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Best Places to Resell Your Unwanted Textbooks

It has been nearly four months since this semester began and our professors required us to sink a small fortune into volumes upon volumes of textbooks. While I like to hang onto my books for future reference, I know that is not the case for everyone. For those who prefer to remove their textbooks from their sight as soon as possible and recoup a bit of the money they lost, enjoy this list of suggestions and resources.


The UVA bookstore will hold a textbook buyback event (https://uvabookstores.com/uvatext/site_buyback.asp) from December 7th to 17th, 2019. Bring your books into the store for an opportunity to receive up to 50% of the original purchase price on new books. If you hope to resell your textbooks to the bookstore, do so as soon as possible to get the best price. 


There is a wealth of online textbook resale databases for you to choose from. These databases scour buyback companies’ offer listings to locate the best price available, sort of like Priceline or Kayak for books, and most are quite easy to navigate. For each book you wish to sell, simply find the International Book Standard Number (ISBN) located above your book’s barcode and type it into the database’s search bar. With any luck, the results will come back positive with a company looking to purchase your book and deliver it to a new home.

UVA Community

If all else fails, your fellow students are an excellent resale option. Ask your friends if they or anyone they know are in the market for your books. Post an ad on your class’s Facebook page. Ask your professors if they know of anyone looking for books. Put your negotiation skills to the test. Explore every avenue available and there is a decent chance you will be able to get a good return on your textbook investment.


It is important to go into textbook selling with realistic expectations. You likely won’t get any better than 50% back of your book’s original purchase price, especially if you’ve written in or damaged the book in some way. If you don’t wish to go through the hassle of reselling textbooks, renting is always an option! When checking out at the bookstore, you can choose to rent your books for a reduced rate and simply return them at the end of the semester. I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your semester and your textbook resale adventures!


Hey! I'm a history major and writer for HerCampus UVA! In my freetime I play the trumpet, explore the outdoors, and watch endless hours of Youtube.
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