Make Money Selling Textbooks Online

Updated on July 28, 2018
drpennypincher profile image

Dr. Penny Pincher founded the popular personal finance blog Penny Pincher Journal in 2013 and has published two books about saving money.

Sell Textbooks Online and Make Money!
Sell Textbooks Online and Make Money! | Source

Sell Textbooks Online

Back when I was in college, the college bookstore was the place to sell back your textbooks at the end of the semester. You would buy a used textbook from the bookstore at the beginning of the semester for let's say $100. At the end of the semester, the bookstore would offer let's say $25 to buy back your textbook. Sometimes, the textbook would not be worth anything if a new edition came out, or if no classes on campus were using that textbook.

Times have changed, and students have a lot more options to sell used textbooks and get more money for your textbooks. There are online book buyback sites that allow you to get the best price for your textbook by selling online. This also provides an opportunity to buy cheap used textbooks and resell them for a profit. The trick is knowing how to get the best price for your textbooks online.

What Price Can You Get to Sell Textbooks Online?

There are some useful sites available that allow you to describe your textbook and run a search from multiple booksellers to find the best price for your textbook. These sites will present several options to sell your textbook and the price that you can get.

Bookscouter.com

Bookscouter.com allows you to enter the ISBN from your book and search for buyback offers. The ISBN is a 10 digit number that can be found on the title page of textbooks. The results page shows a listing of textbook buyback companies and the price that they will offer for your textbook.

Bookscouter: Find the Best Price to Sell Your Textbook Online
Bookscouter: Find the Best Price to Sell Your Textbook Online | Source

BigWords.com

BigWords.com also provides the capability to search multiple booksellers to find the best price offer to sell textbooks online.

Bigwords Search for Best Price to Sell Textbooks Online
Bigwords Search for Best Price to Sell Textbooks Online | Source

Other Sites to Sell Textbooks Online

Searching for textbook buyback prices on BookScouter or BigWords is a good first step. I also like to check prices from a few of my favorite textbook buyers myself:

Amazon.com

amazon.com: I have made hundreds of dollars selling used books online on amazon.com. Lately amazon offers amazon gift certificates for used textbooks. You can print a mailing label from amazon, with free shipping to send your textbook to amazon.

Half.com

half.com: Half.com is owned by eBay. The textbook price offers are competitive and it is worth checking out half.com to sell textbooks online.

TextbookRush.com

textbookrush.com: Textbookrush is "your online campus bookstore" and often has good prices for used textbooks.


How Much Work Is It To Sell Textbooks Online?

It is easy to check for price offers for your used textbook: simply enter the book's ISBN number and its condition into any of the websites I have mentioned and find out how much you can get for your used textbook. That is the easy part.

The work comes in packing your textbook and shipping it. If you don't have packing materials, you may need to go to the store and buy some craft paper to wrap your book and perhaps bubble wrap to protect your book during shipping. If you are only selling a single book, you could spend a few dollars for packaging material. You'll need packing tape as well to securely tape your package. Some sites offer mailing labels you can print out with free shipping, and others require you to purchase shipping. Either way, you'll need to drive to the Post Office and drop off the package.

I would estimate about 10 minutes to package the book and about 10 minutes to drive to the Post Office to drop off the book. Of course, these time estimates vary depending on how good you are at packing and how far you are from the Post Office.

Supplies Needed to Sell Textbooks Online

  • Craft paper: Craft paper is the material in brown paper shopping bags and can be purchased on rolls for packaging. Wrap the book to protect it during shipping. Craft paper also provides a surface to apply the mailing label.
  • Bubble wrap: Depending on the condition of the book, you may want to wrap it in bubble wrap to protect the cover. You may also use 2 layers of craft paper.
  • Packing tape: You'll need packing tape to seal up your package and to apply the mailing label.

Can You Sell Your Textbooks Locally?

Since it does take time and money to pack up your book and ship it if you sell textbooks online, it is worth checking out local options for selling textbooks. If you have a college bookstore in town during book buyback season, you can easily see how much they will offer.

If you don't want to take your book to the bookstore, you can call them up and give them the ISBN number over the phone. Compare the offer from the local bookstore with how much you could get by selling your textbook online. If the offer is similar, you might want to get the instant cash for your textbook without the hassle of shipping it.

Another option for local selling is to list your textbook on craigslist. Your research into textbook prices will allow you to set a fair price. If you sell on craigslist, the buyer can pick the book up from you at a convenient location with no shipping required, and you'll get instant cash.

Recommended Reading

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Dr Penny Pincher

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • drpennypincher profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Penny Pincher 

        3 years ago from Iowa, USA

        Ron, unfortunately older textbooks that are no longer used in courses have very low resale value. You could check prices, but I think you'll be disappointed...

      • RonElFran profile image

        Ronald E Franklin 

        3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        My problem is that I'm many years out of college. I kept a lot of textbooks (and other books) that I'd like to get rid of now, but none of them are probably eligible for any buy-back. So, I'm still trying to figure out whether there's a way to sell books that still have good info, but for which there no longer is any mass market.

      • drpennypincher profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Penny Pincher 

        4 years ago from Iowa, USA

        kidscrafts, good point about electronic versions of books starting to replace paper books. Electronic textbooks would certainly change the equation for selling used textbooks... It seems like printed textbooks are still popular now, but in 10 years, maybe students will use e-books on e-readers instead of traditional textbooks. Thanks for visiting!

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 

        4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        Very interesting! It's true that things have changed and it's still changing all the time with the fast evolution of technology! I must say that I still prefer a paper version of a book but starting to adjust to the tablet.... and it makes more sense especially when travelling!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)