Finding Manga: Half.com

My first ever online purchase was made through Half.com and ever since then the site has been one of my favorite places to buy used and out of print books. (I also happen sell manga and other books through Half.com, although that’s a little beside the point.) Half.com was founded in 1999 and was purchased by eBay in 2000. Currently, Half.com requires the buyer to have a credit card in order to make purchases.

When it comes to comics, graphic novels, and manga, Half.com‘s product database leaves a bit to be desired. Often, titles do not exactly match up with their appropriate ISBNs; this is particularly problematic when dealing with a series where the individual volumes are identified by number rather than a unique title (which is usually the case for manga). Fortunately, the database has improved over the last couple years, but it’s still not perfect.

When I buy manga on Half.com, I always search by ISBN since it tends to be correct more often than the listed title. In my experience, sellers are also more likely to list a book by its ISBN rather than its title. If I don’t know the ISBN of the book I’m looking for, I usually pull the information from the publisher’s website or Amazon.com, which has a better (but still imperfect) database.

Half.com takes the condition ratings of items very seriously and will crack down on sellers, so you can be confident that a book listed as “like new” actually is like new. However, it is still a good idea to read any comments a seller has made about a particular listing. It is also a good idea to look at a seller’s feedback. While Half.com is very good in helping settle disputes, it’s always better not to have to deal with a bad situation or seller to begin with.

One of my favorite things about Half.com is that it automatically grants combined shipping rates for multiple purchases made from one seller. The site recently introduced the Buying Wizard feature which makes finding these items even easier since it does the legwork for you. It’s still in beta, but in my experience it has been very accurate in most cases and saves a ton of time (believe me, I know.)

Half.com can be a great place to find out of print titles for reasonable prices, which is what I usually end up buying through the site. The best manga prices on Half.com are generally going to be for older and out of print materials as well as for super popular series. Once you take into consideration shipping, newer manga will usually end up costing cover price or more. If you’re looking for new releases, I recommend buying through a local brick and mortar store first and online stores second to better support the creative teams and let the publishers know what’s selling.

Quick Tips for Finding Manga at Half.com
1) Search by ISBN
2) Read the comments about a listing
3) Pay attention to seller’s ratings
4) Take advantage of the Buying Wizard
5) Don’t forget to account for shipping


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Comments

  1. I only recently realized Half.com existed even though I frequently use ebay. I managed to find Vol. 1 of Short Program by Mitsuru Adachi for $8 on Half.com! I was very pleased.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Sesame! I’m always surprised by how few people seem to be aware of Half.com. I’ve had great success finding manga at Half, so I like to get the word out there.

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