Buying and Selling Textbooks 101

As the last semester of classes is coming to an end, more and more of people are wondering what to do with college course textbooks, and rightly so.

While most people are only focused on reading it into oblivion, the real question is, what’s the best way to buy and sell textbooks? Well, the answer lies here – we outline a few tips on buying and selling college textbooks so that you’re able to get the most out of these heavy (but necessary) resources!


Buying Tips: College Textbooks

– Opt for Used, Always!

So many people go into a semester of college thinking that they have to buy brand new textbooks for each of their classes, but this is far from true. Most bookstores on college campuses offer both new and used textbooks.

Used textbooks may be marked up a bit with excessive highlighting but that does that really change the content? Nope! Why not save a few bucks on textbooks by opting for used ones? Despite the potential coffee stain on page 49, used textbooks are a better bang for your buck.

– Rent vs Buy

A lot of people also debate renting or buying their college textbooks, but why?! If you’re taking a general required class that you have absolutely no desire in, then why not rent your textbooks? Renting from college bookstores is ALWAYS cheaper.

However, if you’re taking a class that is for your major or minor then you may consider buying (but buy used, see Tip I).

– Go Electronic

In this day and age, practically everything can be found online. A lot of college courses now offer the ability to find the required textbook online. This can be an advantage for someone who doesn’t want to carry four 10lb books around for the day. Also, save the trees!


Selling Tips: College Textbooks

College textbooks can be pricey on the front end but they typically end up being worth the money. However, at the end of the semester when they’re no longer needed, figuring out what to do with them can be difficult.

– Maintain Good Condition

Throughout the semester when using textbooks, if they are kept in good condition then it is likely that bookstores on or off campus will want to buy them.

– Ask Around

One of the best ways to sell college textbooks is to other students! Colleges are full of a bunch of people doing the exact same thing. Asking around among friends, peers, or classmates is a great way to see if anyone is looking to buy a textbook.

– Used Bookstores

When the semester is up, a lot of used bookstores are looking to buy textbooks because they know that other students will be searching for them in the near future. Take last semester’s textbooks and try to sell them at a used bookstore. It’s likely that they’ll take it off your hands so long as it’s in good condition.

– Online Resources

Again, in this day and age, practically everything can be done online including selling textbooks. There are great websites such as Chegg, BookScouter, and TextBookRush which all buy back used textbooks!


Determining Your Needs & Wants

All in all, both buying and selling textbooks can be simple but it takes patience and determining what your needs and wants are. It’s important to first figure out whether you want used or new textbooks or hard or digital copies, then it’s easier to determine where to go in order to find them.

Secondly, keep in mind what your goal is for selling your textbooks. If you’re just trying to declutter your room then the college campus bookstore may be a good place to start, but if you’re wanting some extra cash then ask around, use the resources that exist!

Big, heavy college textbooks are definitely becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are choosing to go digital but at the same time, some people still find it helpful to have a hardcopy that they can physically make use of. Either way, consider the options that exist. Doing so will ensure that you get what you want out of both buying and selling!