College Students: Get More for Your Used Textbooks

On the day that I first moved to college and had my very own half of a dorm room for the first time, I got in line to buy textbooks at the bookstore. I went in the middle of the day, so of course, there was a huge line. I waited about 15 minutes to get into the bookstore. I looked up and down the aisles for every last one of the 7 books I “needed” for the semester. So I grabbed all of my textbooks, took them up to the counter, and paid a whopping $487.50 for the textbooks I needed for the semester. I thought I was being smart because I bought some of the used ones that the bookstore had, boy, was I naïve.

Used Textbooks

At the end of the semester, I took my books back to the bookstore and got just under $100 for all of the books I had bought just three-and-a-half months prior. I’m sure most college freshmen have experienced a similar situation, but there’s definitely a better way to go. You can sell your textbooks to other college students who will need them for their classes for much more than the bookstore will offer you from them.

Most of us college students still have our textbooks around from the Spring semester, if you haven’t already handed them back to the bookstore. In just about a month when students start getting the list of books they’ll need, is the best time to sell textbooks, because that’s when the demand is the highest.

So if you have any used textbooks you’d like to sell, don’t sell them to the bookstore, instead head on over to Half.com. Type in the ISBN number of the textbook you want to sell, and this will give you a pretty good idea of what the market price is for your book. It’s an accurate representation of what students will have to pay for the textbook in the fall. You’ll also want to check out eBay, and see what the book is going for there.

Now that you know what you should be getting, head on over to Google, and type in “sell your textbooks.” There are dozens of different sites offering to buy your books, so type in the ISBN number on those sites and see which one will give you the best deal. If any of them are close to what they’re selling for on Amazon and eBay, go ahead and sell it to them.

If none are willing to offer you a decent price, then go ahead and put your textbooks on something such as the Amazon Marketplace or Half.com. You’ll want to price your books very near the bottom of the range of prices so that you are sure to tell them in a timely fashion. You’ll have to pay a little bit of money to list the items, but it’s still very worth it to do sell your textbooks this way.

When you go to the bookstore and sell your textbooks, you’re only getting an offer from one company. When you do the research yourself, you’re getting offers from dozens of companies and all sorts of individuals. Selling your textbooks yourself rather than to the bookstore will ensure that you get a fair market price for your books.