There are many ways to pay less for higher education, although you usually compromise in order to keep costs down. For example, you can take some of your classes at community college or live at home while you study – steps that can minimize tuition or lower living costs while you continue with your education.
In the meantime, you can also avoid buying unnecessary tools or gadgets that you may not need for your studies. You can even rent college textbooks or buy them second-hand instead of investing in brand-new editions that cost hundreds of dollars each.
If you are buying used textbooks to cut costs, you should also know that your savings don’t end there. Just like you bought used textbooks, you can also resell them to get back some of the money you paid. This strategy can help you free up some extra money that you can use for the next set of used textbooks you need to finish your education.
Once you’ve finished your course, you’ll probably never look at your college textbooks again. So why not sell them to someone who can use them and make money at the same time?
How to get the best price for your university textbooks
Where should you sell your college textbooks for the best results? There are many websites set up to facilitate these transactions, but the experts I contacted had some additional advice to offer as well.
If you want to get more money for your textbooks, here are four ways to do it.
Sell your textbooks online
Dr Rikki Turner, higher education strategist at Valore Campus (a provider of bookstores on higher education campuses), says you can start the process by publishing your used textbooks for sale online. With Books of value, you have the option to research how much you can get for your book and potentially connect with the right buyer.
Baruch Silvermann, personal finance expert and CEO of The smart investor, also suggests selling used textbooks on eCampus since this portal allows you to easily compare the buyback prices before making your posting.
“All you have to do is enter the information about the book, then you just have to wait for it to sell,” he says.
GoManuals is another site that you can use to sell used books and get money, and this website even lets you ship them for free once you agree on a price. This site also makes it easy to find out how much your used book is worth. All you need to do is go to the website and enter the ISBN for the manual.
Other websites you can use to sell college textbooks include Amazon.com, eBay, and craigslist.org. Keep in mind that selling online requires you to factor in shipping costs and go the extra mile to get to the post office after the sale is complete.
Sell your books directly
Silvermann also says that you don’t need to use an intermediary if you don’t want to, and one of the best ways to get the best price is to sell your textbooks to other students.
Many of your students will need the same textbooks you used last semester for this semester, he says. By selling directly, you can avoid paying a commission on a reseller site and get a good price.
How to get in touch with potential buyers? Silvermann recommends posting a notice on your dorm bulletin board or all social media pages.
“Remember to clarify that returns are not allowed, as you don’t want students to come back for a refund if they decide to drop out of the course.”
John Ross, a higher education consultant who works for Overview of test preparation, says he thinks Facebook Marketplace is the best platform for offloading college textbooks “without having to deal with shipping or off-campus bookstores ripping you off.”
Specifically, Ross says you should list your books once you return to school the following year after summer or winter break, or about a week before the next semester starts.
“Find out how much your off-campus bookstore charges for used books and cut them by a few dollars,” he says. “Believe me, someone will get them back.”
That being said, Ross warns against going home for the summer and trying to unload your college books in your old hometown.
“You can’t take your textbooks home to your parents during winter or summer vacation and expect to sell them on the Facebook Marketplace,” he says. “There is probably no market for them in your rural hometown without a university.”
Take them back to the bookstore
Higher education expert Denise Thomas from Get ahead of the class says the easiest and fastest way to sell college textbooks is to resell them at your college bookstore. However, this strategy will require the least amount of effort on your part, so you won’t necessarily be maximizing your earnings if that is your goal.
“This is usually the lowest amount you will receive,” she says. “They expect to make a profit by selling your used textbook to the next student. “
Other tips for selling college textbooks
While it makes sense to wish you could get some of the money you spent on college textbooks back, Dr Rikki Turner says reselling is crucial to keep in mind once you start using. your book at the start of the school year.
“To sell books, you have to keep them in good condition,” Turner explains. “The condition of your book can also affect the amount you can earn by selling your used books.”
For the most part, this advice requires you to avoid writing or highlighting in your books, and to be especially careful not to fold or tear the pages. Ultimately, you should use your book sparingly and carefully in order to keep it in top condition.
Also make sure you know that time is running out if your goal is to sell last year’s books for the best price, or not at all. In other words, don’t wait any longer than necessary.
“Course materials can change over the years, and bookstores are more likely to buy your book if the schools they serve are still using it in the classroom,” says Turner.