’re a good site to go for if you’re just looking to get clear out your books and you know they’re not really worth much.
Zapper’s other plus point is the wide range of items they’ll take if you’re looking to get rid of more than just books. I haven’t tested Zapper on any of the electronics items or Lego so I can’t comment on how they compare with other buyers on those.