7 Ways to Make Money From Used Textbooks

By Brittany Loeffler on April 12, 2017

One of the most dreadful expenses of a college student is a textbook. You may use it for one semester, if at all, but then what? You use it as a coaster or let it collect dust on your bookshelf once the class is over. Not many students know that there are many ways to make money from your used textbooks so that $200 you spent at the beginning of the semester won’t seem so bad when you make some of it back.

Sell it back to your school

Most campus bookstores will buy back your used books. This may not be the most prosperous option, but it is the most convenient. With a bookstore right on campus, it can almost be guaranteed they will buy the book back if it is in good condition since the class will most likely be offered again the next year.

via Pixabay

Amazon trade-in

Amazon is literally a college student’s dream. Whether it is offering half off of their Prime membership or the two-day shipping, Amazon won’t let you down. With their trade-in program, students can send Amazon their used textbooks for free and receive a gift card from the company that can be used on any product.

The best time to trade in your books is close to the beginning of the semester. When Amazon starts running low on their inventory of a certain textbook, they will offer you more money for your trade-in. Check the website a couple of different days and see if the price is raised at all. Once you see the price at its highest, it’s time to send your used book in!

Amazon seller

If you prefer to receive cash instead of a gift card for your used textbook, then you can make a Seller account with Amazon and set your books for sale on the website. This can be a little more work than using the trade-in program, but you can receive more money (in cash) for your used textbook.

You must do some research and see what other people are selling the book for and pay attention to your email to see if anyone has bought the book. Once a customer buys it, it is your responsibility to buy the packaging and ship the book to them. This can take some more time, but it has a greater payoff.

via Pixabay

Facebook groups

It’s common for universities and colleges to have Facebook groups that students join. Sometimes they are separated by class or major. If you are selling books from gen ed classes, it could be helpful to post in a class group. If you are selling a book from a class specific to your major, post in a group with people from your major.

This allows you to reach out directly to classmates that will take the same class and will need this textbook. Not only are you helping your fellow classmates out by offering a lower price than the bookstore, but you are also making money for your book. It’s also more convenient than shipping the book because you can meet up with the buyer on campus.

via Pixabay


Uloop, just like the Amazon trade-in program, is extremely easy and will buy your textbooks for a certain price. It’s different, though, because instead of offering payment through a gift card, they will give you cash!

All you have to do is look up your book, print out the free shipping label, and ship the book through a UPS office within a certain time period and you will receive your payment. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Talk to your professors

Talk to your professors about selling the textbook you used for their class to upcoming students. Sometimes professors will change the course and use a different textbook, so make sure they plan on using the same one. Get a few classmates to talk to your professor about sending an email to their upcoming students offering them your discounted textbook.

This is a great way to make sure that your book sells because you are targeting people who will definitely need it. Most professors understand the struggle of buying textbooks and if you have a good relationship with them, they will most likely help you make money and help their upcoming students save money.

via Pixabay

Become a professional seller

If you are entrepreneurial and have some extra time between classes and extracurricular activities, start your own business of buying and selling used textbooks. There are many websites where you can sell used books, such as Ebay and Amazon where you set the price and are responsible for inventory and shipping. Scout out some good deals on used textbooks, then sell them at a marked-up price, but not higher than the retail price.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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