Mission May: Day One

Okay, so it is actually May 3rd, but this is my first day home after a weekend at the amazing SpouseBUZZ Live at Nellis Air Force Base.  What fun!

Today, I am going to kick off my May Mission by gathering up last semester’s textbooks and selling them back to the college or some online retailer.  I could get more money if I put them on half.com, but I am anxious to get them out quickly as our move date approaches.  Step one:  gather all the books.

Step two:  see how much money I can get online.  I checked three online buyers, Amazon.com, valore, and sellbackyourbook.  I went to Amazon first and was disappointed by how little I could get for the books.  I was even more disappointed to discover that Amazon was offering the most generous prices by far.  The four books I have to sell would net me about $80 on Amazon, $10 on valore, and $33 on sellbackyourbook.  Both Amazon and sellbackyourbook offer free shipping and I could get the books out of here tomorrow.  However, both also reserve the right to refuse your books once they’ve been inspected – that makes me nervous!  Amazon.com pays in an Amazon gift card and sellbackyourbook pays via check or Paypal.  I wonder if I can count an Amazon gift card towards this challenge?

Since checking online didn’t go so well, I checked into selling them at my college’s bookstore.  That was even more depressing!  They weren’t buying two of the four books, and I would get a total of $7 for the other two.  Blech!

In a fit of desperation, I checked at half.com.  As I stated before, I don’t want the hassle of selling the books online individually, but I am also trying to maximize my value.  If I priced each book below the current lowest price, and it sold, I would earn $93.00, minus 15% commission, leaving me with $79.05.  I would be responsible for packing and shipping each book, and with half.com’s shipping reimbursement program, I could make a little or lose a little on postage costs.

I can’t think of any other ways to sell used textbooks efficiently and for good prices.  I could put up notices on bulletin boards at the school and that might or might not work.  What to do, what to do?

I’m going to have to think about this for a little bit.  I’ll add an update when I decide.  Maybe a brainstorm will hit me.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Sean Johnson

    You should try eCampus.com, I have sold them my books for the last year. If you choose to get in-store credit you get 5% extra, and then you can use the credit they give you to rent your textbooks. In the long run the rentals will be what really saves you money.