One of the most readily apparent realities of university life is that textbooks are not cheap. Though it can be a bit complicated and even time-consuming, you can at least reduce this expense by knowing where to sell your textbooks for cash.
There are different ways to do this, and which one you will choose will depend on how quickly you want to sell your books, how much money you hope to get for them, and even the size of the textbooks you’re trying to sell.
Try some of these methods and see which work best for you. What you will probably find is that each has value in different circumstances, depending upon exactly what it is you want to do. You can also take a look at our book, More Money For Beer and Textbooks for a comprehensive guide for getting through university debt free.
Local book resellersThere are various bookstores that will also act as resellers. You can generally turn in your books and receive cash on the spot. Some of the resellers may be private local shops, while others might be part of small or large chains.
For example, there is an independent book reseller located near where I live called Books for Less and it is currently advertising specifically for used textbooks. There is even a sign just inside the front door that reads “We’ll buy your used textbooks for cash”.
This is a store that normally offers a book exchange in which you accumulate points on any books that you turn in. You can use those points for the purchase of other books, but seldom will they give you cash for a book. Textbooks of course are a different story, and they are openly offering to pay cash. And of course as this is the end of the semester, they are being more aggressive about doing so.
Check around for book resellers in your area. The big advantage is simplicity – you turn in your books and get cash, and you’re on your way. No shipping, no haggling with buyers and no worrying about charge-backs.
Online book resellers
If you are looking for quick and easy, another route to take is to sell your books directly to online resellers. There are a number of sites that purchase textbooks including SellBackYourBook.com, Cash4Books.net, and also Barnes & Noble through their Textbook Buyback page.
The procedures for each are very similar. Simply enter the ISBN number of the textbook that you want to sell on the resellers site, and it will let you know if they will purchase the book from you, and how much they will give you if they will.
This is a very convenient way to sell your books for some cash, especially since the sites will usually provide you a shipping label that will entitle you to ship the book free of charge.
This method however is far from perfect. The sites will not buy back all textbooks. There is different criteria as to which ones they will accept. Often, they will only accept textbooks with relatively recent publishing dates. Another issue is price. Even if they will buy the book, they probably will give you less for it than you think that it is worth, and certainly well below what you paid for it.
You can generally receive funds for payment fairly quickly (two – three days) if you have a PayPal account. But if you are a relying upon a check by mail, it could take a couple of weeks.
Resell books online yourself
Since you are selling the books yourself you have more control over the selling price. However, how much you will be able to get will depend upon the time of year (the start of the semester is much better timing than the end), and the number of identical books listed for sale on the same site.
And since you’ll be selling direct to the buyer, it could take you several days or several weeks before you find a buyer at your price. Once you do, you’ll have to pay a certain amount of fees to the site, as well as work out payment for shipping fees. These are generally paid by the buyer, however you might decide on some sort of split arrangement if you’re anxious to sell the books quickly.
Resell directly to the buyer
The best price that you are likely to get for your textbooks will come if you can sell your books to a buyer on a face-to-face basis. One of the best ways to do this is through Craigslist or Kijiji. Not only will this allow you to advertise your textbooks direct to potential buyers, but there is no fee for doing so. And since you’ll probably meet the buyer face-to-face, there will also be no shipping costs.
The elimination of shipping fees is especially important if you’re either selling multiple textbooks, or particularly heavy ones. Let’s face it, some textbooks are pretty heavy and that can result in high shipping fees.
It can take anywhere from several days to several weeks to sell your textbooks on Craigslist, but the price you will get is likely to be higher – even much higher – than it will be if you sell it to or through a book reseller.
Have you been attempting to sell your textbooks for cash? If so, how have you been doing it?