Three Best Ways to Get Rid of Used Textbooks

One of the top burdens of college students has been textbooks. They are expensive to buy, heavy to carry, and huge to store in the room after graduation. In most cases, these textbooks end up going to the storage or taking up some spaces in the attic for ten, twenty years later forgotten. The truth is that while some may want to refer back to these books, the likelihood of actually doing so is very slim. Textbooks, like popular fictions, have their expiration dates as newer editions will be released within five years.


Image is credited to rob.wall.

So, how can you get rid of these books in the most effective ways that benefit you? Note that these following tips are not sensitive to time, so they can be used at any time provided that the books are no longer than five years old (the maximum cap that I see for next edition to be released).

Solution 1: Sell Back to Chegg and Other Book Buying Businesses

I had two textbooks – one for neuroscience and one for intermediate organic chemistry – that I was done reading and did not feel the need. These books were in very good condition (few highlighting and writing), and I knew that because they were textbooks, selling them back to bookstore would be very difficult. So, I used Chegg to sell them – not only was the experience easy, I got close to $100 for those two books combined. Chegg allows you to sell your books with their pre-paid UPS label, and once they accept your books, they issue quick payments (within 3 days of receiving but in my experience, it was always the same day) via PayPal. I know many people use Chegg to rent the books, but selling used books to Chegg may not be known to all. They give you a price quote before you can decide to sell them or not. Book Scouter is a great website to check price comparisons for textbooks.

Solution 2: Use eBay

Selling textbooks well on eBay is all about timing and trust. The best time to sell textbooks is starting about a month before the new semester begins, so around early August for fall semester and early December for spring semester. Trust is the key to make sure that your book will be sold. I saw this with my own eyes when I listed one book at same price with another seller and saw that while my books had three “watchers” (perspective eBay buyers) and was quickly sold, the competitor seller had no bid at all! The difference? I had a higher percentage in feedback so buyers could trust in me. Trust is not difficult to establish, and it is important to note that it can be built by buying other people’s products and getting feedbacks as well.

Solution 3: Donate to Local Library

This is not the profitable way, but you have to be honest to yourself that not all books will be sold. I had a biology textbook from my first year that was filled with highlighting and had issues with binding. So, I wanted to donate to the library for them to decide whether the book had any values in their collection, and if it didn’t, they could just recycle it. I recommend this option for books that are in fair condition but are not good enough to be sold. Do not bring books that have molds or missing pages, however. It’s important to be honest about books that could be recycled and books that deserve to be trashed. Remember: with books, your trash will become another person’s trash.

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