How to Get the Most Money When You Sell Your Old Textbooks

Pile of booksAs your college days go on, you’ll likely find yourself accumulating more textbooks than you’d ever imagine owning. Some of them may be useful to you in the future, but many are likely just going to take up space. Why not make a little extra cash by selling them? College textbooks are some of the most expensive books you’ll ever find yourself buying, and they’re designed to be that way. New editions are constantly coming out to replace the old, which means you need to be quick about selling your textbooks if you want to fetch a good price.

Many schools offer buy-back programs to their students. At the end of the semester, when final exams are drawing to a close, you may be able to sell your textbooks back to the campus book store so that they can be resold in the next semester. This is usually the easiest way to sell your old textbooks, but it’s often not the best way. The campus book store will typically only offer you a small portion of the price you paid for the book, even if it’s still in pristine condition. Also, depending on your school’s policies, you may not be able to sell books that were bought outside the campus store.

Selling your textbooks independently requires more work, but will help you get a good price for your texts. It all begins with basic maintenance. Try not to put any permanent, or even semi-permanent markings on your textbooks. Rather than highlighting or underlining important pages, use post-it notes and dog ear tags to read and study actively. Protect your books’ covers as well. Take a lesson from your grade school days and make grocery bag covers, or go for a more minimal approach and cover your books’ corners in easy to remove painter’s tape.

Once you have no more use for your textbooks, having them in like-new condition will be tremendously beneficial. You can sell them locally or online, and your perfectly kept covers and pages will make sure that you get the best sale prices. Selling online is a popular option, and it allows you to reach the widest possible market. Websites like Amazon and allow you to list your books independently so that other students can browse and compare college textbooks from different sellers easily. Once you secure a sale, all you’ll have to do is pack and ship your books.

Alternately, you can try to sell your books locally. Use your network of friends to find out if any incoming students are in need of texts. Post ads to your local Craigslist to reach more students in the area. You may even be able to visit classes next semester and offer books to students directly. It takes a bit more effort than selling back to the book store, but selling your college texts independently will make sure that you get the opportunity to set your own price and get the true value for your books.