If you have a stack of books or textbooks that you’re absolutely desperate to part with, you are not alone. Sometimes, donating books or giving books to another home is the right call. But sometimes, you just want to be done with them! In cases like that, Half.com used to be my jam. I have been selling old books for years with them. But since Half.com was swallowed up by eBay, my textbook stash has been growing. Recently, I stumbled across SellBackYourBook.com and had a fantastic experience reselling some books.
In addition to clearing my shelves and scoring some cash, I really appreciate the fact that SellBackYourBook.com seems to accept most any book–they’re not exclusive to textbooks. This site seems like it could be a winner for educators for sure. I also think students, parents, and book lovers of all kinds might want to check it out.
Here’s how I cleared a bookshelf and netted just under $20 in only a few minutes!
Is SellBackYourBook.com Legit?
I was Googling different options for reselling books, and SellBackYourBook.com popped up as an option on Book Scouter. I waffled at first. Is SellBackYourBook.com legit? Is it a scam? Am I better off just keeping these books? My skepticism won out, so I decided to poke around on Google and look into the company.
I discovered that they have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. That looked promising. But then, I looked a bit closer and realized that they had an overall three-star rating based on 23 reviews. It looked like people were either very happy or totally unhappy.
Why I’m Using SellBackYourBook.com
But the only thing that feels better than earning extra money right now is decluttering. I am not looking to become rich reselling books…or anything for that matter. If this company could find a new home for my old books, and I didn’t have to pay shipping, maybe I could think of it as a donation. Plus, if I truly got scammed or my books just circled their destination endlessly, it would turn into terrific blog content.
Related Post: $500 in Sales & Five Things I’ve Learned on Poshmark
My mental paid talk paid off. Since I hadn’t closed out of the BBB tab, I actually started to read the complaints under the three-star rating. It turns out the company had actually taken the time to reply thoughtfully to many of them. Would a scam company take the time to do that? Unlikely. Was I overthinking the book reselling process? Of course!
Soon after, I discovered that they have a near-perfect rating with Trust Pilot. And they’ve amassed thousands and thousands of reviews. Plus, they’re based in Illinois. I figured that would help make the shipping and processing portion faster, though I can’t say why I thought that (other than I love to find local businesses!).
That settled it. I was going to go through with the SellBackYourBook reselling process.
I’m so glad I did because I actually spent more time waffling than I did actually going through process. Making the call to part with my books was the hardest part. In a few quick clicks and after a bit of careful packaging, I spent maybe twenty minutes and pulled in $19. (Pro tip: If you really want to feel like it’s a money and time win, skip the 1500 word blog post about the book reselling process!)
If you want to resell with SellBackYourBook.com, here’s what I did to get paid!
How to Sell Quickly with SellBackYourBook.com
Step 1 – Collect all books that you want to sell.
For me, that meant wrangling all of my textbooks from Master’s programs long ago that I hadn’t already passed along to other people. You can also check regular novels and nonfiction books. I found one adult fiction book and one YA novel that I decided to try my hand at reselling, too. It actually didn’t dawn on me to try out any children’s books. But I mostly prefer to pass those along to other families anyway!
Step 2 – Keep typing.
You have to enter the ISBN number above or below each book barcode. Just keep going. Even if you see some rejects. Just like when you’re eating ice cream straight out of the carton, it ain’t over until your spoon touches the bottom of the carton! Your goal is to come up with a quote of at least $10 in items to sell. That’s the minimum amount for the book buyback magic to happen, even if it’s cobbled together just a few cents at a time.
Step 3 – Get packing.
I grabbed a Scholastic book box, and I also reused a bunch of those air envelope pouch things that seem equal parts magical and wasteful. Do not use packing peanuts. The first reason is that packing peanuts are glitter’s annoying little sister. Also, the company gives you very few requirements when packaging your items. You guessed it! No packing peanuts is number one. You also want to make sure that you include your estimated invoice. It seems like that is something that could really expedite processing and get you a fairer payment.
After you’ve got you’ve packed up your books, make sure there is as little movement in the box as possible. If they wiggle too much, you might need to repack. You want your books to make the trip well. Part of the reselling process depends on the condition they arrive in. Once they’re ready to go, slap on the pre-paid postage label that you print, check that the tape is secure, and start to do a little dance around the kitchen table. “Less stuff, more money” makes for a nice chant.
Step 4 – Let USPS work for you.
You can arrange a free pick up with USPS or drop it at the post office. Since you already packed your items and have a free shipping label, there’s no need to stand in line. Which is a good thing. Because Dante was wrong. The 7th circle of hell is actually standing in line at the post office. Yuck.
Step 5 –
Check your Paypal account obsessively. Wait patiently.
I was bracing myself for a slow process. The site currently has notifications about COVID-19 and processing delays. However, that wasn’t my experience at all.
If you can’t wait for payment notification, you can actually check your status really easily on the account dashboard. You will also get a notification once your order is processed and your money is deposited via PayPal. You can also request a check, but for once, I decided to join my fabric-softener-refusing, avocado-eating generation and do the whole e-money thing.
Step 6 – Brag on Twitter.
OK, this is optional, but it is fun!
Step 7 – Spend your money wisely.
Remember, if this was an exercise in decluttering, don’t buy more clutter. My money went straight to crushing our Christmas sinking fund, but if you are more inclined to spend rather than save, might I suggest something that you won’t have to store later?
Buying Books on SellBackYourBook.com
After completing my book sales with SellBackYourBook.com, I went back to their site to see if I could learn a bit more. This time, I spent time clicking through the book buying portal. It seemed like a great option for sourcing used textbooks. Thankfully, neither myself or my husband has any more grad school in the cards any time soon. I also noted that they seemed to stock a decent about of nonfiction books and fiction novels.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not completed an order yet. However, I do have a few things in my shopping cart. I wrote about diversifying classroom bookshelves and noted that it was difficult to find inexpensive quality options. Fortunately, they currently have a few titles available that I would love to add to my library stash. (What classroom doesn’t need more Jason Reynolds books?!) So that’s one more thing to explore on their site!
Final Thoughts on Reselling with SellBackYourBook.com
Did I come out money ahead? Heck no. I didn’t even break even.
Could you try to turn this book reselling into a flipping side hustle? Sure, if you want to put forth the time.
But the real value of SellBackYourBook.com is for anyone with a pile of books that isn’t doing anything other than collecting dust. For minimal time and effort, you get some cold hard cash. Plus, you get to reclaim some lost space, which is just priceless.
So Tell Me…What do you do with your old textbooks?