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What To Do With Used College Textbooks

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Choose The Right Reseller

What to Do With Old Edition Textbooks

If youre not selling your books directly, finding the right reseller for your textbooks can take a bit of trial and error. One company can give you a really low quote or refuse to buy a book at all, while another company offers more.

It pays to shop your books around. You can use a tool like BookScouter to see which sites offer the best price for each book and which sites are currently accepting the titles you have.

Just type each books ISBN into the site. The website searches through 30 vendors who buy back books and lets you know which one offers the best price. From there, you can visit each vendors website to finalize the sale and arrange for shipping and payment.

Since many vendors have minimum buy-back amounts, it sometimes makes sense to go with a vendor thats willing to buy back several books rather than find a vendor offering the highest price on a single volume. Depending on how many books you have and the offers you get, you can sell your books to more than one reseller to get the most cash.

Also, the book titles resellers accept change over time. If they refuse a particular title one month, it can be worth it to check back later to see if theyll buy it.

Ways To Beat The System When Buying College Textbooks

If youre a college student starting a new academic year, youre likely reeling in shock from the amount of money youre being asked to spend on textbooks.

The price tags on those books can be astonishing and theyre always climbing. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that college textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation.

Is there any way to avoid this crippling expense? Actually, there are several. The following tips can give you some ideas for beating the system this semester.

1. Beat the crowds. Your on-campus bookstore is your simplest and fastest route for finding the books you need, but it also can be the most expensive. That said, you may be able to save a little bit of money by arriving at the store as early as possible the minute you get your list of required books so you can snatch up used copies.

5. Rent your textbooks in other ways. Much like online movie-rental services, sites like and allows you to rent textbooks rather than buy them. The savings can be substantial, so long as youre careful to return your books on time so your rentals dont get converted to purchases. Another option: Check to see whether your college or university offers a textbook rental service to help students save money. To learn about additional ways to rent textbooks rather than buy them, check out this helpful column on the subject from ConsumerMan Herb Weisbaum.

This Story Is Part Of A Group Of Stories Called

Hannah, a senior at a private university in New York City, cant think of a single semester when she bought all the books she needed for her classes. Even when I was studying abroad, she said, there was no way for me to get through the semester without dropping $500-plus on textbooks, which I couldnt afford.

So she didnt buy them. That semester, Hannah, who asked that her name be withheld due to privacy reasons, found most of the books she needed on Scribd, an e-book subscription service. I used my free trial to do pretty much all my work for the semester and to take screenshots of things so I could access everything once the trial ended, she said. If she couldnt find them there, then she would do without.

Hannahs tuition and housing is covered by scholarships, but she has to use student loans to pay for her health insurance she pays for other necessities, including textbooks, out of pocket. In other words, her generous financial aid package isnt enough to cover the essentials. Her situation is far from unusual: A 2014 report by the Public Interest Research Groups found that two-thirds of surveyed students had skipped buying or renting some of their required course materials because they couldnt afford them.

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How Do I Find My Isbn Number

  • Your ISBN is either 10 or 13 digits and unique to a specific item. Our search bar can accept both formats.
  • The ISBN is often located on the back cover, next to the barcode.
  • Professors will typically supply this in the course syllabus. If not, we suggest asking them for it.
  • Books with the same title often have different ISBN numbers.
  • Different editions have different ISBNs as well.

Pass Along Your Older Editions

Why Do College Textbooks Cost So Much?

Pass along your older editions to friends. Oftentimes, students are stuck with a textbook when a university decides to use a new edition the next year. Find a friend who needs to take the class, and sell it to the friend for a reasonable rate. You make a few bucks and the friend saves a few dollars buying an older edition textbook.

About the Author

Erica Green has been a freelance journalist since 2008. She has contributed to the Atlantic Publishing Company, Texas Sports, Confessions of a Homeowner and more. Green is currently pursuing a degree in Spanish, and she tutors English Language Learner students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas and is a certified middle school teacher.

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Dont Wait Too Long To Sell Them Back

Most campus buyback days happen the week of finals, and while it’s OK to hold off on selling yours for a little bit longer than that if you want some extra time to study, the sooner you can get rid of them, the better. Usually, online sources will buy back books up to a few years after original purchase, depending on if the book is still in use. However, if you want to get the best deal possible, don’t wait too long to sell those books back, especially for classes that change reading materials constantly.

Dont Sell Your Books Back To Your School

Speaking from experience, your school is the worst place to sell your textbooks. Chances are that youâll get the least amount of money from your campus’ book store, even if you bought the books brand new. There are a lot of reasons for this â quotas, revenue, incentives from publishers and professors â but typically, youâll get maybe half of what you paid for the book. And thatâs a big maybe.

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Take Advantage Of The Campus Library

A completely free option for finding textbooks is to check with your campus library. Many campus libraries own a few copies of popular textbooks that patrons may check out or use in the library.

Although this option is free, it can be inconvenient. Some libraries may allow you to reserve books for specific days and times. Due to the limited number of texts, however, you’re not always guaranteed a slot. And because you don’t have your own copy, you may not be able to look up last-minute information while studying the night before a test.

How To Sell Used College Textbooks

What To Do With Old College Books?

At the end of a term, you may be staring at your pile of textbooks wondering what to do with them. Books are bulky, are difficult to transport, and may not have much future value depending on what they cover. As a result, selling used college textbooks is a popular decision for many students.

There are several options you can explore if you’re interested in selling your old textbooks. If you find buyers for your books, you can significantly lower the overall annual cost of your textbooks.

At the end of each term, many campus bookstores host buyback events where they pay you for any textbooks that will be used again the next term. This is a convenient option that usually puts money in your pocket immediately.

While this may be the quickest and most convenient option, selling books to the campus bookstore doesn’t tend to yield the most money. Bookstores know that many students are simply looking to get rid of their books, so the prices they offer aren’t usually the most competitive.

If you’re not impressed with the offer made by your campus bookstore, you could try selling your textbooks online independently. Websites like Amazon and eBay allow you to sell your books to other customers. You may also find a buyer for texts that your campus bookstore didn’t want to buy back.

This process could earn you more money than selling through a third party, but selling your textbooks online can be inconvenient, especially if you need to ship your books and aren’t near a post office.

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Ready To Start Your Journey

  • The price of college textbooks adds up quickly, causing students to find ways to save money.
  • Comparing retailers, purchasing used or digital books, and renting textbooks can cut costs.
  • Students can recoup textbook costs by selling their used books at the end of each term.

Although the price of college tuition and fees has steadily risen over the years, college students are actually spending less on college textbooks and materials than they were a decade ago. The increased popularity of e-textbooks and textbook rentals, as well as a healthy secondhand textbook market, has helped create cheaper options for students.

Learn more about how to find cheap college textbooks and how to rent college textbooks to save money. You can also explore ways to sell college textbooks.

Bonus Idea: Rent Your Textbooks During The Semester

You can rent your books instead of buying and then having to resell them.

Pros: Students are willing to spend more money on textbooks when they really need them. By renting your textbooks during the semester, you can get money from students who didn’t plan ahead. You also have the opportunity to make more cash by renting your books several times.

Cons: There’s no guarantee that you will get your books back. Even honest people might simply forget to return them when they’re done. That means you’ll have to waste time finding them.

With a little planning, it’s possible to make a profit reselling your textbooks. Which method works best for you?

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College Textbooks Are Too Expensive

Compared to campus bookstores, more and more students shop Chegg for their college textbooks because of price and convenience. Below are just a few of the benefits students take advantage of when having to get assigned college books for their classes:

Textbook rentals cost significantly less than buyingChoose from new or usedall in good conditionTake advantage of the 21-day risk-free returns Rent as long as your need it if your due date is too soon, just ask for an extensionWhile you wait for your textbook to arrive, you can access a free 7-day eBook if available

Sell Your Textbooks Online

What to do with your used textbooks

Many students buy textbooks online to save money. If you already have books, you can use those sites to sell books to other students.

Pros: Websites like eCampus make it easy to compare buyback prices so you don’t get ripped off. Selling online is also really easy. Just enter the book’s information, wait for it to sell, and collect your profits.

Cons: Shipping textbooks might be inconvenient if you don’t live near a post office. The good news is that some websites will pay your shipping expenses.

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Build A Free Mailbox Library

If youre looking for a fun weekend project, why not build a free mailbox library? This small mailbox of books on your front lawn allows your neighbours or anyone who passes by to pick up a new free book and bring one back in exchange. By following these simple steps you may end up becoming the coolest neighbour in town.There are many inspirational designs out there many of which can be found on this Pinterest page.

What To Do With Old Textbooks: Where To Donate Textbooks Sell And Recycle

If you are a book lover like me or a student, the chances are that you have large stockpiles of books lying around your house which you no longer find useful and want to get rid of. What to do with old textbooks? You might want to give them away for a good cause, sell them for some quick cash, recycle textbooks for money, or just plan on making some space on your shelvesno matter why you want to do it, there are many ways to get rid of your old books.

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Local Museums & Other Cultural Organizations

If any of your books have historical or cultural significance , reach out to local museums, historical societies, higher-education institutions, and performing arts groups to gauge their interest. Such organizations collect books relevant to their areas of study or interest, both for the benefit of the general public and historical research. Theyre more likely to take good care of valuable or notable books than mass-market thrift shops and charitable buyers too.

Sell Used Textbooks To The College Bookstore

How to Get Free College Textbooks (Working 2021)

Most college bookstores will buy back used textbooks, especially if professors plan to use the same text next semester.

Pros: Bookstores will often pay you cash within minutes. Some people feel that convenience is worth more than money.

Cons: If you sell your books to a bookstore, don’t expect to turn a profit. College bookstores need to make money reselling the books they buy from you. That encourages them to pay you as little as possible.

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Donate Them To Someone Who Wants Them

There are people who can put these books to good use and who otherwise might not be able to afford them. If you can forgo the money youd otherwise make, consider donating these sought after educational resources. From libraries to donation centers like Goodwill and programs that send books to those in need like Books for Africa you wont have any trouble finding organizations that will take your books.

So What To Do With Old Books

The amount of waste generated from old textbooks is astounding. I bet you were not expecting those kinds of numbers, right? However, all the statistics mentioned above do not mean recycling textbooks is inconsequential. Quite the opposite!

These findings demand response and radical change of behavior in our purchasing and discarding of books. What we can start with is to pause before throwing anything away, especially books. The next step is to understand is how we can dispose of them in a way that will either prolong their life or end it in an eco-friendly way.

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Benefits To Selling College Textbooks Online

The virtual textbook market can be highly competitive, but selling college textbooks online has quickly become the preferred alternative for most students, because it allows you to offer your books to a wider group of potential buyers.

Browse the internet to find other items that are similar to the one youre offering, so you can set your prices competitively. A quick way to do this is to jot down the ISBN of your book, and then search for it on an aggregate site that will list pricing from several buyers. Some students use this to get an idea of the items value before posting it online or selling it to a friend. This allows you to set your price and target prospective students that live nearby.

Once youve settled on a site to list your book, be upfront about the items condition. Then, pack it in a padded box or envelope, and use media mail to send it at a cheap rate.

To conclude, youve likely spent a lot on textbooks, so why not maximize your financial return? The sale of a used book can get you a little extra pocket change, and help your classmates, who also want to save cash by buying secondhand.

Alison Blankenship helps in the marketing department at TextbookRush. Alison uses her six years of work experience and her past college experience to help improve user engagement and simplicity for college students.

This article was originally published in September 2015.

Benefits To Selling Used Textbooks On Campus

What To Do With Old Nursing Textbooks?

Most universities have their own bookstores, or are located close to a store that will deal in selling used textbooks. Theres minimal hassle with this option, as students wont have to worry about getting to a post office to ship their items to an online buyer. Unfortunately, the profits are often considerably less than going through an online marketplace unless youre getting rid of a used paperback.

If youre going to sell your college textbooks to a bookstore during buyback season, make sure you get there early. The longer you wait while buybacks are at their peak, the more likely it is that youll find bookstores have reached their quotas and are no longer to offer you a good price.

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Buy Textbooks For Cheap Online

Purchasing books at the college bookstore is no longer your only option. With online companies like Amazon, CheapTextbooks, and Barnes & Noble, comparing textbook prices is convenient and can save you a lot of money each year. A simple search pulls up many textbook suppliers.

However, this wealth of options could leave you feeling overwhelmed, and you also have to be careful to avoid falling victim to scams. Make sure you review textbook companies before purchasing anything and double-check your book’s ISBN.

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