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Advice on selling used books to have book funds for other semester?

  1. Aug 13, 2011 #1
    Has anyone tried to sell their used books ?
    OK Apparently, there is absolublty no other way shape or form for selling textbooks other than using Amazon.com, it would seem. There must be a monopoly with them, because if you have books for a previous semester that you truly want to sell simply to use for funds for new books for the next semester, to have a well balanced school budget, then you must sell it on Amazon, there is no where else to sell it- If you list a book on Amazon it is sold in just hours much of the time, depending on the book. However on other sites, regardless of the book title it does not sell.
    On Ebay NO ONE buys the books, the books just sit there and sit there and no one buys them.
    On Alebris, their site is configured in a way that is just ridiculous, after they charge your bank account $20 for setting up an account then it's certainly not second nature on how to tinker with their site to even have a clue on how to actually set up any listings on their site, and they barely mention in the fine print that you'll be charged $20 to use their so called book selling service that'll yield nothing anyways.
    Then there are all these other sites that get no traffic so you may as well not even bother selling your books on their sites.
    Then there is the college bookstores at your campus that will give you 2 cents back for books that you spent at least $100 dollars on each.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2011 #2
    See if there's a facebook group for the incoming group of students. Advertise there. It's worked for dozens of my friends.
    You can also try craigslist/kijiji/putting up flyers on campus.
  4. Aug 13, 2011 #3


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    Yah use craigslist. Even better, put up poster on bulletin boards or, better yet, on or near the classroom door of the next semesters class that uses that book.
  5. Aug 13, 2011 #4
    You mean no other way on the internet? Why don't you talk to students who will be taking the class this semester and sell it.

    To get cheap/free books you can check your university's library and their interlibrary loan system (most have one) to see if the libraries carry your textbooks; I got 3 of mine this way. Also, check with professors to see if you can use old editions which usually go for very cheap.
  6. Aug 13, 2011 #5


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    Also, most bookstores buy book back at the end of the semester.
  7. Aug 13, 2011 #6
    Haven't had good luck with them. They seem to try to rip students off: used textbooks have normal new prices, and then when you try to sell it back to the same store they offered me $10 for a $100 book, $2 for a $45 one.
  8. Aug 14, 2011 #7
    Wow, our bookstore gives you back 50% of the price of the new one. Even if you bought a used book, which go for 75% of a new one, you still get 50% of the latter, and not 50% of the price you paid.
  9. Aug 14, 2011 #8


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    I always kept lecture notes in the margins, end-papers, and blank spaces of my texts in engineering school. That made the books MUCH more valuable to the next semester's students. Never had a problem selling them - just put up a free ad on the BB in the Student Union and mention the lecture notes. Got a lot more money than the bookstore would offer that way.

    The only fly in the ointment was when the publishers would push alternate texts or heavily-revised editions, so that the next crop of students were looking for the $$$ new books instead of used.
  10. Aug 14, 2011 #9
    Heh. Knowing my college, selling/buying that would be a violation of the honor code.
  11. Aug 14, 2011 #10
    I have a load of books that I want to sell, and 2 ideas crossed my mind. I don't want to use amazon because I suspect they will take a big cut of any of my profits.

    One place I might try is on the gumtree website, as that is totally free to sell and advertise, so nothing to lose by trying there.

    The other thing I thought of was just to circulate an email around the department at my university, advertising the books to undergraduate students who I know will need them.
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