Colleges are ramping up for the fall semester (whatever that is going to look like), and students are scrambling to find the right textbooks at the right price. Right now is exactly the right time to sell those books back, get top value, and move that extra weight out of your lives. Alternately, if you’re shopping for the new school year, I have a great way to find the right books for the best possible price.
Selling Your Books
When I was in college, there were two basic options for dealing with your textbooks: selling them back to your college bookstore for whatever price they decided, or holding on to them. I was a history major, and leaned towards “I’m sure I’ll use these again someday.” This didn’t turn out to be a great decision – I rarely did use those books again, and by the time I decided to get rid of them (several moves later), they didn’t have much resale value.
Unfortunately, even “timeless” textbooks and other class books get replaced by newer, more popular choices. The sooner you sell those books, the more money you’ll make. And, thankfully, you don’t have to accept whatever your college bookstore is offering. BookScouter is a specialized search engine that compiles the current selling prices for over 30 book buyers, so you can choose the buyer who is offering the most money for your books.
I have sold a ton of books using BookScouter, and the process is pretty simple. Enter your ISBN into the search engine, and see which companies want your book. I write the top two or three companies and dollar amounts on a scrap of paper and stick in on or in the book, then do the same for all the books I want to sell. Then, check the free shipping policies for the companies that look most promising. Most book-buying companies want a minimum book value before they will pay for shipping, so you want to strategize a little bit. Group your books by the buyers that will give you the highest value while still getting you free shipping.
Then go to that book buying company’s website, enter your books, verify the prices that they are offering, and create an order. Print off the pre-paid postage, package up your books, and send them off! Most companies pay via PayPal, and I’ve been paid within a few days.
BookScouter is a great way to sell your non-textbooks, too. I clear out our bookshelves every PCS. Many books don’t have resale value, but a couple have had significant value and make it worth the little bit of effort involved.
The BookScouter website also searches for the best price to purchase books. Just enter the title or ISBN (you can find that at Amazon if you need to), and find the best currently available selling price for your books.
If you need multiple books, take the same notes of the top 3-4 prices and clump your purchases so that you can combine purchases to get reduced shipping. In our family’s experience, most books can be found for a fraction of the price available at the college bookstore.
Go to BookScouter right now and see how much your textbooks are worth, or what kind of deals you can find on books you need to purchase. It’s a great tool for the best prices, either way!