Purchasing and selling textbooks via your local textbook bookstore may be convenient and serve as quick cash, but you’re losing out on money in the long-term. Don’t get ripped off by the local bookstores; use some shrewdness. By taking care of your textbooks and selling them via online resources or campus advertising, you can cover…or even exceed… the amount of money that you had to purchase your textbooks with. Buy your textbooks early, and sell them during textbook rush.
Don’t take notes in textbooks
You should maintain the quality of the textbook. A textbook with prefabricated notes can lose value with your target market as it deteriorates from the quality. If your textbook is “like new” condition, you should avoid writing notes at all costs. Don’t highlight sections of your textbooks because it’s not erasable and a detriment to people who want to purchase the book.
Don’t discard textbook resources unless required
If your textbooks have CD disks, promotional codes, or other extra tutorials, try not using them. Unless your professor requires them, you’d probably have minimal use for them, if any. By opening or discarding of these textbook resources, the value of the textbook decreases. Students may want the book with all the resources. An unopened utensil that’s unused still has diminished appeal to your target market because they could feel an increased risk from purchasing with you.
Keep all resources sealed and unused unless they’re required for your class or can have a significant impact in your studies.
Don’t sell textbooks to local brokers!
Never deal with campus textbook brokers, period. Brokers charge higher prices and give you a horrible return on your investment. You could get triple or quadruple the amount of money back on your textbooks by selling them online or through bulletin board posting on your campus.
Selling and renting textbooks online may be more inconvenient, but you’ll save hundreds in the long-run. Selling to local textbook brokers is only an option if you need the money immediately… and then it’s still questionable.
Don’t want to sell online? Use campus resources or friends
You may feel insecure about selling your textbooks through other sites like eBay, half.com, Craigslist, or any website specialized in selling textbooks. You should still attempt to sell them through conventional means. See if your friends may need your textbook for the upcoming semester. Post bulletins on the campus with your contact information. Consider using your school’s social networking formats to advertise the availability of your textbooks.
Picture evidence of textbooks
Include photographs of your textbook in your online advertisements. This gives the buyer confidence that your book is in the condition you claim it is. Confident buyers will be more willing to deal with you and willing to pay extra for the assurance that they’re receiving a quality product. Selling your book with the stock photo emblem doesn’t create that bond.
Tracking or delivery confirmation
I sold a book to someone with a high feedback rating on eBay. Unfortunately, it was a hacked account and the textbook didn’t reach its destination. Because I hadn’t paid the extra dollar for delivery confirmation, I was penalized with the loss of sale and textbook.
Saving a dollar on each textbook by eliminating delivery confirmation and tracking could add up. However, one misdeal can be very costly. It’s critical that you receive delivery confirmation or shipping on mailed textbooks because the seller maintains first-hand responsibility of the product. If anything happens, seller loses everything. You don’t want that to occur on textbooks with $100 or greater value…
A damaged item during shipping can be the buyer’s problem. Books can be damaged during shipping if they’re not packaged adequately. If you’re selling paperback books, then you shouldn’t settle for the cheapest envelope available. Use a bubble-wrap envelope to protect the textbook until it reaches its buyer.
Even if a buyer can’t return the product, they can leave you negative feedback. This could be worse than one bad sale. It’ll negatively impact future sales and force you to reduce prices on many textbooks if it deducts your feedback rating significantly, especially if it’s less than 99%.
Be honest about the product’s condition. It’s not in brand new condition if it’s used. If it has handwritten marks or anything that the buyer needs to know, inform them in the listing. Buyers will view “ignoring the matter” as lying.
Sales converted from dishonest listings can lead to negative feedback from users. You’ll make extra money from one dishonest listing, but you’ll lose it multiple times on your future sales from unconfident buyers.
Consider your circumstances
Do you need money for Christmas? Do you need it before the start of next semester? Are you capable of surviving without the extra money from textbook sales?
Don’t rush your textbook sales during the textbook rush period. If you can survive without the money immediately, then don’t get low balled on an early offer; you’ll lose money in the long run had you waited an extra few weeks. The demand for textbooks peaks during the first few weeks of a semester, so take advantage of buyers during this period.
Found this useful? Check out some of my other educational tutorials, including how to save money while buying textbooks, here.