College Students: Make Money By Flipping Textbooks

college textbooks
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college textbooks

Back when I was in college, I found out there was a way to make easy money by flipping textbooks. This idea did not come to me directly and it came to me one semester when the actual bookstore was sold out of a particular edition that I needed for a class, so instead of buying waiting for the school’s bookstore to get another shipment in, I went on eBay and found exactly what I was looking for at a price that was dirt cheap; eBay has always been a great way to get cheap textbooks. The seller was from a different State and I got the book for ten bucks or something like that. Well at the end of the semester when I sold it back, let’s say I got more than what I expected; the school bookstore gave me fifty bucks for it, so I was really happy. Then it hit me with a great idea. I would do this to make some extra spending money; you know for bars, clubs and so forth.

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First you will need to go on e-Bay and do a search for all the textbooks that your college or university uses. eBay is a great source for used textbooks because many sellers will start the bid at a really cheap price. I would get books for half or a quarter of the price I would pay used and then resell them for profit at the college bookstore.

Bonus tip: many textbooks do not change much (if at all) if the edition changes. The standard rule of thumb is that there is only a 5000 word change each edition, so not much really changes. I have verified this and compared editions before and all the problems appeared to be exactly the same. This rule does not apply to all textbooks though and sometimes there may be problems that are not there, but this is normally not the case. Usually there may be significant changes in Math books, but sometimes not. I was once strapped for cash back in college and I bought a previous edition of a Business Management textbook and I was able to make it through the class just fine. This edition cost me around five bucks and the actual book would have cost around one hundred new or seventy used, so I opted for the previous edition.

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The beauty of being a book buyer is that you can do it at any time.  you control your own hours and essentially you are running a business even though it’s not really a business.  You do not need to necessarily be enrolled in the class, you just need to know the schedule for next quarter or semester. If a book edition is discontinued, then it will be worthless, so make sure you do some recon and ask questions. The staff at the bookstore may or may not know, but the instructors and department heads certainly will. If you can contact an instructor, then you have just struck gold because you will be able to know exactly whether or not an edition will be out of print. If it is to be continued the next quarter or semester, then go ahead and look for these textbooks on eBay, but make sure you know what the buy back prices are at the bookstore, because you certainly don’t want to be paying more than what the book is actually worth. Also, some bookstores may not allow buy backs unless the textbook was purchased from their store, so make sure you ask the people who work at the bookstore what the buyback policy is so you won’t be stuck with a bunch of inventory you can’t flip.

ebay College Students: Make Money By Flipping Textbooks


Remember: eBay is a good source for textbooks, but also don’t forget to look on, Craiglist or any other barter site.

Once you have determined all of this information, you will be able to make some side money. If you do it right, then you may also be able to make a decent living off of it. This may even work if you are not taking any classes and need a way to make additional income.


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About Daclaud Lee
Daclaud Lee is a resident of Columbus Ohio.

4 Comments on College Students: Make Money By Flipping Textbooks

  1. Kenton Bergsman // August 10, 2013 at 8:41 am // Reply

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back sometime soon. I want to encourage one to continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

  2. very nice post, my partner and i certainly adore this website, carry on it

  3. I certainly hope this information is helpful for college students who want to make some cash on the side. Flipping textbooks can take some time, but it’s an easy way to make some extra cash here and there. Just don’t sell too much, simply because the bookstores will keep track of your name and information. The best thing to do is to go to different bookstores to make the sales. Most campuses may have several that do buy backs.

  4. Good information daclaud! I was able to make some extra beer money just by buying up a lot of textbooks on ebay and amazon and just selling them back to the school book store! Books usually go for less on ebay than buying them used. I also know another strategy, and that’s to buy from actual students and then reselling them. Sometimes the edition is wrong, but other states may still be using the older ones.

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