The smart way to buy or sell a textbook Your semester is nearing its end and you're probably cramming for a final ... or preparing a major project ... or simply hyperventilating. (Breathe slowly. In through the nose, out through the mouth. It's okay. It's almost over.)

Now, as you look back at the work you have accomplished over the past several weeks, you can’t help but notice something: The textbook you so desperately needed at the start of the class is now in danger of becoming ... a shelf ornament.

What can you do with textbooks you no longer need? 

No worries, your favorite 100% online university is here to talk about a few options:

Go to school ... the bookstore, that is.
Check with your school bookstore and see if there is a textbook buyback option. Most schools, including Grantham University, offer a buyback program. So if this is an option, you could simply use it. Or you could use it as your baseline for looking at alternatives. If this isn't even an option, well ... it's a good thing there are a number of online marketplaces. 

Go online.
I personally have had great success with Amazon book buy. This is a little different than listing your book on Amazon for sale (although that is an option). The Amazon book buy works very well if you are an Amazon Prime member. (Students can get a trial membership free for six months.)

How does Amazon buyback work? Enter the ISBN number of the book and Amazon will give you an offer of Amazon Prime credits. If you order a lot from Amazon, this is great option. And Amazon pays a very competitive rate ... particularly handy when you’re shopping for next semester’s books.

Go on your own.
You can also always sell your books on your own through eBay, Amazon or some other auction site.

If your school has a community page, you can always put up an ad for the next round of students. You might even be able to swap textbooks with other students looking to do the same thing as yourself. Do some quick research and make a decision as for what is the easiest way for you.

Conversely, when the next semester rolls around and it's time to purchase more of those pricey textbooks, what can you do to minimize the pain to your bank account?

Go to the retailers.
I'm talking about online favorites like,, or These sites not only buyback books, they offer discounted books for purchase. You’ll also want to consider eBay or Craigslist if you live in a “college town.”

Go rent.
Don’t want to buy? Amazon also rents books (electronic and physical), but consider sites like, or, as well.

Don't go it alone.
Finally, there is always book sharing. If you find the cost of a text prohibitive, you can always split the cost of the text with another student, then create a schedule for book custody. Fair warning: I’ve seen book sharing situations sour quickly, so keep a backup plan in mind should your book mate forget to bring you the book or, worse, lose it on a campus bus.

A final word of wisdom? Do this sooner rather than later as textbooks are constantly being updated and your optimum price will not last for long. Be proactive and look around to see which option fits you the best. Best of luck with your textbook journey!