Tuition is a big cost of studying at a university -- but that’s not the only thing that makes the price tag of a quality education go up and up all the time. Another big one is textbooks. According to a report issued by the U.S. Public Interest group, the cost of textbooks has soared by more than 82 percent in the past 10 years -- and that can make life quite difficult for students who don’t have the time to work full-time.
To cut down on those costs, you’ll naturally want to sell back some of the books you no longer need. It is possible to sell them back to your university book store, but that route typically means you’ll be selling the books back at a deep discount. Another option, then, is to find another student who’s taking your course in the coming semester and to sell to that person directly. With that route, you may get more money for your books, while still helping other students save.
Here are a few ways to sell directly to fellow students.
1. Use your social media feeds
Chances are you already have a social media network of fellow students on campus -- and that means you have the perfect audience for spreading the word about what you have for sale. On Facebook, put up a post of the classes you’ve just completed and the textbooks that go with that class. On Instagram, post photos of the textbooks. On Twitter, use hashtags to call out the subjects your textbooks cover.
2. Put up posters
Many campuses have a bulletin board somewhere in each building, offering a forum for students and instructors to post important information related to the classes housed there. That’s the perfect place to post an ad that details the books you’re selling and the prices. You can also put one up in any study lounge or gathering places that students of that class might frequent. For example, you might put up a poster for an engineering class in the engineering student lounge. (While you’re at it, also send a post to the engineering club Facebook group.) Put more posters in your dorm, in the cafeterias, or other places where it’s OK to post ads on campus.
3. Look for on-campus resources
Some schools already have resources for you to be able to swap books. The university bookstore is a natural one -- though you might not get as high of a price there as you might by selling it directly to another student. Look for book swap forums or even consignment stores where fellow students sell books.
If you can’t find any of those resources near you, consider hosting your very own book swap event where you and your fellow students can get the books you need and still pay less than retail.
Before you sell your books, do a little research to find out how much the books are currently selling for, and then price your books at or below that to ensure you’ll give a fair price.