Sell Back Textbooks Early and Often
Publishers pushing out new editions and bookstores limiting what and when they buy could mean that students who wait to sell back textbooks could end up getting a much lower price – or nothing at all.
Students Need to Sell Back Textbooks Fast – Before It’s Too Late
The current economic crisis, coupled with the rising cost of college has made students who sell back textbooks the rule rather than the exception on campuses across the country. Trying to recoup a part of the high cost of books has become an end-of-semester tradition as well as a financial necessity. However students who hesitate may find their efforts undercut by the practice of textbook publishers regularly churning out new editions of books, whether they are necessary or not.
A Revolving Door of New Editions
Publishers make a large portion of their profit by tweaking and retooling their existing titles and releasing them as new editions. Sometimes new editions are warranted, when a new scientific discovery makes previously accepted theories obsolete, for example. Other times they are not. On average, there is a new edition of the most widely used textbooks every three years. New editions serve several functions for publishers, including giving them an opportunity to charge more (many new editions are priced 10-12% higher than previous editions were – even when new). But cranking out new editions also serves to safeguard publishers’ profits from used textbook sales.
A Limited Window to Sell Back Textbooks
New editions coming out every three years means that each book a student buys has a one in three chance that that edition will not be used again the following year. When that happens, students can find themselves in the unfortunate position of being unable to sell back textbooks to their campus bookstore. Even if the bookstore sold them that same textbook only a few months before, if their school is no longer using that edition, they generally will not buy it back. To make matters worse, college and university bookstores usually have limited buy back days, and if a student misses them, they are even less likely to be able to sell their books the next time around.
Online Book Buyers To The Rescue
Fortunately, the campus bookstore isn’t the only place students can sell back textbooks. Online book buyback sites, like MyBookBuyer.com, buy titles that the college bookstore may not. One reason for this is that the switch over to new editions varies from school to school, class to class. Where an older edition may not be acceptable in one course, a different professor at a different university may allow it. Since web-based sites sell all over the country, if a particular edition is still being used anywhere, students can generally still sell it online. Of course there is also the additional benefit that online sites are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Students who sell online don’t have to worry about missing designated buyback days (or standing in the long lines associated with them).
Sell Early, Sell Online
Online book buyers are absolutely the best bet for any student who wants to sell back textbooks. They offer greater convenience and they buy more books than the bookstore. However, the constant march of new editions means that sooner or later, every book will be obsolete. Sooner or later no professor will be using it and the book will become virtually unsellable. For that reason, it is still important for students to sell back their books as quickly as is feasible. Selling textbooks quickly, and selling them online gives students the best chance to make back as much of their money as possible.