Where To Sell College Books

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 10 minute read

Sometimes, the prospect of making a little more bucks on your college textbooks by reselling them is all it takes to get you through the first few weeks of the semester.

As the semester draws to a close, you decide to donate your lightly used textbooks to the campus bookstore.

Instead of the pile of cash you expected, the bookshop provides you a few bucks in exchange for your book. What the hell is going on?

It is a myth perpetuated by your campus shop that books purchased for class use have no monetary worth. To maximize your profit, you’ll need to choose the best places to sell your items.

Where to Sell Old Textbooks

You may sell your old textbooks to an online retailer or directly to other students in order to make more money for them.

1. Decluttr

There are many different types of items you may buy at Decluttr. Decluttr is the way to go if you have more than textbooks to offload.

Both of the following methods may be used to find out if Decluttr accepts your books; Simply enter the ISBN, which can be found next to each barcode, into the Decluttr website or use the app to scan your books’ barcodes. 

As soon as a price is determined, the website informs users if it is presently purchasing their desired book or not. If you accept the pricing, you’ll have 28 days to pack up your books and other media and ship them to Decluttr. 

All you have to do is pick a strong box and go to the post office with the pre-paid label provided by this site.

To utilize Decluttr, you must bring in at least 10 items of media or one electronic device, and your total must exceed $5. When your package arrives at the company’s warehouse, it is unpacked and examined by a member of the staff. 

Decluttr will pay you via PayPal or direct transfer the next business day if all goes smoothly and your books are in acceptable condition.

2. BookByte

BookByte’s buying procedure is extremely similar in many ways to Decluttr. Enter the ISBNs of your books, get an estimate from the site, accept or reject it, obtain a pre-paid label, and send your books in for recycling. Simple as that!

If you agree to BookByte’s price, you’re committed to it for the next thirty days. After receiving a quote, please ship your books as soon as possible because they may take up to 10 days to arrive. 

BookByte takes three to five days to process and inspect your books after they’ve been delivered. Although checks might take up to a week to come from BookByte, you will get your money as soon as your books are accepted.

3. GoTextbooks

The procedure is very similar if you prefer to utilize GoTextbooks. However, the grace time and shipment technique make it stand out. You have seven days from the time you get your quotation and print your shipping label to ship the books. 

After eight days, the label is no longer valid. Also, UPS is used instead of the post office to mail them out.

GoTextbooks reviews and processes books within five days after receiving them. If your books are accepted, you will be paid by cheque or PayPal by the firm. 

After your application has been accepted, a cheque will be mailed to your home within one to two weeks. Between two and 14 days, a PayPal payment will be reflected.

4. Cash4Books

Cash4Books provides you a pricing quotation for up to 48 hours after you search for your book’s ISBN.

There is a five-day window after accepting the estimate and entering all of your books, depending on how many books you’re selling, for you to package and ship your books from the post office or FedEx.

To ensure that your books are in good condition, the firm will inspect them and offer you a PayPal or paper check once they’ve been received. 

You should expect to get paid within 13 days after signing up with Cash4Books, depending on your location and how long it takes for your mail to arrive. One day after the books are processed and accepted, the money is issued.

5. Powell’s

A big secondhand shop in Portland, Oregon called Powell’s Books doesn’t solely sell textbooks, but it’s likely to buy them from you if they are in good condition.

For general publications like novels, cookbooks, and self-help manuals the shop will buy them back. 

Enter the ISBN of a book you’re interested in to view their offer. If Powell’s doesn’t acquire that book at that moment, you’ll be notified with a quotation or a no-buy message.

A minimum of seven books, or books worth at least $9, must be offered for sale at Powell’s. There is no expiration date on quotations.

Other firms that purchase back books use similar procedures. Print a mailing label and ship your books; then sit tight for payment to arrive. 

This option is available at Powell’s and is generally better in value than a credit card payment. When asked how long it takes to get payment, the bookshop claims it does it as soon as it has confirmed the condition of the books.

6. ValoreBooks

ValoreBooks has a similar process enter the ISBN, receive a price quote, and then select whether or not to move further.

If you decide to proceed, you will have 14 days from the day you accept your quotation to package your books, apply the pre-paid label, and ship them.

Once the firm has received and approved your books, a cheque or PayPal payment is sent.

A check might take up to two weeks to arrive, but a PayPal payment normally shows up in your account between two to seven days. As well as printed books, ValoreBooks also takes video games and audio CDs.

7. TextbookRush

Using ISBN, title, author name, or keywords, you may locate your textbooks using TextbookRush. There, you can see if the title is presently being purchased and for what price. Used video games and movies are also accepted on the website.

You have seven days from the time you agree to the quote to ship your books and media using the prepaid label provided. When the firm receives and approves your cargo, it pays you by cheque, PayPal, or shop credit.

 It might take up to 10 days for a check to arrive, although PayPal payments and store credit are usually accessible the next day.

8. The Other Students

To earn the highest resale price for your books, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to price, list, and ship each book individually. 

There are a number of options for doing this:

  • Sell your products on the internet. You may eliminate the intermediary by signing up for a seller’s account on a site like Amazon or eBay and selling directly to customers. With internet selling, you may make more money, but it also requires more time and effort on your part. Regardless of whether you choose to sell your books on Amazon or eBay, you will have to price and list each book yourself, and you may also be responsible for delivery.
  • Promote your products in your neighborhood. Another alternative is to put up adverts for your books and sell them in your own neighborhood. Create a Craigslist ad outlining the books you have and the price you’d like to charge for each one. Creating a flyer for each of your books and posting it in the common area or lounge is a good idea if you live in a dorm.
  • Your Friends and Family are an excellent source of new customers. If your friends are going to take the classes you just finished, they could be willing to buy your books for a fraction of the price they would spend at the school shop and more than you’d earn if you resold them to the bookstore.
  • Social media is a great place to promote your products and services. You can also sell your textbooks on social media for a profit. To promote your books, you may use social selling platforms like Facebook Marketplace or LetGo. App with a strong focus on the local community Your books can be listed for sale on Nextdoor in the items for sale section.

You should price your books competitively when you sell them directly to another student, a neighbor, or the public at large, whether on campus, in person, or online.

However, you do not want to price your old books so low that the effort of selling them is not worth it.

There are a few things to consider while deciding on the optimum pricing for your books:

  • The Cost of Having a Second Copy. Take a look at what other authors are charging for similar books before you decide how much to charge for your own. If your competitors’ prices aren’t excessively low, you can get a competitive advantage by setting yours just a little lower. Alternatively, you might charge the same or a little more for your book, but include free delivery in the deal.
  • The Golden Age of Reading. Older textbook versions are frequently cheaper than newer editions. It’s possible to lower the price of your books if they are outdated or if new versions are on the way.
  • The Book’s Condition. More money can be made by selling a book that has no writing or rounded corners.
  • The Book’s Availability. The secondhand textbook market is subject to the laws of supply and demand. Price per unit decreases when more and more copies of an item are produced. As long as you’re selling a book that’s out of print and difficult to obtain, you may raise the price of the book by charging more for it than you would for a book that’s still in print and readily accessible.

How to Maximize Your Textbook Purchases

When trying to sell your textbooks, it’s best to be realistic. Even if you sell straight to another student, you’re unlikely to receive much for each copy. 

However, there are ways to raise the price of each book.

1. Choose the proper timing

Everyone is racing to dispose of their textbooks from just finished classes at the conclusion of the semester. Selling your books gives you a feeling of closure since it signifies that the course is actually ended.

However, a market is flooded when a large number of students sell their books at once. Upon being overburdened, resellers may reduce the price they are willing to provide or stop purchasing specific copies entirely.

Waiting till readers are truly in need of your books is preferable. The beginning of the semester is frequently good, especially if you’re intending to market to other students directly.

Give it about a month and try again if you attempt to sell your books at the conclusion of the semester and no one is interested.

2. Handle Your Books With Care

Keep your books in good condition throughout the semester, whether you decide to sell them yourself or via a third-party vendor. 

Some pencil or pen markings on the interior of a book will not deter a buyer, but a book with a lot of colored highlighter or extensive comments in the margins is likely to be rejected by a potential purchaser.

If a book doesn’t fulfill a certain set of requirements, it’s likely to be rejected by book dealers. For example, the covers of your books must exist and be in good condition. In addition, the books themselves require all of their pages to be present. 

Consider including the CD or other additional materials that came with the textbook when selling it. It’s best to keep your books dry and clean if at all possible. Please refrain from bringing them with you inside the restroom! 

For those days when it rains and you don’t have a waterproof backpack, wrap your books in plastic before putting them in your bag.

Also, keep food and drink away from your books by not eating or drinking over them. Get into the habit of keeping your food away from the books if you munch while studying.

3. Select the Appropriate Shipping Method

The shipping costs are covered by the resellers, but if you want to sell directly to customers you will have to pack and send each book individually or per order.

Even if you’re not planning to give away any books for free, sending them via media mail might save you money on shipping expenses overall.

Media mail is one of the most cost-effective means of delivery. If you want to transport books, DVDs, CDs, or other media, you can use the US Postal Service’s Priority Mail service.

In comparison to other methods, the shipment might take anywhere from two to eight days.

4. Select the Best Reseller

Finding the best textbook reseller might be a bit of a trial and error process if you’re not selling your books directly.

If you request a quote from one organization, they may offer you an extremely cheap price or perhaps refuse to purchase the book at all.

It is beneficial to compare prices on books. To find the websites that sell books for the lowest prices and that are currently accepting the titles you own, utilize a service like BookScouter

Simply put the ISBN of each book on the website. It tells you which bookseller is offering the greatest price after searching through 30 book buyers.

To complete the sale and make arrangements for delivery and payment after that, go to each vendor’s website.

Since many sellers have minimum buy-back requirements, it might be more advantageous to choose a seller who would buy back a number of books rather than one who will give you the greatest price for a single volume. 

You can sell your books to many resellers in order to gain the greatest money, depending on how many you have and the offers you receive. 

Furthermore, with time, the book titles that book retailers accept change. It might be worthwhile to go back later to see if they’ll buy a certain book if they reject it for one month.

Bottom Line

When you sell your textbooks, you might not get back every dollar you invested in them, but you should still be able to make some money. 

In addition to selling your books after you’re done with them, you may save money by purchasing secondhand books, figuring out how to get school supplies for less, and making use of the library whenever you can.

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