If you have a stack of textbooks that you’re absolutely desperate to part with, you are not alone. Half.com used to be my jam. I have been selling old books for years. But since Half.com shut down, my textbook stash has been growing. Determined to resell my textbooks and declutter a drawer, I used Bookscouter to get started. That’s how I stumbled across Buyback Express to sell my old textbooks.
Is Buyback Express a Scam?
One of the first results from Bookscouter was BuyBack Express. Is Buyback Express legit? Is it a scam? Am I going to see a penny for any of 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. That is, until I actually visited the BBB and discovered that the only thing they had on record were two complaints. I almost bailed. Buyback Express must be a scam!
But the only thing that feels better than earning extra money right now is decluttering. If this company could find an owner 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, it would make a good blog post. (Pro tip: That thought was the closest I’ve come to creating a content calendar in months.)
Related Post: $500 in Sales & Five Things I’ve Learned on Poshmark
And that moment’s hesitation paid off big time. Since I hadn’t closed out of the BBB tab, I actually started to read the complaints. Not only did the BBB mark them resolved, but the company had actually taken the time to reply thoughtfully to both of them. Hmm. That sealed the deal. I was going to go through with the Buyback Express textbook reselling process.
I’m so glad I did because I actually spent more time waffling than I did completing the textbook reselling process. Truly! Deciding to sell was the hardest part. In a few quick clicks and after a bit of packaging Tetris, I spent roughly a half hour of my time and pulled in $67.49. If you want to resell with Buyback Express, here’s how I did it.
How to Sell Quickly with Buyback Express
Step 1 – Gather all of the items you might sell. For me, that meant wrangling all of my textbooks from this last Master’s program that I hadn’t already passed along to other people. For you, that might include textbooks or you might want to try your hand at books, DVDs, or CDs. For this tutorial sake, though, I’ll stick to what I know.
Step 2 – Type in all of the barcodes. Keep going. Even if you see a bunch of zeroes. Just like when you’re eating ice cream straight out of the carton, it ain’t over until you hit the bottom. Your goal is to come up with a quote of at least $10 in items to sell. That’s the minimum amount for the textbook buyback magic to happen.
Step 3 – Get packing. I grabbed an old Target 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. The second one is to not use Priority Mail boxes. If you do, shipping costs will be deducted from your payout.
After you’ve got you’ve packed up your books, make sure there is as little movement in the box as possible. A lot of the not-so-nice reviews are from people who report that the company indicated that the books they sent in were damaged. The more your books jiggle in the box, the more likely they are to be damaged. Then slap on the pre-paid postage label that they sent you, 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 or you can leave your items with your mail carrier. Or if you have a really kind administrative assistant at your work, you can leave the items with them. If you are really looking for confirmation that your items have been picked up, you can drop your items 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. Trust me.
Step 5 –
Check your Paypal account obsessively. Wait patiently. If you can’t, you can actually check your status really easily on the Buyback Express dashboard. All you need is your order number (check yo email!) and your email address. The fine folks at BuyBack Express will also email you once your order has been 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.
Step 7 – Spend your money wisely. If this was an exercise in decluttering, don’t buy more clutter. My money went straight to crushing our mortgage debt, but if you are more including to spend rather than save, might I suggest something that you won’t have to store later?
Final Thoughts on Reselling with Buyback Express
Did I break even? No. Could you try to turn this into a flipping side hustle? Sure, if you want to put forth the time. But the real utility of Buyback Express is for anyone with a pile of textbooks or other media 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?
I get emails all the time asking me if I have textbooks to sell, and that they will stop by my office to pick them up. I looked up the seller though, and it’s a person who’s part of a MLM, sketch. Unsubscribe!
As a student, I used to buy/sell my textbooks on Half.com or on our campus Facebook group. It basically evened out, so that the net cost of textbooks was 0. Now though, I just leave them on my bookshelf to pretend to be intelligent 😉
This is so timely! I need to declutter badly, and I have TONS of textbooks lying around. I will have to check them out!
Oh my god they take video games and electronics!! OK, this is step 2 of decluttering. I learn so many useful websites from your posts. The only textbook thingy place thingy I know was Half.com. That place was awesome back in the day! I kind of don’t care about the payment either, I just want to declutter.
Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies
Yay! I’m glad this was helpful. I hope you have good luck with them. I think they are going to accept cell phones and things like that soon-ish? I was shocked at how simple it was. And I hear you. I’m really trying to declutter first and make sure my stuff doesn’t end in the dumpster behind Goodwill secondly. This fits that bill!
Anyone got a referral code?