As the school year’s end looms on the horizon, students will be finishing their finals and will no longer need some of their textbooks. Many will sell their textbooks to get a little money back from the hundreds of dollars they initially spent.
However, before you sell your textbooks back, it might be helpful to do some research and price comparison. Your bank account might thank you later.
Priscilla Skeeters is the course materials manager at the Missouri State Baker Bookstore and has been working there for 18 years. She oversees the purchases of textbooks and other course materials.
Additionally, she organizes the buyback for the end of each semester and sets the price of textbooks.
She said the bookstore uses three different book lists to determine which ones will be bought back. Two of those lists come from wholesale textbook companies. The wholesalers set the prices they are willing to pay.
The third list comes from the MSU Bookstore itself. If there is a book the wholesalers and the bookstore would both like to buy, the bookstore will bump up its price to keep the books in the system. Skeeters said the buyback pricing is usually between 50 and 30 percent of the new retail price of the textbook.
“It depends upon the age of the book and how readily available it is,” she said.
There are also times when a textbook will not be bought back. One reason for this is the book has gone to a newer edition or is out of print completely. Another reason is an instructor has changed materials for a course and the book is no longer needed.
Remember, price follows demand. Prices go down if there is little or no demand.
Skeeters gave the advice to buy used books as much as possible because, when buyback time comes around, all books will be considered used. She also said rental is a good way to save money on books.
Austin Reedy, a senior agricultural communications major, said he bought books at the bookstore or rented them from Amazon and Student Book Exchange throughout his college career.
“Explore as many retailers as possible to get the best price,” he said. “Renting is usually a good option for text books. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to hold on to a textbook if the material is interesting or will be useful in the future.”
The textbook buyback at the Missouri State Bookstore runs from May 8 to May 23. Buybacks will occur at multiple locations on campus as well, such as Garst Dining Center and Glass Hall. Check missouristatebookstore.com for details.
This is a price comparison of books required for three different general education courses listed on the General Education Worksheet. The Text Bucks and Student Book Exchange prices were generated through each store’s online buyback price checker. Chegg and Amazon offer free shipping on their online textbook buybacks. Chegg gives you money while Amazon gives Amazon gift cards. All of these prices are subject to change as demand and supply changes.
Taking 30 minutes to do a little online research or making a few calls could be time well-spent and get you a little more money in the future. Be sure to check all of your options during textbook buybacks.