Buying textbooks for college and university can be an expensive experience. Many students go through a painstaking process of trying to find the best deals on the exact books they need for their courses every year. The worst part is that at the end, you end up with a bunch of extra books you don’t even need.
Selling your used textbooks is a good way to make back some of the money you spent, but this can sometimes be a hassle. Amazon has always been a good option for people trying to unload their used textbooks from college or university, but there can be some confusion due to recent policy changes.
Keep reading to find details on Amazon’s used textbook policies, as well as how to find the best way to sell your used textbooks online.
Does Amazon Buy Used Textbooks?
Amazon used to have a direct buyback service for used textbooks. However, back in April of 2020, Amazon quietly ended this buyback program without any explanation. Many people thought that it was a joke (since it happened on April Fools’ Day), but this was not the case.
Luckily, though, Amazon will still allow you to list your used textbooks through a trade-in program. This program works similarly to their service for selling used electronics. Accordingly, there are a few guidelines you should follow if you want to sell your used textbooks on Amazon:
- Make sure the ISBN number on the listing matches the exact number on your textbook. If you have a slightly different ISBN number than the one on the listing, you could be selling a different edition or cover-type.
- Do not attempt to trade in copied or unauthorized material. Trading in .pdf files, scanned images, or photo-copied versions of textbooks is strictly forbidden.
- Do not attempt to trade in promotional editions or instructor’s editions. These editions will have the same content as the regular textbooks, but will be stamped with phrases like ‘promotional copy’, or ‘not for resale’.
- Do not attempt to trade in teacher’s editions. Teachers or instructors editions with additional annotations will not be accepted, unless Amazon has a specific listing for those editions.
- Do not attempt to trade in international textbooks, or books printed in foreign language editions. These editions are often not authorized for sale outside of their country of origin.
For more details on Amazon’s textbook policy, visit this page.
How To Sell Used Textbooks On Amazon
Amazon’s trade-in program for textbooks has changed a bit over the years, but it is still fairly straightforward. Amazon offers gift cards, discounts, and sometimes direct payments for textbook trade-ins, just like with used electronics. The program has offers for specific textbooks, and these offers change over time. Accordingly, it is important to check frequently to see the kinds of books you can or can’t trade in.
To see if your textbook is eligible for trade-in, you can follow these simple steps:
- Visit Amazon’s Trade-In page
- Scroll down to ‘Other Trade-in Categories’
- Click on ‘Find more items’
- Type in the ISBN number or title of the textbook you wish to trade in
If the textbook if eligible for trade-in, it should come up for you to click on to continue the trade-in process. In general, Amazon has a preference for the most recent edition of any given textbook. It also goes without saying that books in better condition will fetch higher prices. In fact, damaged books will typically be disqualified from trade-in outright.
In addition to the trade-in program, Amazon also allows sellers to sell used textbooks through a seller account, just like any other used items. This process is a bit more involved, but you can get started in just a few easy steps. If you’re already used to running a seller account, this process should be pretty familiar:
- Identify the books you wish to sell. There are a lot of details that can affect the price your book is able to sell for, so it’s important to get all the details.
- Create your seller account on Amazon. You can register as an individual seller or a professional seller. Details of the seller plans can be found here.
- Decide how you will ship orders. Sellers can handle packaging and shipping themselves, or hand over their items to Amazon Fulfillment to have them do the dirty work. Details for Fulfillment-by-Amazon can be found here.
- Determine a fair price for your book. Look at other listings online and take note of the exact edition and condition of your book in order to list the item for a reasonable price.
- List your items on Amazon. You can click ‘Sell on Amazon’ on the product listing for any textbook to easily set up a listing for that item.
- Promote your item listing. This is an optional step that consists of promoting your listing on social media or other avenues in order to help sell your book.
- Pack and ship your item. Once somebody has purchased your book, either send it through Amazon Fulfillment or pack and ship the item yourself.
As mentioned, the process is a bit more involved than the trade-in program. However, you can often get better prices selling your book directly compared to trading it in. This is also a good option if your book is not currently eligible for trade-in.
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What Is The Best Way To Sell My Used Textbooks?
Amazon’s trade-in program for used textbooks will give you gift cards or discounts in exchange for your books. In rare instances, you can sometimes get direct payment for textbooks, as well. However, there won’t always be offers for your specific textbook available.
In these cases, it’s probably better to go with selling your book through a seller account in order to get the most bang for your buck. If you want to sell used textbooks regularly, or in bulk, it might even be a good idea to sign up for a professional seller account to get access to more in-depth selling tools and metrics.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to fire away in the comments section.
Amazon no longer offers their buyback service for used textbooks, however, students can list their textbooks for sale with their trade-in program.
Amazon’s trade-in service makes it easy to sell your textbooks on Amazon in a couple of quick and easy steps.