the best friends you’ll never have

Besides spam and people who for some reason think I’m Stephenie Meyer, the only kind of comments I don’t approve are people who want to know where to get BSC books, that they have certain books for trade, etc. This is a blog, not a trading site. I can, however, help out those of you who are looking to rebuild your BSC collection and don’t really know how to go about it.

Now, I completed my collection eight years or so ago, so if you have any advice that I may have overlooked, feel free to leave a comment on a recent post or email me at greer (at) On to the guide!

The first step is to look at what you have and what you’re missing. You can download a checklist from Ann’s website, but it’s missing the Portrait Collection books. You’ll also want to make note of any doubles you have. Doubles are important, because you can use them as currency in trade.

The cheapest way to round out your collection–meaning no shipping charges–is to go to local thrift stores and garage sales. If there’s any lots (meaning a large collection of BSC titles), you’ll want to pick those up, even if you have many of the books in the lot. Again, you need doubles for trading. Libraries also often get rid of BSC books, because they’re paperback and don’t keep all that well. So you may also find some at library sales.

You also might want to buy a lot on ebay. I don’t suggest buying individual books on ebay, except as a last resort, because shipping gets expensive. But it’s a good place to go to get a lot with a few books you’re missing and a bunch of doubles.

Then you’ll want to post a list on the various BSC trading communities. The most active is BSC Trade. Post your list of what you have and what you need, and see what happens. There is also the trading forum at the BSC Boards. Many people I know have had great success with Paperback Swap, which I haven’t used myself.

But what happens when no one has a copy of Claudia and the Little Liar or Stacey’s Problem or Amalia, Diary Two? Unfortunately, one of the difficulties of BSC collecting is that there is a glut of earlier books, and the books published later, after BSC popularity peaked, are harder to find. Sometimes, you have to resort to buying books individually–some books, Graduation Day especially, can run quite high. You can check out ebay, as I mentioned earlier, and finally, when you’ve exhausted all other routes, you can buy a book from an Amazon seller.

Happy collecting!

Suggestions from readers

Aliciaii says:

…I was able to get something like 60-70 of the books for a pretty good price on because if you order all your books from the same seller, the shipping is reduced. I spent around $2.50 per book, which is slightly higher than a used bookstore around here, but not significantly, plus the used bookstores here hardly ever have anything past about #70.

Chicken Queen says:

In the same vein as Paperback Swap, I suggest Bookmooch. Especially for non-US citizens, since we can’t use PBS.

Myu has written a guide aimed at UK collectors, but her ebay selling tips are useful for collectors everywhere:

First and foremost, be very specific about which items you are selling. I see so many auctions listed simply as ‘BABYSITTERS CLUB’ that I skip over most of them now, which is obviously not something you want as a seller. There are hundreds of Babysitters Club books plus a film, dolls and heaven knows what else. Don’t include more than you have to in the item title – you have a whole page to describe that. A picture is also useful, but obviously not essential if you write a good item description. If there are books in the picture that you aren’t offering for sale, either state that very clearly in the item description or don’t use that picture.
Good listing:
Babysitters Club – original series 1-15, 72, 84/ mysteries 1 & 2
- item description page includes details about the condition of the books, picture of the books, ISBNs etc.
Bad listing:
- item description lists the first three books (the most common of the series), picture is of Karen’s Witch and a Saddle Club book.