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Textbook Buybacks
(Continued from 1)

In the case of News Reporting and Writing, B&N wasn’t buying (though they may be tomorrow or next week). They either have enough copies in stock or anticipate a change in demand or a text update by the publisher.

Overall, I find B&N more conservative on buyback, but they do have good buyback prices on texts they do want. They pay out about the same as Textbooks 4 Cash plus they send the prepaid shipping label.

Selling Directly to Other Students

If you have time, patience, and a place to store books, then you can rack up better sell back prices by cutting out the middle man. When you sell through a vendor (online bookstore), then you split the profit. When you sell on your own, the online company does get a small cut (usually 15%), but you rake up the bulk of the profit. You also call the price for the most part, so you could take a good used book and then resell it for the same amount you paid or even for a profit.

Let’s look at News Reporting and Writing again. You bought the text online for half the cover price, which tends to be the going rate for online used textbooks. Your purchase price was $27.97. The current low sell back price on half.com (now eBay), is $25 running up to a high of $69.52. If you list your book at the lowest rate (and prices do vary a lot even from hour to hour on the site depending on which books are moving and for what price), then you end up with a total cost for using the book of $2.97. Go a little higher on your asking price, wait out the market, and you actually turn a profit for using the book.

The major company in direct sales of textbooks is eBay. Sellers list items like video games, compact discs, mainstream books, and textbooks for sale. The seller sets the asking price (with some guidelines offered onsite). The price is firm unless the owner of the text changes the amount.

According to Michael Pizzo, public relations specialist, textbooks have become an important part of inventory. “We have seen a large increase in sales on textbooks. It is one of our most popular sections,” said Pizzo.

To sell at eBay, you set up an account with a user name and password. You list and describe (briefly) the condition of the text you want to sell. Buyers look over your listing and then can request to purchase your text. EBay notifies you that a buyer is available. You confirm. Then, mail the text to the buyer. EBay pays either by snail mail or by direct bank deposit.

Is Selling as Simple as it Sounds?

Selling textbooks online is really very painless. Most of the sites walk you through the process with mouse clicks. You simply type an ISBN number (from the back of the textbook) in the search bar and then either get an instant price offer (indirect sales) or list your text at your named price and wait for a buyer (direct sales).

Pack your text and mail to the online company (indirect) or the buyer (direct). The company provides the mailing information and most email a printable address label to run off and paste on the package.

You get paid through the online site whether you’re participating in indirect or direct selling of texts. Payment options vary, but typically you can get a check sent to your mailing address or a direct deposit in your banking account.

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