Goodbye textbooks, hello cash


Whether a textbook appeared on the required books list and ended up never being used, or you slept with it under your pillow, there are many occasions in which a textbook is no longer useful after the completion of classes. That massive precalculus textbook that your teacher loved assigning for homework doesn’t have to rot in a cardboard box in the attic. Let it be someone else’s insomnia while making some cash in the process.

BC charges about $130 for a brand new copy of the must-have precalculus textbook and will often run out of its used copies. Take advantage of this situation. A lot of people will neglect purchasing their textbooks prior to the first day of class and will sometimes end up with homework within the first week of class from a book not in their possession. Desperately trying to find an affordable and quick way for their much needed grade maker, you can kindly offer a reasonable price and a speedy transaction.

While sites like Amazon, Chegg and eBay can pay a pretty decent price for your textbook, it still takes time to ship it there and receive a check for way less than what you could be making in person. Instead, utilize the BC “For Sale” board located on the first floor of the C Building and/or post an ad on Craigslist. If you decide to sell your textbook online, specifically state the name of the textbook in the title. Make sure you provide the edition number, asking price and what city  you are in or are willing to meet up in for the exchange. Sometimes, it can even be effective to state the new price BC is asking for and then compare it to your asking price to show those who are interested that they could be saving big time if they were to purchase from you.

When declaring a price, always suggest a price higher than you really think it is worth or would be willing to give it away for. For example, start off charging about 75 percent of the new BC listed price. In the event your customer wants to purchase your textbook, you can either charge way more than it is worth or can enter a phase of negotiation down to however much you really think it should sell for. In the end, some money can be better than no money at all for something you will never need to use.

Never commit. Ten people may e-mail you after finding your ad on Craiglist or through BC. Prioritize those who will pay your asking price, those who can meet nearby and those who want your textbook as soon as possible. Explain in your response to the inquiries that there are many other people who have contacted you and that you will be selecting your customer based off of whoever fits your requirements the best. While very rare, it is possible for someone to be desperate enough to have the textbook to offer an even higher price than you asked for in order to be selected as the recipient of the textbook.

Another effective way to sell your old textbooks is to contact your instructors and ask them if any of their students are interested in purchasing your textbook. Better yet, obtain permission to visit their classroom and try to sell your textbook in person. We often have unresponsive instructors or professors that may take breaks. Do some research on the BC Bookstore website and investigate which other teachers require the same textbooks and also contact them. Craft a very formal, polite e-mail explaining your desire to sell a textbook you do not need anymore. Professors want their students to be successful, and you can land yourself into a win-win-win situation with you walking away with a pocket full of cash, a student with a textbook and a professor with a prepared student.

When selling textbooks, be persistent, reasonable and ready. Good luck selling your books and have a great summer quarter!