We pay 50% of the textbook purchase price, up to the quantity we need, for books being used for the upcoming semester.
There are several factors we use to determine how much CASH you can get back for your used textbooks, including:
We only buy back books in resalable condition. (Missing pages, water damage, excessive highlighting, the answers written in, a broken binding, etc. are not acceptable buyback conditions.)
Course Materials Orders:
If an instructor has requested your textbook for next term, then the value increases. Books falling into this category may be worth anywhere from 30% to 50% of the original purchase price. Generally speaking, textbooks will be purchased until we reach our shelf stock limit.
Overstocks and Current Editions Not Being Used on Campus:
If we have reached our limit on a particular title for next term, or if your book has not been requested for next term and is a current edition, we may still purchase it. The CASH back you will receive is based on various criteria including the national demand and the needs of other bookstores.
Q: How are buyback prices determined?
A: When we know the instructor plans to use the book next semester, and we don't already have enough on hand, we will pay 50% of the textbook purchase price up to the quantity we need. The books are then resold for 75% of the retail price of a new book. Current market value applies. See store now for current prices on your books.
Q: What if the book isn't being used next semester?
A: When a title isn't being used on campus next semester, or we have too many of it already, it is sold to a national used book wholesaler as a convenience to students.
Q: How can this book be worthless when I paid a lot for it three months ago?
A: Books that go out of print no longer have any market value. We can only buy back books that we will be able to sell either here in the store next term, or to a wholesaler. Unfortunately, no one will buy old editions.
Q: But you've still got copies on the shelf!
A: Yes, and we will be returning them to the publisher because we can't use them next semester.
Q: A friend of mine sold this same book back this morning and got 50%. Why are you offering me less?
A: Once we hit our target quantity, we start buying at the national wholesale value. These books will be sent to the national wholesalers for resale to other colleges & universities.
Q: What do you mean, you can't buy this book--it's being used here next semester.
A: We can only buy back books in resalable condition. Missing pages, water damage, excessive highlighting, the answers written in, a broken binding, etc. are not acceptable buyback conditions.
Q: Why are you only buying 100 copies? There were at least 125 students in my class this semester.
A: Our history tells us that not everybody who enrolls buys the textbook. Based on that history, this is the number we need to buy back.
Q: Where is this book going to end up?
A: Books being used next term will be sold here to students at this school. Books that aren't being used here--or those of which we have too many--are sold to a national used book wholesaler as a convenience to students.
Q: I don't understand what the "wholesale price" is … can you explain?
A: Wholesale prices range from 0 to about 30% of retail. The newer a book and the greater the market demand, the higher the wholesale value; the older a book and the smaller the demand, the less the wholesale value.
Q: How does the used book company determine market value?
A: The prices paid depend on the age, popularity, and subject matter of the book. There is also a significant risk that the textbook will change editions and render the inventory worthless, so a lot of effort is devoted to predicting demand and anticipating when editions will change.
Q: They told me last semester that I'd be able to sell this book back … and now you say you can't buy it because it's out of print.
A: We devote a lot of effort to training our buyback staff. Many books are published on a 2-3 year revision cycle. Books are a perishable commodity.
Q: The professor said she was going to use this book again next semester. Why can't you give me 50%?
A: Currently, the instructor hasn't indicated that she plans to use this book again next semester. If we had received that information, I could have offered you half price.
Q: Last semester, I sold a book back to you for the wholesale price, and it was on the shelf this semester. What happened?
A: We stop paying half price once we have the number of copies we project we'll need, so it's possible to see used copies for sale of a title you sold back at the wholesale price.
Q: Does the bookstore make money on wholesale books?
A: Used book companies pay a small commission on these books to help cover the cost of conducting buyback.
Q: I heard another bookstore in the area is paying more for this book.
A: I really don’t think you’ll get more elsewhere, but you’re certainly welcome to shop around and if you can’t get more, come back and see us.
Q: Will this book be worth more later?
A: It might be worth more during finals if your instructor lets us know it is being used again, but we can’t promise that. It’s also possible that the price will go down between now and then. It’s your call.