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Three factors you need to consider when selling textbooks online

Nov 14, 2016
Picture this common scenario: The syllabus for your upcoming required Economics course (that everyone needs to take) calls for a required Economics textbook that costs a (required) hefty sum. You reluctantly dish out the money, only to eventually realize that you merely need to read two chapters from the textbook throughout the entire semester. Sound familiar?

Instead of burning it or using it as a doorstop, you decide to sell the lightly used textbook for some extra cash (because ironically, that’s what the Economics textbook taught you to do). The only problem is, everyone on campus already has the book. So, being the resourceful student you are, you look to sell it online. Good plan!?

While selling your book back for a fair price is always the first priority, we’ll highlight three other additional factors you need to consider when selling textbooks online: Past usage, subject timing and future need.
  1. Past Usage: Perhaps you’re a light reader. Maybe you’re a heavy reader. We’re talking in the literal sense, by the way. Do you take notes with highlighter? Do you frequently tear out pages to signify a chapter learnt? We sincerely hope not. Joking aside, your book’s condition should be scrutinized before deciding on a sellback option. As you can imagine, more “seasoned” books have a much more difficult time being sold back at a fair price point. Plus, those notes you took were there for a reason—and not just to pass the final. So before you consider how much you’d be willing to sell it back for, take a look at your textbook’s current mileage and decide accordingly.
  2. Subject Timing: Ever think of a clever retort several minutes after someone’s insult has transpired? Avoid the curriculum counterpart of this situation by determining your upcoming classes before selling your books back. For example, if you’re majoring in Biology and have four more required courses to go, it might make sense to hold onto that original book for the time being while you buy textbooks for subsequent courses. Okay, our “retort” analogy was a bit of a stretch, but you get where we’re coming from, right?
  3. Future Need: You’re taking classes for a reason. In the future, when you have a nice office that’s a direct result of the job you got from taking these courses, you might want to furnish it with leather-bound books that smell of rich mahogany. If you can’t swing the leather-bound additions, that’s okay. Our point here is that the reason for taking these courses is that you have an end goal in mind. Whatever profession you pursue, these books will serve good references to past lessons that will inevitably surface again down the road.
Selling textbooks online is an easy thing to do, but you’ll need to consider a few things before taking the plunge. For your own benefit, it’s important to determine the book’s value to you beyond it’s monetary worth. Being said, we’re more than happy to help sell your textbooks online. That’s why we’re here, after all.