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Selling Your Textbooks 101

Jamie Ballard


As the school year winds down, you’re probably left wondering what to do with the now-useless Introductory Bio textbook you paid $130 for, and will certainly not need again. While it does make a good paperweight, or perhaps a stand on which to rest your computer, there are a few more lucrative things to do with your old textbooks.

Sell them to other students
While this requires you to wait until the fall, selling your books to other students at your school can be the best option for many. Facebook pages are a great way to advertise the books that you have, and you may even find textbooks that you need as well. It also allows you to sell directly to other students, without going through a bookstore or other retailer.

Sell them back to the store
Depending on where you got the book, it’s sometimes possible to sell it back to the bookstore. Be warned, the campus bookstore and other textbook retailers will usually only give you a fraction of what you paid for the book originally. But it’s still better than letting it gather dust in your room!

Find someone you know who is taking the class
If all else fails, you might consider directly reaching out to someone who you know will need to take the class you just took. Maybe offer them some of the study guides along with the textbook (if it wouldn’t be an issue with the professor) and give them a deal. If you’re serious about just getting it off your hands, you might as well just give it to them. Or…

Burn it.
No, you won’t make any money. But depending on how much you disliked the class, letting the pages of Introductory Bio keep you warm as they go up in flames might be exactly the cathartic experience you need.

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