Every college student knows the struggle of spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks each semester — and it’s even worse when you never end up using the books. But don’t toss your textbooks just yet — these books may be hidden gems if you can sell them and make a profit.
With the switch to remote and online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, selling textbooks has become increasingly difficult. Not sure where to start? Pipe Dream has you covered with our tips on selling textbooks.
Do your research
A huge factor in successfully selling textbooks is timing. Don’t wait too long to sell back your books, or you could be stuck holding onto them forever. Scroll through the upcoming course schedules to see what classes are being offered and make sure your textbooks are still being used. The class you took two years ago may have a new professor and textbook list, so double-check before you start advertising your books. You might have to wait a semester to sell a textbook for a class only held in the spring or vice versa, so stay on top of the current courses, professors and required textbooks.
Connect with students
Students are the demographic you’re targeting, so ask your friends if they know anyone in search of the books you’re selling. If you can’t find people from word of mouth, join Binghamton University’s Facebook group for buying and selling textbooks or the graduating class groups. Here, you can reach thousands of students at a click of a button who might be in search of your used textbooks. Before you post your books, make sure to include specific details like the ISBN number, the course it was used for, the book’s condition and, of course, the price you’re selling it for. Since you won’t be meeting up with your buyers on campus, consider adding a shipping fee to account for additional expenses.
With social distancing protocols, selling your textbooks online seems to be the most feasible option during the current pandemic. If you can’t find any BU students to buy your textbooks, try selling them on sites like Amazon, Chegg or eBay. This is a good option if your textbooks aren’t being used in classes anymore or if the course you bought them for is no longer being offered. Just make sure to review the details of each site’s terms and conditions to make sure you’re getting the full profit.
Sell your books to the University Bookstore
With the temporary closure of the bookstore, you will have to wait until campus reopens to pursue this option. While selling your textbooks to the bookstore requires the lowest effort, it also offers the lowest reward. This isn’t the best option since the bookstore often refuses books and will offer you a fraction of the price you paid, but it’s still doable if you want instant cash. You can even donate your textbooks here if you really want to get rid of them.