Let’s face it… college is expensive, and dishing out hundreds of dollars for textbooks surely doesn’t help. Rather than throwing those textbooks on a closet shelf and holding onto them forever, you can sell them and get some cash back into your wallet. Of course you won’t get the original price you paid for those books, but some money back is better than the $0 those books will get you collecting dust in a corner! Read on to find the best places to sell your old textbooks, both online and in person.
Ahhh, Craigslist – the popular classified advertisement website that surely keeps things simple. It might not be your first idea for selling your textbook online, but if you live near a college or university, it’s a great way to get rid of your textbook fast (and avoid shipping!). Be sure to provide as much information as you can about the book and include a few photos. When you find a buyer, meet in a public space for the exchange, or even on campus, just to be safe.
Yes, Amazon will buy your textbooks back from you in exchange for an Amazon gift card. Is there anything Amazon doesn’t do? Simply provide all of the information about your textbook and Amazon will give you with an immediate quote. If you accept the trade-in value, you’ll get a pre-paid shipping label to send your book to Amazon for free. Once Amazon receives and appraises your book to make sure it’s worth the value quoted, your Amazon account will reflect that amount as a gift card balance. If you don’t like Amazon’s quote, you can also sell your textbook as a third-party seller on the site. If you do this, Amazon will charge a small seller’s fee. For future reference, Amazon also accepts cell phones, tablets and other electronics through its trade-in program.
It’s no secret that Barnes & Noble typically is not the most cost effective store to buy your college textbooks… BUT you can use Barnes & Noble’s textbook buyback program to get some money back on your books. Simply enter the ISBN and accept the quote, then ship your book. Once received, Barnes & Noble will pay you via PayPal or check. Note that you must have at least $10 worth of books to sell in order to use Barnes & Noble’s buyback program.
Decluttr is a great way to de-clutter! Get rid of old textbooks as well as cell phones, CDs, DVDs and other electronics fast. Decluttr’s mobile app allows you to simply scan your textbook’s barcode to submit information so you don’t have to go rustling through the pages. Accept Decluttr’s quote, ship your book for free, and get paid the next day via check, direct deposit or PayPal.
Believe it or not, Bookbyte has been buying and selling textbooks online since 1999, and is now one of the largest used textbook retailers on the West Coast. Enter your textbook’s ISBN to get a quote. The great thing about Bookbyte is that your quote is protected for 30 days, even if the value of your book goes down, so you are able to shop around for the best buyback price. If you decide Bookbyte is the way to go, continue the sale and ship your book to the company for free. Payout can up to two weeks, and you can receive it in either check or PayPal form.
ValoreBooks searches its marketplace to find the buyer willing to pay the most for your book. Accept the price ValoreBooks has found for you, ship your book in for free and get paid through check or PayPal. The great thing about ValoreBooks is that if you find a higher price offer on your book within a week of placing your order, ValoreBooks will make up the difference. Additionally, ValoreBooks also accepts novels and biographies in addition to textbooks. ValoreBooks is very convenient in that it allows you to enter multiple ISBNs at once, and there is also a mobile app with scanning capabilities.
When you enter your book’s ISBN, TextbookRush’s quote is valid for seven days. Shipping to TextbookRush is free and you can get paid via check, PayPal or store credit. If you choose store credit, TextbookRush has hundreds of thousands of e-books available to rent or buy. You can also sell used games and movies to TextbookRush.
BooksRun works similarly to other textbook buyback websites – enter the ISBN, review and accept the quote, ship your book in for free and get paid via check or PayPal. One advantage of BooksRun is that the site accepts international editions of textbooks, which other buyback websites don’t always take.
This website is exclusively devoted to buying back textbooks – meaning they don’t sell or rent them, too. Because of this, TextbookBuyer claims to offer the highest price for your book. Just as other buyback websites, enter your ISBN, get a quote, accept it and ship the book in for free. According to the site, payment is fast, however it is mailed via check. The website is a bit outdated, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
BookScouter is unique compared to other textbook buyback websites in that it allows you to compare quotes from multiple vendors in just one search, either online or via mobile app. Search your textbook’s ISBN, compare prices and vendor ratings, and choose the best deal. Shipping your book to the vendor is free. Payout time varies depending on which vendor you choose. Typically, choosing to get paid via PayPal is faster no matter what vendor you choose, but you can also get paid with a check.
Student2Student helps link buyers on the same college campus to avoid the hassle of shipping or waiting for your payout. Simply create an account, enter your book’s information and let Student2Student find local prospective buyers searching for your book. Meet on campus or another spot nearby and get cash in your hand ASAP.
12. Local Libraries
Not all local libraries accept used textbooks, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you live in an area close to a large university or college, there is a good possibility that the library will pay you some cash for your old textbooks.
13. Used Book Shops
Local second-hand book shops might accept your textbooks in addition to the fiction and non-fiction novels they typically buy back. A quick Google search can show you stores of this type in your area.
Tips for Selling Back Textbooks
Timing is Everything
To get the most cash for your used textbooks, put them up for sale right before or at the beginning of the semester when students are actually looking. Late August or early September would be the best timing for the fall semester, while late December or early January is good timing for the spring semester. In addition, don’t wait years to sell back your books. Once it gets replaced by a newer edition, it loses much of its value.
When selling in person, before lugging your heavy textbooks to the shop or library, call ahead to those places to make sure they even accept used textbooks. A phone call can also help you find out if the shop or library has certain restrictions or requirements.
When selling online, be sure to shop around for the best quote. Shopping around online is easy, especially since all of our suggested websites give you a quote before you have to accept it. If you prefer a certain payout time and type, the highest quote might not always be the best choice.
Seriously… Just Sell Them
You might be hesitant to sell your old textbooks, especially if they are related to your college major and future career. Many professors will tell you to hold on to these textbooks for future use. The truth is, you will most likely never open those textbooks again once you graduate. So instead of losing them in your parents’ attic or shoving them in a drawer to be forgotten about, get rid of them and make some cash.
Which is Better?
When it comes to choosing the best platform to sell your old textbooks, the decision is ultimately up to you. There are many factors to consider when selling online, such as payout amount, type and time, and if you consider printing a shipping label, packaging your books, and dropping them off at a local UPS, USPS or FedEx location to be worth the money. If you’re looking for quick cash and want to avoid the hassle of shipping, selling locally in-person is the way to go. However, this option might not always get you the most money. Whichever way you decide to go, selling back your textbooks is a smart move.