Sell Old Textbooks – While You Still Can

Need to sell old textbooks? Don’t worry, even if you can’t sell them back on campus, you still have options. But you have to act quickly, before old becomes “too old” and you run out of time and options.


“Where Can I Sell My Old Textbooks?”

It’s something that’s happened to every college student at some point. You really meant to sell your textbooks as soon as the semester was over. After all, you spent a small fortune and lived on ramen for two months just to afford your books in the first place, and you really wanted to get some cash back for them. But sometime around the last day of classes everything melted together into a blur of studying and finals and parties until you found yourself at home with a few precious weeks of freedom ahead of you, and your textbooks a distant, forgotten memory.

It’s not until a few months later when you’re back at school, scrounging under your bed trying to scrape together beer money out of spare change that you notice you’ve still got your books from last semester. Oh, and from the semester before. Oops. Guess it’s time to try and sell old textbooks.

The Campus Bookstore

No problem, you’ll just head over to your local college bookstore and sell your textbooks back, right?

You wish.

Chances are, if you missed your school’s buy back days, the bookstore isn’t buying anything. If you’re lucky, you might have a bookstore that buys year-round, but even then you’re in for a disappointment. It turns out your old professors have all moved on to newer editions. Your textbooks are officially obsolete as far as your school is concerned, and you’re not getting a penny for them.

Such is the joy of trying to sell old textbooks.


Think Outside the Bookstore

The problem with dealing with your campus bookstore is that it’s tiny when you compare to the total textbook market. They only deal with books your school is using that particular semester. Fortunately, if you look beyond your own school, your options increase dramatically. Not all professors move to the new edition of a book at the same time, so the same textbook that isn’t worth jack on your campus is still going for solid used-book prices at other schools. But how can you take advantage of that fact?

Thank goodness for the magical series of tubes we call the internet.

The internet is a godsend for anyone trying to sell old textbooks. It can connect you to that student across the country that still needs your not-quite-newest edition statistics book, and lets you get a little much-needed cash for your old used books. But even selling old textbooks on the internet comes with an expiration date, so if you’re books are more than a semester or two old, the time to act is now.

Sell Old Textbooks – While You Still Can

The textbook publishers hate the used textbook market. Every used book sold is one less insanely-overpriced new textbook they can sell. To combat this, they crank out new editions as fast as they can – every three years on average (which is why it’s so important to sell back textbooks ASAP).

Once that new edition hits the shelf, your window of opportunity starts closing – fast. With each semester that passes, more and more schools will ditch the older edition in favor of the newer, shinier model. “Old” is a relative term, even a textbook you’ve had for a year or less can be an “old textbook”. It all depends on when it was published, which could be a year or two before you even bought it.

So the next time you find yourself asking, “Where Can I Sell My Old Textbooks?”, your best bet is to get online and try and sell old textbooks as quickly as you can, before their value evaporates completely.