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Buyback 101

Textbook buyback is a bookstore-sponsored event that takes place at the end of the term in an effort to recycle titles that will be used in the future. Buyback is a triple-win situation where current students get cash for selling their books, bookstores get in-demand used titles to put on their shelves, and future students are offered money-saving used editions next term. Buying and selling used books benefits everyone involved by cutting costs and reducing the environmental strain of additional textbook printing.

  • Whether or not the book is being used next term
  • The condition of the book
  • Whether or not there is a new edition of the book
  • Course enrollment numbers for next term
  • Whether or not the book has all of its pieces (CDs, kits, etc., if applicable)

Recently, private companies and websites have gotten involved in buying back textbooks. These third-part and online buyers claim to give students more money back for their books, but that's not the case, nor does it take into consideration that the payment is not instant, not cash, and that students may have to spend time and money shipping their books to the buyer. Know the deal up front and don't take chances with your money: in terms of buyback payment and service, these third parties can't beat your school's bookstore.

  Buyback at School Bookstore Selling Books to Online Buyers
Cash Payment  
On-the-Spot Payment  
Guaranteed Funds  
Buyer Takes Books Immediately  
Packing and Mailing Hassle  
Upfront Shipping Charges  

First and foremost, arrive at buyback early. The longer you wait to sell your books, the greater the chance that the bookstore will already have enough copies and not need yours.


To get the most for your books, make sure they have no:

  • Water damage
  • Writing
  • Excessive damage
  • Missing pages

If your books came as part of a set or package, be sure to bring:

  • CDs
  • Study guides
  • Models
  • Workbooks
  • Cassette tapes
  • Lab manuals
  • Practice tests
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