How To Get The Best Price When Selling Back Textbooks

How To Get The Best Price When Selling Back Textbooks
  • Opening Intro -

    Every college student knows that books are expensive.

    No matter what your major, each semester is the same: you pick a new class load, get a book list and spend a bundle just to obtain the required reading for your courses.


Given that you have to spend so much on books, why not recoup your costs by selling them back when classes end?

If you’re like most college students, you already know the place to make more money back is online — but do you know where online? Which site offers the best return on your investment? Also, how can you get the best price for what you sell?

Believe it or not, the answer to these questions can make all the difference in how much money you make. In today’s bookselling marketplace, the amount you receive for your books varies greatly — both by the quality of your books and the site you use to sell them. That’s why it’s worth evaluating your options to get the most money for your resale.

To help you make the most of your textbook haul, here are some tips for getting the best price when selling your textbooks after this semester:

  • Treat your books with care.

    It almost goes without saying that, if you want to resell your book when you’re done with it, take good care of it. With that in mind, try to keep your books in good condition. Avoid excessive marking with pens or highlighters, and use removable sticky notes or flags too.

  • Know what to expect.

    While you want to take care of your book to resell it, recognize that selling a used book rarely gets you the original purchase price. In fact, getting 50 percent of what you paid for the book — even when it’s still in excellent condition — is considered a good deal. What determines whether you get that 50 percent price or something lower? Some factors that can influence buyback price include whether or not you bought the book new, how old the copyright date is, and whether or not professors are still recommending the same edition.

  • Compare prices.

    There are many websites where you can buy and sell textbooks today — at a wide range of prices. When you’re looking to get top dollar, make it a habit to do a little comparison-shopping. Look up buyback prices on various sites, and figure out what your books are going for, as well as where you’ll likely be able to get the best rate.

  • Sell early.

    If you want to get the best value on selling your textbooks, start thinking about selling even before the semester ends. The earlier, the better. Why? The end of a semester is a great time to get higher prices on the books you want to sell because of the buying cycle for booksellers. Typically, textbook vendors replenish their inventories around this time, and they have limited quotas to fulfill. Additionally, with some sites, you may be able to lock in the highest buyback price when one semester ends.

For any college student looking to save some money and recoup textbook costs, selling back books makes sense. Though for the best values and returns on investment, you have to understand book-selling strategy. If you’re wondering how to get the most for your books this year, start with the strategies above. Use the four principles in this post to help you get the best bang for your buck in the book world — and cushion your book budget with a little more to spend for the books you’ll be buying next year.

Author bio: Woody Hunt, VP of Marketplace
Woody Hunt has been involved in building software solutions for the book industry since 2003. His major projects include the BookVolume online sourcing platform and Skyo e-commerce site, which have driven a combined transaction volume exceeding $100 million. Hunt sold his business, Wobo Inc, to Follett in March 2016. He is now VP of Marketplace at Follett, a parent company of
ValoreBooks. He is currently responsible for aspects of the Follett Marketplace division.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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