Apart from tuition, one of the major expenses college students face is their textbooks as well as course materials. In 2021, full-time, undergraduate students spent approximately $1240 on textbooks on average.
While this is an unavoidable expense, there are still ways to get your money back once you’re done using these textbooks. After the end of the semester, the piles of books in your cupboard are of no use to you plus it only occupies space. There is always a demand for used college textbooks and this can be a golden opportunity for anyone looking to sell their used copies.
Here’s what you need to know about selling your old college textbooks so you can make some extra money.
Maintaining the Condition of Your Old College Textbooks
Whether you had pre-planned or have just decided to sell your books, the condition of your books will play a major role in determining how much you’re able to sell them for. A buyer or a bookseller may refuse to entertain textbooks with doodlings or drawings.
Loose-bound books or books with missing pages and water and food stains will also not be accepted by most buyers. If your textbooks include supplementary materials like a CD, make sure you have those intact.
While the easiest way to avoid this is by using the books with care or trying to restore the books as much as possible. And since you may decide to sell your next batch of textbooks as well, make sure to keep them in good condition.
When To Sell Your Books
Typically, there is a higher demand for textbooks at the start of the semester, whereas there will be little to no demand at the end of the semester.
Generally, there is a major drop in the book value during summer and the demand shoots up once school reopens. So, aim to sell the old textbooks before school begins.
Keep in mind that the book value decreases over the years and can reduce significantly if new editions are released by the publishers.
Best Ways to Sell Your College Textbooks
Once you have ensured that your books are in good condition and have decided when you will be putting them up for sale, you have multiple options for selling your books.
1. Sell Directly To Students
The easiest way to sell your old college textbooks is to sell them in person to students. When you decide to sell them directly to a new student, your potential customers are mostly your juniors. You can advertise your textbooks through word of mouth or by putting up a notice in your dorm or on social media accounts like Facebook.
As for pricing your books, you can find out the average price at which your nearby stores are selling used copies and lower your price by a few dollars. This will ensure that you get more money as you will be cutting out the middleman and selling directly to your customers. You will also be charging less than bookstores.
2. Selling To A Bookstore
Many bookstores tend to buy back used college textbooks. In this case, however, there is a middleman involved so you will get a lower price for your books.
It is a very convenient way to sell your books that will also get you hard cash in hand. However, selling your books at a bookstore most often gets you the lowest price compared to any other method.
3. Selling Online
A lot of students prefer buying second-hand textbooks online, so this is an effective way for you to sell your books. Here are some of the most popular sites where you can sell your old college textbooks:
How It Works
Selling your books online is typically a fairly simple process.
You will have to look up your textbook’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Once you have that, enter the ISBN on the site and you will receive a quote for the books. You can then decide whether or not you want to sell the books to that site.
If you decide to sell your books, you receive a prepaid shipping label that you can get printed and ship your book to them. Some sites may require you to pay the shipping fee.
Make sure you provide correct information about the condition of your book. If your books do not match the description you have given, there is a very high likelihood that the books will be returned to you.
Selling online will get you the best price for your book as you can compare quotes from different sites and select a site that’s giving you the best deal. However, it is also the option that requires the most effort on your part.
College textbooks have a decent resale value. And though there are a number of ways to sell your old college textbooks, ideally, the best option is the one that gets you the highest price for your books with the least hassle.
Make sure you maintain the condition of your books and sell them at the right time to increase your likelihood of turning a profit.