When you go to college, tuition makes up only a portion of the full cost of attendance. Expenses like room and board and other fees can add thousands to your bill and force you to take out more student loans to pay for college.
One of the bigger costs you’ll probably face is buying textbooks. Despite costing hundreds of dollars, you typically will only get a fraction of what you paid when you try to sell back textbooks to your campus bookstore.
But the campus bookstore isn’t the only place where you can sell textbooks. There are other options where you can sell your books for more money, ultimately putting more cash back in your pocket.
Why you should sell back textbooks
The price of college books has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of new textbooks increased by 88% from 2006 to 2016.
What’s more, The College Board estimates that the average full-time undergrad student spends about $1,240 on books and supplies a year. Over the course of four years of school, that means you’d spend nearly $5,000 just on textbooks — and that’s just one of the many costs of paying for college.
By selling their textbooks back at the end of the semester, many students try to recoup their costs. The campus bookplace is a common place to try to do this, but campus bookstores tend to have rigorous standards. Often, it will only accept a few books.
Even if the campus bookstore does accept your books, most stores often offer pennies on the dollar for your textbooks, so you’re ultimately out hundreds of dollars.
Where to sell textbooks online
If you’re trying to figure out where to sell textbooks, your best bet is to sell them on your own online. There are many options available to help you figure out the best price. The five sites listed below are great options for getting started.
With Amazon’s textbook trade-in program, you can sell your books directly to other students and get more money.
Pros: Amazon’s system is easy to use. By entering the title, author name and ISBN number, Amazon locates the book in their database and populates all of the book’s information in your listing. It also has a questionnaire to help you determine your book’s condition. The process is quick and easy, and shipping is free.
Cons: The one downside of Amazon’s program is that your book already has to be in their database. If your textbook is part of a niche industry or written by a little-known author, it won’t come up in their system. Additionally, Amazon does not allow you to enter a book’s information that isn’t already listed.
BookScouter is a site that links individuals who want to sell their books to book-buying vendors. You type in your book’s ISBN number, and you can see priced purchase offers from different buyers.
Pros: You can easily compare prices and vendor comments and choose the best offer for you. Most vendors will send you a shipping label and pay for shipping, so shipping is typically free.
Cons: BookScouter is just the middleman that connects you to buyers. This means that not all vendors may be reputable. Be sure to do your research on each offer before agreeing to it.
Like BookScouter, BookFinder allows you to sell back textbooks to vendors actively looking to buy. Just enter your ISBN number, and you will get offers from various buyers. BookFinder is looking for new, rare and collectible books.
Pros: With BookFinder, shipping is free, so it’s a great way to sell your textbooks and get cash back.
Cons: BookFinder doesn’t accept all books. It only connects you to vendors if your book’s ISBN number matches a listing in their database.
ValoreBooks is a service that connects sellers with hundreds of potential buyers. The company boasts that it offers the best prices for used textbooks. It offers a “best sell back price” guarantee to prove it. If you find a better price somewhere else, ValoreBooks will match it.
Pros: If another site offers you more for your book, you can send ValoreBooks the book’s information along with the competitor’s offer and ValoreBooks will match it. The program can be a great approach if you have a lot of books to sell because you can get top dollar for each book without having to list them on several different sites.
Cons: ValoreBooks has strict standards for books it receives. Books must be in good condition, without excessive writing or highlighting. Books also have to match ISBNs in their database.
With BigWords, you can get multiple offers from different vendors, helping you get the best price.
Pros: BigWords lets you list your book on select sites of your choosing, so you can easily rule out buyers you don’t recognize.
Cons: Not all buyers on BigWords pay for shipping, but some do. That’s an important factor to consider when evaluating offers since shipping costs can cut into how much money you earn.
The bottom line
It’s a good idea to sell back textbooks from the past semester. Just remember that you are not limited to selling them back to the college bookstore. You also can sell them online through reputable sites, like the ones we mentioned above. Or, you can even connect to local buyers with services like Craigslist, Letgo and Facebook Marketplace.
You may also have good luck selling on campus via school bulletins or even just word of mouth. If a class you just took is being offered next semester, think about letting your professor know that you have textbooks for sale; they can direct new students to you.
Whichever method you choose, you can get more money back for your books, giving you the cash you need to buy next semester’s books. And, if you want to save money on books, you can always rent textbooks instead of buying new.
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|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
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|1.97% – 8.54%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
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1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of October 1, 2020.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of December 1, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/13/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.97% to 8.54% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.