As an undergraduate college student, I picked up on the textbook system fairly quickly. That is not to say that it wasn’t a painful process. I charged hundreds of dollars on my credit cards in order to buy the books that I needed for the semester, and at the end of the semester I waited in an endless line of students hoping to recover at least a fraction of what I had paid. Chances are that what I was able to recover didn’t even cover the interest on my credit cards.
The first time that I stood at the buyback counter and accepted a few dollars for a book, then saw the cashier slap a $75 price sticker on my book before I even walked away, I was incensed. What’s worse, is that outdated editions of books, or books for which there was a new edition planned were worth nothing in the bookstore’s eyes. I’m sure that there were more than a few times that I allowed my books to be tossed into the trash so that I didn’t have to lug them back across campus.
Of course, back then there was no Internet, no online bookstores, and no information superhighway. The buyback line at the college was the most accessible, logical place to go at the end of the semester – especially for a student who didn’t have a car. Now, one would be crazy to sell textbooks in the college buyback line. Here is why…
There is a better outlet for used textbooks sales: the online bookstores. Many schools cannot keep up with textbook request for classes – they run out of textbooks and in that case, students usually flock to the Internet to find their books. There is no better position to be in than to have a book that a student desperately needs just days before class. Another piece of good news? Old editions are still worth something! Many professors choose to work with older editions – for a variety of reasons. No matter what the reason, students will sometimes search specifically for an older edition and will be willing to pay more for it.
Individuals who sell textbooks online at outlets such as “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com, “Bigwords.com”:http://www.bigwords.com, and “eCampus”:http://www.ecampus.com are poised not only to make back a greater portion of their initial investment, but also to set their own price, avoid infinite buyback lines, and help their fellow students!
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