Selling Textbooks? Learn From My Mistakes

As you may know, as part of the May Challenge, I’ve been gathering up textbooks and selling them. I explored various options and it seemed like my best money was from Amazon.com. I wasn’t getting nearly as much as I expected, but I figured that way that the way it was.  Oh, I wish I knew…

One of my books was published by my college, and therefore could only be sold back to the college. I stopped by the bookstore last week and was told that it would fetch a lot more money if I waited until this week, when the professors had made their book requests for the next semester.

Yesterday, I stopped in the bookstore to sell back a different book and discovered that I was getting a LOT more money than it would have sold for at Amazon.com. This entire book selling venture would have be much more profitable if I had waited until the buying prices had gone up, but I didn’t know. I looked up my colleges buying prices online, and it didn’t have a warning stating that prices were low during the semester.

First, if you are going to sell back books, sell them back quickly for two reasons: most bookstores will only buy back a limited number of copies, and the longer you wait (like semesters), the more likely the book won’t be used again and will be nearly worthless. Second, check with your bookstore to find out when the prices are best.

So now you know. Don’t be a dummy like me and get less than your books are worth.

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.