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Resell Textbooks to get the Most Money Back

Updated on December 21, 2009

Sell Textbooks

When you have to buy your own textbooks and spend $75 on the very, very low end per book, you probably want to sell it for as much as you can when you're through with it. I mean, in some cases you may want to keep the textbook for future reference, but in a lot of cases, a large textbook just takes up a lot of space.

What sucks is if you don't know anyone who needs the book for the next semester, and your local bookstore is only offering pennies for a book you paid dollars for. Now, in some cases you just won't get what you paid for the book because now it's used, but anything is better than nothing.

What's important is getting as much for the book as you can. And, there are options to choose from when trying to sell textbooks for cash.

Selling Textbooks

If you're not happy with the quote that your local bookstore gave you, don't settle. Check online before you sell back your textbook.

When trying to sell your used textbooks, try online services. Generally, they'll email you a pre-paid shipping label, so all that you have to do is get the box or large envelop so to ship the book to the company.

You may be leery of mailing the company the book before you get your money, but if you watch what textbook buyback companies you use, you shouldn't have any problems getting your money. (See below for a listing of reputable companies to use.)

When selling your books, consider the following tips so that you get the most money back.

  • Create your buyback quote for your textbook between the last week of class to two weeks after the class has ended. You'll find that most companies have an increased buying season for the following semester right around this time, so in some cases, they're willing to offer you more money for your buyback. The sooner you can get your textbook quote before everyone else starts to attempt to resell their books, the more eager the buyback company will be to offer a higher quote.
  • Do not lose your buyback quote. If you have to remake a buyback quote, you may lose a higher quoted price. Plus, you may lose customer loyalty between you and the company.
  • Mail in your textbook as soon as you can after you get your quote. The quote is only valid for about 30 days, in most cases, so you want to make sure that you get that dollar before they start offering less.


  • If you bought the book online, try to resell it to the bookstore that you purchased it from. In some cases, they will be willing to offer you more money for the buyback when you buy it from the same bookstore (local or online) that you purchased the book from initially.
  • Remember that when you purchase a book, especially used textbooks, make sure that the book has all of its pages and doesn't have any water damage. Even if the book is going to be used another semester after you've used it, you'll find many companies and bookstores won't buy back books that have damaged pages, missing pages, or water damage.
  • Some will not accept books that have excessive highlighting or writing, so keep that in mind while you're using the book. If the store will accept the book, you may receive a lower buyback price.
  • Include any materials that you received when you initially purchased the book, such as CDs, DVDs, workbooks (if still unused), etc.
  • Shop around. Check local bookstores and college bookstores before checking online. But, I've found in most cases, you'll get more for selling online with buyback bookstores than local stores. Check a handful of online bookstores to see what they'll offer you. Check eBay to see what that same book is selling for there; consider checking Amazon to see what they're used textbooks are selling for. By checking around online, you can figure the best place to sell your book; just remember you're not necessarily guaranteed to sell on eBay or Amazon, but you're nearly always guaranteed getting a check from an online used textbook bookstore.

Keep in mind that the better condition the book is in, the more money you will receive for it, and the sooner you sell it the more you can get, as textbooks are quickly revised, making the older editions worth little to nothing in terms of a buyback.

(I have sold old editions of textbooks on eBay, though, so that is sometimes worth a try, depending on when the newest edition was released. Sometimes people will still buy the old edition if the newest edition is recently released for the current upcoming semester. Although generally, it's not the best idea, but sometimes you can still sell outdated editions.)

Where to Sell Texbooks

When looking for the best place online to sell your used textbooks, you'll want to consider the following places before settling on one. You never know which may give you the most money for your book. (These are on no particular order)

  1. Amazon
  2. BookByte
  3. CampusBooks
  4. eBay
  5. eCampus
  6. Sell Textbooks

There are many other places online where you can sell your textbooks, but I've always found that these have given me the best buyback quotes.

Where Have You Gotten the Best BuyBack Quote?

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    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Resellable textbooks and tips to make money out of them. Gives me good idea. Down here, we don't sell old books. We just donate them where needed. Thanks!

    • jobister profile image


      9 years ago from Anaheim, California

      I would also recommend check them out see what you think.

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia

      Check out the different sites, but be careful as textbooks are quickly revised and republished, making the outdated ones worthless in turn of a buyback.

    • jessicab profile image


      9 years ago from Alabama

      This is a very great idea because, I have tons of books creating dust. Thanks so much from jeesicab on hubpages.


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