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BookDrop Guide to Selling Books

Textbooks are expensive, and finding someone to buy them off your hands can be really difficult (especially if you want a fair price). Our goal in this guide is to give you the knowledge you need to get rid of your textbooks easily, and to find a buyer that will pay you for them. We (of course😉) believe that BookDrop is the easiest way to get rid of your textbooks and get some cash while you’re at it, but we want to be transparent about all of your options, so that you can have the best experience possible!

Why does the value of my books decrease so quickly? And why is it so hard to find a buyer?

Sadly the longer you hold onto your textbooks, the more their value will decrease, and the harder it will become to sell them. Here are a few of the reasons why it becomes more difficult to sell books as time passes:

  1. Publishers release new editions of textbooks every few years and old editions become obsolete very quickly. In other words, every 1-4 years when a new edition of a book is released, the previous edition of that book loses most of its value immediately since almost all teachers require the newest edition for their course.
  2. Some books have very low used prices on and other online marketplaces. Online prices for books decrease the longer the books have been in existence because more used copies of the book become available and oversaturate the market. This decrease in online prices makes it so that other students will prefer to buy the book online if your price is more expensive than the online price, and book buyback companies (like us) won’t be able to pay much since they usually sell books through these online platforms and will pay you much less than what the book sells for online.
  3. Many textbooks come with required access codes for online content and assignments that can only be used once. These access codes are very expensive. When the access code has already been used, the book that goes along with the code loses most of its value since future students will need to buy a book with an unused access code.
  4. Professors often switch the book they use for a given course, and they sometimes don’t teach the same course every term/semester, making it difficult to find a student at your university that is still looking for the books that you used for your courses.
  5. Some books don’t sell very often, despite being very expensive. In this case, most companies won’t want to buy back the book because there’s a good chance they will never find a seller.
  6. Some books are counterfeit (fake) copies. These books are printed illegally, and it’s illegal for them to be produced and sold. We will not buy these books, and other companies shouldn’t buy them either. You can go to to learn how to identify a counterfeit book, and to learn more about this problem and how to help fix it.

What options do I have to sell my books? We will pay your for your books in 3 easy steps. First, text us a picture of your books and we will give you a quote within a day with how much we can pay. Second, drop them off in one of our BookDrop boxes near your campus. Third, we will pay you through Venmo or PayPal within 2 business days!

A Student at Your University: If you have a friend (or person you’ve met in your major) that’s taking the same classes as you, you could see if they will buy any of your books. Some universities also have resources that facilitate students meeting. You could try asking your professor at the university if they know any student taking the class that’s looking for a book.

Campus Bookstore: The campus bookstore at your university most likely does book buyback, and they pay in cash. Be aware that most campus bookstores only do book buybacks during Finals Week, and make sure that you go sometime early in the morning so that you can avoid long lines of students selling books and returning book rentals during Finals Week.

Local Bookstores: Local bookstores in your city will often offer textbook buyback services (although not always). You can do a Google search for bookstore near me and give them a call to ask how much they could pay you for your books.

Mail-In Textbook Sites:  There are many sites that give you an online quote for your books by having you enter each book’s ISBN number individually (an ISBN is the barcode on the back of the book). Upon receiving a quote, they will provide you with a shipping label. You then package the books in a box, and ship it to the company. With most companies you can expect your payment anytime from 1-2 weeks after shipping the books. Please be aware that sometimes some of these companies will give you a quote, but substantially decrease the amount that they pay you upon receiving your books. Usually, the main reason they decrease the price is because they believe the condition is worse than what you specified. If your book has any writing or highlighting at all, you should anticipate their quote decreasing by about 30%-50%.

*As a side-note, at BookDrop we never decrease the initial quote that we give you! (Unless of course the book is an illegal counterfeit, in which case we will not pay you and we will not return the book)

Here are some sites that offer mail-in buyback:

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Get some immediate answers with our FAQs

Are you ready to get a quote for your textbooks?