Should Students Return the Favor?

At the start of each semester college students worry about how much they’re going to have to spend in order to get an education.

The average college student spends between $700 to $1,100 annually on textbooks and school supplies, according to the New York Times.

Lets also not forget that usually each year, textbooks change their editions so students have to buy new textbooks which means more money is given to the College or University while it’s being taken from the students.

But perhaps the most annoying thing about textbooks is the buy back policies that schools offer students. You can spend over $100 on a textbook and then receive less than half the price that you paid.

This leaves the question: is it better to sell your textbooks to outside companies or sell it back to your own college?

“I remember when I bought a $60 English textbook and the bookstore wanted to offer me $8 for the buy back,” said Pierce student Bayo Obanla.  “I was so offended because that was the same bookstore that I purchased the textbook at, so when they offered me $8 I ended up not re-selling my textbook to the bookstore and keeping the textbook.”

With technology becoming so important in our every day lives, students have the option to sell their textbooks online.

Websites like and make it great for students to sell their textbook because they’re able to quote the amount, unlike the buy back system on campuses where the bookstore gives a set price on how much they’re willing to pay.

Although students can sell their textbooks off campus and receive more profit than what they would if they sold it to the school bookstore, what happens if no one buys the textbook online?

Apart from selling your textbook to on-campus bookstores or via online, you can also chose to sell your textbook to other college bookstores located around your school.

Students usually use this option because off campus bookstores are cheaper and will pay more for their book compared to the college that is already making thousands of dollars a semester from the revenue that they receive from textbooks purcahses alone.

Another alternative that has become increasingly popular and profitable to students is selling textbooks on campus.

Students usually do this by making flyers that state the specific textbook, price, and contact information and posting the flyers throughout campus or by going to the classrooms that they know the textbook is being used.

“To me honestly the best way to make money off your textbooks is by starting your own mini business and selling the textbooks yourself on campus, if I paid $120 on a textbook i’ll make at least $80 back from re-selling the book,” said computer engineer major Bidola Johnson.

This method of re-selling has its advantages as well. Apart from not having a middle man the seller also gets to set their price and negotiate the price with the person buying it as well.

There are so many different ways to re-sell your textbook whether it’s through your on campus bookstore, off campus bookstore, behind your computer or by becoming your own boss and advertising and selling the textbook yourself.

One thing that remains is that whichever way you chose to make your buy back, you’re never going to receive the same price that you paid for the textbook.

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