Students Lose in the Used Textbook Buy Back Game

money1The end of the school year is fast approaching. A majority of students have either already begun studying for or have been taking finals. Once students have finished their schoolwork for the year, they are left with a nothing more than the knowledge gained, hopefully a good grade, and an overpriced book, which will probably never see the light of day again… by them at least.

College students across America participate in a moneymaking endeavor at the end of each semester. They choose to sell their books to people or companies for pennies on the dollar from their initial investment.  Let’s say for instance, a marketing major is taking 15 hours (5 courses) in a particular semester.  At a minimum, they will be responsible for purchasing five books ranging between $50 and $100 each.  Potentially, this student is required to buy between $250 and $500 of books. 

Since most classes reuse textbooks from past semesters, there is a market for selling back student’s literature to book stores. The catch with selling back your books is this; bookstores pay only a fraction of the initial cost for a used book. The initial investment of $250-$500 turns into $50 or $100 of in-pocket cash. I don’t know about you, but to me, 20 cents on the dollar isn’t worth selling my books back. I would much prefer to hold on to my materials and hopefully continue to learn from them when I am working in my field of study. Many college students choose not to share in my educational beliefs, but they are also the students with an extra couple bucks at the end of the semester.

4 Responses to “Students Lose in the Used Textbook Buy Back Game”

  1. Francios says:

    I have been using price comparison sites like for my buying my textbooks. It is better than going for standalone stores. As you can save on lot of money using them.

  2. Claude Spadlin says:

    Hello I found this blog by searching Google and just wanted to say thanks for the information on selling.

  3. J. Scott Allen says:

    The campus bookstores screw you twice. The charge too much for the books initially, and then they give you very little back when you sell to them. That’s why I now use for my purchasing and selling back (and also renting if you are so inclined) They are a textbook search engine that searches all the online textbook retailers and rental sites to find you the best prices. And at the end of the semester you can use them to search for resellers to sell your book to. All the search results are organized by price so you can buy your books for the lowest prices and sell them back for the highest.

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