Textbook Buyback Guide

If you’re a student of any discipline, you’ve probably considered selling your textbooks to a physical or an online retailer at one point or another. But how does the textbook buyback process work? There are a ton of companies out there, each with their own process. Here’s a handy guide to the different places you can sell your textbooks, and what to expect from each.

Regular bookstores

We all know we’d likely get some funny looks from the staff if we tried to resell our used textbooks at a major chain bookstore. These stores receive copies of their stock by the hundreds, and often end up with way more than they can sell. And they definitely don’t deal in used books; however, your town is likely to have a small, independent bookstore that does have a used book-buying program.

The process you can expect from your friendly, local used bookstore might not be the most convenient; these stores are often based around providing a community establishment rather than focusing on a fast, efficient turnaround. You can expect to bring in your stack of books and leave them with a staff member while they dig into their database to see whether or not any of your books are worth their money. This can take anywhere from five minutes to upwards of an hour, depending on what time of day you visit the store.

When it comes to textbooks, used bookstores are likely to only be interested in required reading from literature and humanities courses, such as novels and biographies. Those big, heavy science books probably don’t have a place among their shelves at all.

University bookstores

University bookstores, unlike regular bookstores, expect to buy back a portion of the books they sold at the beginning of each semester or term. They’ll offer a slightly more straightforward process, as the books you are trying to sell them are usually the exact ones they expect to buy. You can also go in with the confidence knowing that your big, expensive textbooks are on their list of desirable purchases from students, especially if they’re in great condition.

If you choose to use your university bookstore — or any used book buyback program, that is — you’ll want to take extra care of the books you plan to resell. Treat them as if they’re on loan rather than your own personal property. That means getting protective cloth or paper covers, storing them safely out of the way of moisture or excessive temperatures, and not throwing your book bag around like a sack of potatoes. There are tons of helpful resources out there to guide you in terms of keeping your books in great shape. But mainly, remember to keep them in new condition by treating them gently and finding ways to study with them other than highlighting the text.

One of the drawbacks of university bookstore buyback is that you will probably be waiting in line with a rush of other students looking to make some extra money at the end of the term. Unfortunately, your book will no longer be needed for your academic success at the same time as all of the other students in your school with that same book. Likewise, waiting too long might decrease your books’ buyback value, as prices change depending on supply and demand. That means there isn’t much choice besides waiting in a long line when you use your university bookstore.

Lastly, you won’t have the option to compare prices across multiple textbook buyback programs through your school’s bookstore. After waiting in that long line, you will have to take or leave the price they offer without knowing whether or not it’s the best one you can get. That’s where online textbook buyback really stands out among the rest.

Online textbook buyback

Besides brick-and-mortar and university bookstores, many students opt for the ease and convenience of online textbook buyback programs. But many of them are also a bit wary at first. When will they get their money? How does the whole shipping process work? What can seem like a daunting process is actually quite streamlined, thanks to a dedicated customer care team and a good dose of smart technology here at Cash4Books.

Rather than waiting in a long line, you can input your ISBNs on our website for a quote. If you’re one to use your phone rather than a desktop computer, simply scan your books’ barcodes with our handy mobile phone scanner for Apple or Android devices. Once you have your quote, print the free shipping label, and drop your books in the mail. Once we get your books, you get your cash. It really is that simple.

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