You don’t even have to be a bookworm to have tens and even hundreds of books pile up over the years, you just have to be a student
After I got into college, I was always wishing I had some more bills in my pocket, but where does an already overworked and tired student find some extra income? By selling books, of course.
Now I knew what to sell but I didn’t know what the best places to sell textbooks were, so I started by word of mouth, asking friends and juniors if they wanted to buy one for a price much lower than market value. But I only sold one or two and didn’t make much-considering people were bargaining like their life depended on it. Then I tried many online services and weeded out the useless options so that you don’t have to waste time with dead ends and just get into it!
What’s The Best Way To Sell Textbooks: Online Or Offline?
Selling offline is a good option as it can turn profits instantly without much hassle but the profit won’t be big as you won’t be able to sell for standard prices.
On the other hand, selling online will require a lot more organizing. You will often have to categorize your books and enter their information individually, research and set prices. Then there is the whole business of packing and shipping. You will also have to abide by all the rules and policies of your platform and still have to wait a few days or maybe weeks for a payout. However, you will definitely get the best pricing for your books.
So, when deciding which way to go, you should find a balance between profit and ease that will work best for you.
To cut down on some of the time you will spend researching on all the methods available and the pros and cons, I have curated a list of tried and true methods to choose from. I will also include some tips about how to get the most out of your textbooks.
Where to sell your textbooks online:
Decluttr is a great platform too, well, de-clutter. You can sell all the junk you have laying around the house including old video games, CD and DVDs and also consoles, old smartphones and of course, textbooks. This platform has an associated mobile app makes the process of creating an add much easier by scanning the bar code with your mobile camera and speeding things up.
To sell an item, all you have to do is fill up an online form with information regarding the product or just scan the barcode if you are using the app. Next, you can generate a price for your textbook instantly and accept it. You can then pack the item carefully and send it in using the free shipping label. Once the item is received, they will inspect it and then pay you the next day through PayPal, check or plain direct deposit.
Bookbyte was founded in 1999 and is one of the oldest online textbook business that is still used. It’s not just a place to sell your old books but also to find the ones you need. I sold the books I bought in the previous year and used the return to buy new ones for next term. It did not cover the full cost but, that was like a discount I won’t find anywhere else.
You just have to enter the book title or ISBN to generate a price. If you find the price satisfactory, just go ahead and hit the “continue sales” button to complete the process.
You will then receive the free shipping label that you can use to ship in your packed book absolutely free of cost. But hold your horses, it may take up to 14 days for the books to be received, once that is done, you will receive the payment. I choose to receive it via PayPal but you can also request a check.
According to the claim, they are the largest textbook buyback assistance tool in the world which will allow you to compare buyback prices offered by about 42 vendors and choose the best on the click of a button.
This platform also has an associated mobile app. You can view vendor details, their ratings and the buyback price they are offering using the app. You can manage the complete process of selling right from the palm of your hand. You can just add the ISBN number of your book to compare prices and go through the seller’s feedback. After you choose the seller you like and accept their offer, you can follow the instructions to ship your book.
The delay in payment depends on the vendor, but can expect to be paid within one to three business days after the item is received on their side. Payment options include PayPal and check but the later may result in additional delays.
I found this method to be a quick and safe way to sell my books. I had to follow three simple steps to make the sale.
The first step is to enter the ISBN number of the book you want to sell, then ship the book in a parcel, and collect the reward. There is also an app available to make this tiny process even more convenient by using a barcode scanner on the phone.
It takes about thirteen days to get paid after mailing it, in an average case. But the waiting time can be reduced depending on where you live and how fast your shipping service is. They provide the usual PayPal and checks for payment methods. They will cover your PayPal charges in addition to the sale price, which is a bonus.
One unique feature of this platform is that they allow you to rent books as well, in addition to buying. So, if you are not sure if a certain book will help you, you can rent the book without the commitment. This also means that the book you list may not only be a one-time sale, if rented over and over,, it can return small but continued profits over time. They also accept international editions unlike most other buyback sites making them a wider market for your product. Make sure you read all the book acceptance conditions before sending a book so that yours does not get rejected.
Similar to other sites, all you have to do is enter the ISBN number before getting a quotation and accepting it. Once all that is over with you can simply mail your book for inspection. The processing usually takes about two to five days and a further 4 business days for payment processing. The usual payment methods: PayPal and check a*re valid.
ValoreBooks is very confident about their quotations being the best in the market. So much so that they claim if you find a better price, they will raise their quotation to the same. This platform’s marketplace model is robust and connects you to many buyers. Thus the probability of your book’s sale is quite high. They also provide prepaid shipping labels so you don’t have to worry about shipping cost when sending in your book.
You can sell any kind of book here, not just textbooks. They also have PayPal and checks as payment methods and allow you to rent or buy items from their wide range of inventory. This platform has above 18000 sellers who are verified. The sellers and rental providers are competing against each other so you are bound to find a good deal here.
Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce sites if you didn’t already know. It also has buying selling and renting facilities for both new and old books.
The unique option this site provides is selling as a third party vendor in case you are not satisfied by the trade-in price Amazon is offering you. The payment methods are also different as you can be paid in the form of cash or Amazon gift cards.
The buyback program the site offers usually pays up to eighty percent of the original price which is a good deal in itself. But if you choose to sell it as the third party, Amazon will impose a commission that will be deducted from the amount at which you make the sale and also the shipping will be on you.
Starting its business in 1987, BookFinder has been a market for over a hundred thousand booksellers from all over the world. And you can be one of them too, I am one. You can even buy many rare books which are not printed anymore.
Bookstores will be competing to buy your listing so you will be getting many great offers. Take time to go through them and choose the best. You can either enter the ISBN number or barcode or even the copyright page will do. Shipping is included.
This platform also supports buying, selling as well as renting textbooks. The quote that you will get after putting in the ISBN number will only be valid for a week. Same as most, you will receive a free shipping label after accepting the offer and be paid through PayPal, check or store credit which will be handy if you plan on buying from the store too.
They offer an app to make the whole process more convenient. They also have an inventory full of more than six hundred thousand ebook titles to choose from buying or rent. You can also sell secondhand movies and games here. If you ask me this is a good option for good old movie rental. Try once while you’re here to sell a book.
10. Student 2 Student
This is an option that combines the best of both worlds with a market model that has both online and local vendors available for a buyback of your textbook. The process is similar. You enter the ISBN, get offers from online buyers as well as local options.
So, you can have advantages of both the markets. You can sell conveniently as on other sites but you can also choose to not provide much information online and meet with the buyer physically for inspection, negotiation if you are open and finally sell for direct cash. The site will not charge a commission or interfere with your business.
This platform focuses exclusively on buying back second-hand textbooks. This results in your book being listed to a set of audience who want exactly what you are selling and hence the chances of your sale increase significantly. They claim to offer the best prices that you will ever find for your books. They will also require the book’s ISBN number before proposing a quote.
The shipping charges are included in the quotations and I was surprised at how fast the payments were made considering they only pay through checks which are mailed after the book you sent is inspected and processed. The one time I didn’t receive the full quoted price was when I forgot to enclose the CD included with the book. So make sure to pack all the accessories that the book came with.
12. Barnes and Noble
Not many people are aware that Barnes & Noble have the option of buying back books. To sell your used books you have to enter the ISBN number and you will be provided with a reasonable quotation. The only restriction here is that there is a minimum amount of $10 that the total buyback value of your books must fulfill.
You can ship the parcel normally through the U.S. postal service. Your payment will be made via a check or PayPal after verification of the book is complete. Meeting the $10 mark was certainly a challenge for me as I was buying my books on different platforms to compare, but they exceeded my expectations with the buyback values and overall, it was a good experience.
Craigslist while not a top pick, does make the cut in my opinion. While other amenities are far more abundant in this marketplace, you can sell your textbooks for pretty good rates. Living in a locality full of students will be to your advantage so if you’re in a dorm or hostel, this is a very viable option and will save your shipping charges.
One thing I noticed is adding detailed information of your book helps the listing. Probably because it assures the buyers of the book’s authenticity. If you upload a photo of your book it will make your listing a much more attractive option for the buyers. The steps to sell are fairly straightforward. List your item with a chosen price, possible buyers will connect with you and then you can sell your item to the buyer you want. As this is a platform where you connect directly with the buyer, there is no payment option enforced by the site.
Going back to the usual routine, this platform provides a simple selling option. Once the ISBN is entered, they provide you with a quotation. If you choose to accept the quotation, they send a free pre-paid shipping label. You use the label to ship your book. They verify the item and make payments via PayPal, direct deposit or checks. You can also choose in-store credit which will also get you a bonus. So if you choose to buy books here in the future, this makes your profit bigger.
This site also allows rentals which can always be extended. And if you enroll, you can also collect points to cash in later. The site also has an affiliate program with very detailed and attractive features that you can look into if you are interested in.
They are a new and used books retailer who make it their mission to support teachers and students on their educational venture. They also sell books in bulk if need be. They partner with companies who receive special discounts. They will buy your book for the best possible prices. In addition to books, you can sell any other item related to education.
The site has a simple interface and allows you to list your item. You can connect with many potential buyers over this platform. The shipping of the item will be done through the U.S. Postal service or FedEx, but don’t worry they take care of the shipping charges.
16. Chegg Books
Chegg is a versatile platform that helps students find tutors very easily online. If you have a question, you will find people who will help you solve it on this platform. And if you have the expertise, you can be the one helping.
Chegg sells and rents textbooks to future students so they accept textbooks on a variety of topics. However, you will be required to drop off the books at a nearby UPS store. The shipping is, however, free, and payment is made electronically, usually within ten to fifteen days after shipping.
Other than selling or buying books through Chegg, The Chegg expert program is a very good way to make some money. In a way, it is a place for you to sell your knowledge. You will have to pass some standardized tests in order to be an expert and start answering quest6. But once you do that, you can earn money for every question you answer.
This is a very old and verified site that has been a pioneer in this business but has adapted with time and is still running strong. Here you can compare prices from several buyback vendors and chose the best offer. The listing process is very simple and shipping is free. Payment methods include the usual- check PayPal and store credit- options.
They also have an associated app to make the process of selling textbooks easier and more accessible. Make sure to include all supplements the book came with to avoid any discrepancies. They also advise you to sell your book in January or August as the demand is high before the new session starts. This results in the pricing being bumped up.
18. Sell Back Your Book
Sell Back Your Book directly purchases second-hand textbooks from you. They are affiliated to the Better Business Bureau making them a very reliable buyback vendor. They have a million dollar business of buying back books, giving you the best prices in the market.
However, they do have detailed restrictions as to what books they accept. Make sure your books follow the guidelines. They do not accept instructor or student edition books or encyclopedia sets. The ISBN number is necessary to make a sale. Their associated mobile app with a simple interface that helps make the process of selling your books easy and smooth. Also, you can keep track of all your sales and profits.
You can ship the books for free with U.S. postal service media mail or FedEx. They will pay you via PayPal or check.
19. Textbook Recycling
This is one of the very few sites that accept all versions of textbooks including instructor editions. The ISBN is mandatory to be listed in their database. If it is not, then there is no demand for that book at the moment and they will not be buying. You can check in later, however.
If you are living in the United States, shipping is free for you but a $1.75 charge is levied additionally if the books are to be shipped from Alaska or Hawaii.
They pride themselves on having the smallest waiting period to receive payments. The payments are usually made via PayPal or checks. This company located in Moscow, Idaho has been in this business since the year 1997 and is still a reliable platform.
Textbooks.com boasts of a gigantic inventory stocked with over ten million books. Being one of the biggest online textbook seller and buyer, they will offer top dollar for your textbooks. Once you upload the required details of your book, you will receive a quotation which will be valid for a month. You can check for better prices on other sites during this period, but chances are you will be coming back here. You can ship for free via UPS. Payments are made via PayPal or check after inspection of your books.
This list of places to sell textbooks were the best suggestions I could find in my search, and the best part of this research is that I earned some money, and cleared out my storage while at it. Most of the sites have the same process of uploading details, shipping parcel, verification and then payment through PayPal or check. Try out one or more sites from the list to find the best-suited one for you!