Selling Back Your Textbooks

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If you purchased hard copies of your textbooks it’s time to get back some of your cash. Hopefully you’ll earn a small profit from the sale of your books, which you can use to purchase your textbooks next year or maybe to buy that gorgeous pair of shoes that you saw at the mall the other day.

Search for the Right Price

Don’t just settle for the easiest return on your textbooks. Sure your university bookstore might be right there on campus, but they might not give you the most cash for your books. So shop around; check at Amazon, Book Scouter, and other textbook stores near your university. It’ll take you about 5 minutes to find the buying price for each of your textbooks, but the extra time might pay off.


Used textbook buyers are often willing to bargain. So play your hand to the fullest extent. Act reluctant to sell back your books for the price they’re offering, and try raising the price a few dollars to see if they’ll match your offer. You’ll figure out really fast if whether or not they’re willing to play, and you might earn a little extra cash. (Bonus: Use the offers you’ve received at other buyers as leverage.) So tap into your haggling spirit.

Ask Friends First            

The best person to sell your textbook to is a friend taking the same class next semester. Both of you will win, once you find a happy medium between how much he/she would pay for the book and how much the university bookstore would give you. It’s a win, win, win situation!

Don’t Hang on to Them

Publishers don’t make a profit of the sale of used textbooks; that’s why there are so many new editions of each textbook. So don’t wait until next semester to unload your used books; do it right away. Many professors will allow students to use an older version of the textbook, but most used bookstores won’t purchase an older edition. If you don’t sell while you can, you’ll wind up hanging onto a textbook that you have absolutely no use for.

Think Twice Before you Save it

I’ve heard a lot of students express a desire to keep textbooks that are relevant to their major, but is that really necessary? Information is always changing. In just a few months the information in that textbook will probably be outdated. So before you decide to keep it really question whether or not you’ll ever touch it again. Yes, there are some books that might come in handy when you’ve got a career, but others are just a waste of space on your bookshelf.

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