Textbook Buyback: Getting the Most Money (Part 1)

Just a few semesters ago, it felt like it was a given that selling back textbooks was a pretty awful process. We could describe buyback it as a hassle that almost always involved waiting in lines only to experience disappointment over feeling utterly ripped off. But things have changed — and for the better.

Not only does textbook buyback not have to be a time-waster that culminates in rage, it can actually be fast, easy, and lucrative.

Here, in Part 1 of our Spring Textbook Buyback series, we’ll touch on the rules and basics of buyback. This info will help you get organized and it will put you in great shape when it comes to actually selling your books back in the coming weeks. In our next installment, we’ll go deeper and we’ll cover tips and tricks that will get you the most money back — sometimes so much that you actually will have made money buying, owning, and selling back a textbook!

Buyback Rules, Basics, and Reminders

  1. Avoid the campus bookstore. Sure, you can try to sell your books back at the college bookstore, but bookstores are notorious for 1) making students stand in line for hours, 2) declining to buy a lot of titles, 3) offering about $5 for that book that cost $200 at the beginning of the semester.
  2. Shop around. In owning textbooks, you possess a valuable commodity and your have options. Use the CampusBooks.com SELL Price Comparison Tool to see ALL of the offers available and to pick the best deal.
  3. Don’t assume that you can’t sell certain books. Even if you highlighted text or used the access card, your textbooks — even a little used and/or without supplements — may still have buyback value, which brings us to…
  4. Be honest. Don’t tell a buyer that your textbook is in good condition when it’s warped from a beer spill. Don’t say that the book is complete when you lost the DVD. It’s better to get a little less than to get nothing at all.
  5. Read the fine print. Some buyers have a minimum for payout, some offer credit rather than cash. Others buyers won’t accept books shipped without using official pre-paid labels or they won’t take international editions. Know the deal before you take it. #LifeLessons
  6. Follow instructions and follow through. Remember that thing about textbooks being a valuable commodity? That. When it comes to buyback, you’re dealing with for-profit businesses, not your softy English professor who always gives extensions and grades on a curve. So, if a buyer tells you that a buyback quote is good through a certain date and that you need to ship the book via UPS and pack it with the quote printed out and in the envelope, you need to do exactly that.

Next Steps

  1. Keep this list handy for when you’re ready to sell.
  2. If there are textbooks that you’re already finished with and don’t need for finals or term-papers, start putting them into Keep/Sell piles.
  3. Check your shelves for any books you’ve held onto in the past but now might be ready to sell and add those to your Sell pile.
  4. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll talk about tools that can make selling back books easier and faster and we’ll also talk about timing and how holding onto your book a little longer could mean getting a lot more money later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please copy the string t1P4sS to the field below: