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Declutter and Get Cash: Here Is What to Do with Old Textbooks

what to do with old textbooks

Did you know that the average cost of an out-of-state college education at a public university is around $35,000 a year? That’s a hefty price tag, to say the least, which is why it’s wise for you as a student to find ways to make some extra cash along the way.

One of the best ways to do that? Sell back your used textbooks at the end of each semester for some spending money. Because let’s be honest, textbooks aren’t cheap, and for the most part, you only need each book for a single semester at most.

Selling back those textbooks will free up some space in your dorm room or apartment and put a few bucks in your pocket at the same time.

But what are the best ways to sell your textbooks fast and for the most money? And is it worth your time to sell your books back online? If you’re asking yourself these kinds of questions, wonder no longer, because we’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll tell you what to do with old textbooks; specifically, how to sell them to make some extra cash.

Now then, let’s get started!

Sell Back to a Used Book Store

One of the best (and fastest) ways to get rid of old textbooks is to sell them to a used book store. Usually, you’ll find one of these used bookstores on or around your campus. They only deal with the textbooks that your school uses, and you won’t have to mail anything yourself or meet anyone on campus, which speeds things up.

They’ll usually buy your books back no questions asked, and offer you a good price for them, too. Also, be sure to keep that in mind when it’s time to purchase books next semester for your classes. Oftentimes you can find the books that you need at the beginning of the semester used, and of course cheaper, at these same stores.

Sell Your Books Yourself to Other Students

Obviously, when you sell back to a used book store, they aren’t going to give you the absolute best price for them. After all, they’re a business, and they’re trying to make a profit, above all else.

The best way to get around this is to find ways to sell your books directly to other students who need them. This cuts out the middle man, in this case, the book store, and allows you to get the most money back for your books.

Now, doing this is going to take a bit more work on your part. But if you can find online communities associated with your school, like a Facebook page for students, you can usually sell your books online pretty quickly.

Also, there are websites that buy back and sell used books from and to students. These work like the local used book stores near your school, but they do simplify the process and get you your money faster.

Donate Textbooks to a Local Thrift Store

Sometimes your school stops using a particular textbook, making it hard to sell it back to a local store or to other students on campus. If this happens, you have two options, both of which unfortunately don’t make you any cash.

First, you can donate your textbook to a local thrift store. This is a great way to get rid of anything you own that you don’t want anymore, not just your old textbooks. And you can sometimes get money back, or a tax credit, which of course can be helpful. 

Recycle Your Books and Help Save the Planet

It’s a bit of a depressing fact, but nine-tenths of all solid waste doesn’t get recycled, which is a huge problem that we need to correct.

So if all else fails, and you can’t find a way to get rid of your book for cash, consider recycling it instead of throwing in the trash. The planet relies on us to save it, and disposing of all of your old textbooks in a safe way can go a long way in helping do just that.

With that being said, more often than not, you should be able to get rid of your textbooks and make some money doing the things that we’ve mentioned on this list.

What to Do with Old Textbooks to Make Some Cash

Well, there you have it! Now you know what to do with old textbooks, including a ton of ways to sell them and put some extra money back in your pocket.

So if you’re looking to get rid of your books fast, find the nearest used textbook store and sell them back. They’ll take your books off your hands no questions asked, and give you a fair price for them, too.

If you want to try to make more money for your books and have some time on your hands, try to sell them to other students on campus yourself. Find an online network where you can reach students, like a forum, Facebook page, or message board, and reach out to your community.

If all else fails, and you have to toss your books, do so responsibly. Recycle them, or donate them to a local thrift store, so you can help in the fight to save the planet.

Looking for the best way to sell your used textbooks online? Check out our price checker tool, we’ll help you find the best websites with the best prices so you can make the most cash! 

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.