One of the highest costs for college education aside from tuition is the cost of buying course textbooks. Because textbooks are an essential tool for most college classes, buying them is a necessity. Most students look for the best possible place to sell their books and recoup some of their book costs at the end of each semester. This is usually the time they start looking for the best place to sell their used college books and get some of their financial investment back.
For many college students, every dollar counts. Since there is big money invested in coursebooks each semester, it is only natural to look for a great place to sell textbooks. This is especially true since the average full-time college student for undergraduate classes can spend upwards of $500 per semester on buying semester books.
(TOP: An assortment of used textbooks. Image: NPR).
The good news is through savvy buying and selling slightly used coursebooks; students can save and earn hundreds of dollars. This process has become a valuable lifeline for many students. The process allows students better affordability to continue their education. There are several high-profile places to sell used coursebooks. However, when choosing the best place to sell a book and make the most money, there are a few essential considerations.
The best place to sell used college textbooks
The College Bookstore – The college bookstore is the easiest place to sell a used textbook. While this may not get a student the highest price for their used book, it will be an easy no-hassle sale. If there is an upcoming course that requires the book, there is a strong likelihood the bookstore will buy back the coursebook even if it’s a little worn.
The resale value of a textbook at a college bookstore depends on four main criteria, and the store will analyze each buyback on a case by case basis. The main criteria for most college bookstore buybacks and value include: The need for the book, the condition of the book, is the book expected to be a required coursebook next semester and is there a new edition for the same coursebook now in circulation.
eBay – Selling on eBay will not usually give sellers the highest value for their used coursebooks. However, students can do reasonably well with this site selling older books. This is an excellent site for people who are selling coursebooks that are considered outdated because there are one or more newer published editions on the market. However, even with older college books, there is a market. Many community colleges do not require their students to use the latest edition of a coursebook to complete their course study. In these circumstances, selling on eBay is the perfect platform. The site is well established as the best place for students to buy older edition college books that are not readily available anywhere else.
Amazon – Since Amazon is widely used website like eBay, the chance of finding a buyer is good. While it may not be the best place for a good sales price, it does have a sizable group of buyers to market the college book. The high-volume exposure increases the likelihood of making a sale. However, like eBay, this is not the best site to sell a high value used college book.
College book online resale websites – One of the biggest and most widely used platforms to sell used college books is through online college book resale websites. There are dozens of college coursebook websites that specialize in buying and selling used college coursebooks. If they believe they can resell the used book, they will offer to buy it and pay the seller through PayPal. These websites make the process easy, and some even offer free shipping for books of higher value.
When it comes to gauging price and value tp sell textbooks, most college coursebook websites that buy and sell used books operate in a similar way to a college bookstore. They are in the business of buying used books at a discounted rate and reselling them to students in need at a higher price. Their price values are always based on the time of year, the condition of the book and the demand for the book. Some of the top online college book resale websites are Sellbackyourbooks, Cash4books, Bookscouter, MoneyForBooks, Valorebooks, and Bookbyte.
Important resale value factors
Time of year – With many coursebooks, they buy and sell any time of year. However, when it comes to the best time to sell coursebooks, the three weeks before the start of the semester and the week after classes begin is the best time to sell a textbook and get the best price. Generally, book values over the summer months from May-July are lower than during the active college semesters.
Textbook edition – In most cases, when a class requires the new edition of a coursebook, the version that just expired is almost the same. While this is not always the case with books that are four or five years old, many new editions that come out from one year to the next can be nearly identical. Because the differences are often insignificant, students who are penny-pinching will look to buy a one-year-old edition versus a brand new one to save money.