Back to College: Beating the Bookstore Again

Here are a few more tips to help you beat the bookstore:

Refunds – If you buy from the bookstore, make note of the refund policies. For a number of days, you’ll be able to get a full refund on the books you buy (with a receipt of course) but after the deadline passes, you will not be able to get a refund. Instead the clerk will tell you that you have to wait until the buy back period at the end of the semester.

Beware of the Buy Back – Unless you just cannot stand to look a book for another second, and you have no hope of selling it elsewhere, or you desperately need money now, I don’t advise selling your book to the bookstore.

I participated in the Buy Back program a few times when I was in jr. college to sell books that I had absolutely no use for, and as my husband would say, “it’s a big racket.”

Here’s an example of what I mean: First, they only have a demand for a certain number of books, so by the time you go to sell your book, they may have reached their quota, and won’t buy your book at all. But in a way that’s a good thing, because if you sell your book to them, you won’t get much for it. For example, say you bought a new book for $100. The bookstore will probably pay you $40 for that book. (maybe a little more or less, depending on what kind of book it is), but they will then turn around and resell that book for about $75 (more or less). And it goes on from there, when the next person who buys the book for $75 participates in buy back and only gets $30, and then the book is resold again for a greater value. (so they can profit again and again)

Sell the Books on Your Own
If you don’t want to keep your old textbooks, and you don’t feel that the bookstore is willing to pay a fair price for them, then you’re better off to try to sell the book elsewhere.

Ask your friends and classmates if they are interested in the book. They will be happy to buy the book from you rather than buying from the bookstore, and if they don’t need what you have, they probably know someone who does. Or you can make flyers and post them on the bulletin board. Use the college’s online message board if possible to advertise your books or advertise on Facebook to a broader audience.

You can also use ebay, amazon, or some of the other websites that I listed in the previous post to sell your books. A few weeks ago I also found out about this website where you enter in the ISBN for your books, and the site makes you an offer for the books & even pays the postage for you to send them the books. It’s called Cash4books. I’m not sure how much they’ll offer you. It may not be as much as the bookstore offers, or it may be more. I suggest getting an appraisal on this site, and then going to the bookstore to find out how much they offer, and then you can go from there.

In truth, if you’re being offered $20 for sure, then you may not want to hold out for $35 potential dollars on ebay. It’s up to you, but as for me, when I pay money for a book, I’d rather keep it, than just give it away for practically nothing, and allow the bookstore to profit from it again…but that’s just me. =)

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