How to judge the condition of your book

It’s time! You’re ready to sell your textbooks, and you wisely made the decision to sell those textbooks to a buyback company. Selling textbooks may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the first things you need to think about when you decide to sell textbooks is what condition your books are in.


If you look at your book, shrug, and think, “It looks fine, I guess,” we’re here to help you rate your book according to what buyback companies want to know. That way, when you sell textbooks, you’ll be presenting them in the most accurate manner possible.


Though it isn’t always the case, when you sell textbooks, many textbook buyback companies ask you to rate the condition of your book before they’ll give you a quote for what they are willing to pay. If you tell a buyback company your book is in good condition, but they feel otherwise when they receive it, they may send the textbook straight back to you. It’ll save a lot of time if you rate your textbook accurately so buyback companies can accept your book and pay you quickly.


Here are the top 5 most common phrases used to describe the condition of textbooks.



You may have bought a textbook only to discover you actually needed a different one. If you want to sell textbooks that are in perfect condition, make sure you market them as such. This will help you get the most money back when you sell them. Rating a textbook as “New” means that it is literally new–you didn’t use it, and no one used it before you.

Like New

This means your textbook is either in the same perfect condition it was when you purchased it, or it’s pretty close. You either barely used it or knew you would sell it at some point and made sure you took impeccable care of it. Good job!

Very Good

A book in “very good” condition means the pages aren’t torn and there isn’tt a volume of notes in the margins. The binding may be a little worn or the cover corners may be a little soft. This generally describes a book that has minimal signs of wear but nothing excessive.


Your book still has all its pages, but the cover has seen better days. The binding isn’t nearly as pristine as it used to be, and you may be missing any CDs or other aides that came with the textbook. Your book is usable, but certainly doesn’t look new.


This textbook is significantly worn out. It has served many people well. There may be a lot of notes in the margins, highlights, ripped pages, coffee stains, a loose cover…basically, the book can be read, but it takes some effort.


Using these guidelines, you should make sure you rate your books in the most accurate way possible when it comes time to sell them. Buyback companies will appreciate your honesty, and you’ll save yourself some time.

Selling Textbooks via Auction and Fixed Price


Have you ever wondered about the difference between selling a textbook yourself and selling textbooks to a book buyback company? Maybe you’ve already looked at a few buyback companies and wondered if you could get more money by selling textbooks on your own. If you feel your textbook is worth more than a book buyback company is willing to pay, by all means, try to sell textbooks yourself. Ebay and Craigslist are both good, reliable websites you can use if you want to sell textbooks via auction or privately. If you’d rather sell textbooks to a book buyback company, is a great source because it will let you know which company will provide the most money for each  textbook.


If you’re still deciding which option you think best, here are some helpful hints for each type.


Selling textbooks through auction like eBay or privately through Craigslist:

If you sell textbooks on eBay or Craigslist, you can charge more money than you might get from a used textbook company. This is definitely a benefit–but only if someone buys the book from you. Research shows that more and more college students are relying on textbook buyback companies to purchase their textbooks, which means that if you are charging more for your textbooks than one of these companies, the odds are not very good that you will be successful. In addition to this, if someone bids for your book on eBay and they come in very low but no one contests them, you may actually lose money you could have made by selling textbooks to a buyback company.


Selling textbooks through a textbook buyback company:

Websites like actually make selling textbooks very easy. On the home page, you simply input the ISBN (a series of numerals on the back of your book, over the barcode). BookScouter will do all the work for you. It will look up which companies are currently buying your book, the condition the companies would like the book to be in, and how much they are willing to pay. All you have to do is look at the list the website provides and choose where you want to sell your textbooks. The vendor you choose will even give you a prepaid shipping label! You have to package the books yourself, but that’s it. Selling textbooks by using companies like BookScouter can be a great way to make sure you get the most money for your textbooks.

No matter which route you choose for selling your unwanted college textbooks, make sure you consider these tips. That way, you’ll get the most money possible for your used textbooks. Good luck!  

The Best Time to Sell Textbooks


Believe it or not, there are good times and bad times to sell textbooks. To make sure you make the most money, it’s important to sell textbooks when they are in high demand. The higher the demand, the more money companies are willing to pay for them. If you try to sell textbooks at the same time all your classmates are selling their textbooks, odds are you won’t get as much money back for them because the demand won’t be very high. However, if you time your selling correctly, you could make a lot more money selling textbooks. Here are a few helpful hints for selling textbooks at the times of year when they are in the highest demand.


Good Times to Sell Textbooks

Summer is generally the best time to sell textbooks because textbook companies are stocking up for the school year. July and August are great months to sell because they are right before the semester begins, so anyone taking the class that uses your textbook will need to buy a copy. January is also a good time for the same reason–if the semester is finished and the new semester is about to start, students will need your textbook.


Bad Times to Sell Textbooks

If you sell textbooks during finals week, odds are you won’t get much. Everyone will be eager to sell their textbooks when classes are over, so there will be a flood of textbooks then. If you wait until the flood is over and the demand is higher, you will receive more money for your textbooks. It’s the same if you sell textbooks at the beginning of the semester. By then, other students will have purchased their books, so there won’t be a very high demand. Selling halfway through the semester generally isn’t too productive either. The demand won’t be very high because no one will be buying the textbooks six weeks into the semester.


If you’re unsure whether your textbook is in high demand or not, you can use to see who is willing to pay for your textbooks. If you feel your textbook is worth more than what companies are offering, keep it for a while and check back when the demand may be higher. We outlined the best and worst times to sell textbooks. If you keep these hints in mind, you could more than double the amount of money you make selling your college textbooks.

Buying Textbooks vs. Renting Textbooks

In an earlier post, we talked about the importance of deciding whether you’re going to buy or rent your textbooks. If you still haven’t decided what to do, here are some pros and cons of each:


Buying Textbooks


–You own the book, so you have the right to treat it as you wish. Of course, we want you to be nice to your books, but if you own a textbook you can highlight in it, write notes in the margins, or use it as a coffee coaster.

–If you use the textbook and you like it, you can keep it! Some textbooks can be helpful even decades into your career. Sometimes it’s nice to have the option of keeping your textbook for later use without having to worry about who else may need it. It’s yours to keep.

–You can potentially sell textbooks if you decide you don’t want to keep them. This is frequently a great way to lower the cost of your textbook. If you’re really careful, you may even sell textbooks for the same amount–or even more!–that you paid for them.



–Unfortunately, buying a textbook will nearly always be more expensive up front. You have to be prepared to pay more money than you would if you were renting.

–If you want to sell textbooks when you’re finished with them, you have to be nice to them. Many used textbook stores prefer books that don’t have excessive writing or highlighting in them. If the cover of your book is missing, the likelihood of your getting a good price is pretty low.

–You and all your classmates will be buying the book at the same time, so it’s important to keep that in mind when buying a textbook. Make sure you buy your textbooks early enough that you can be sure they are still in stock.


Renting Textbooks



–It’s almost always cheaper to rent a textbook than to buy a new one. This is beneficial if you know you don’t want to keep the book after the class ends.

–The book you rent will most likely have some wear and tear, because others will have used it. While you should still be careful with it, you don’t have to worry about every little mark in the book because there will likely already be a few.

–You don’t have to deal with the hassle of resale! When you rent textbooks, you have to return them by a certain date, but there’s no opportunity for you to sell textbooks to anyone. All you do is send it back to the rental company. That’s it!



–Because you can’t sell the textbook, you don’t have a chance to save as much money as you might have. However, this shouldn’t be a huge problem, because hypothetically you saved money by renting.

–There are deadlines for returning your textbook at the end of the semester, and if you don’t meet those deadlines, you might be penalized–and that could be expensive.

–If you find the textbook extremely helpful and think it may benefit you in your career, you don’t have the option of keeping it. You would have to buy your own copy, which would make the renting you did slightly counterproductive in regard to your finances.


We hope these pros and cons of buying and renting textbooks will help you decide which option is better for you.

Some Helpful Tips for Book Scouting

Hey BookScouters!


Need a few helpful tips to help you while you’re scouting? We’ve got you covered!


  • Be sure to regularly check out our blog at for deals, promotions, tips, and more.
  • Always check the Vendors page and the user-submitted ratings before making any sale or purchasing decisions.
  • Then be sure to turn around and rate vendors you’ve used to help other book scouters reliably buy and sell their books!
  • Create a BookScouter account to unlock extra features such as vendor customization and email subscription.
  • Remember: Book prices can change daily so if you see a price you like, grab it while you can!
  • The peak season for textbook buying and selling is at the beginning and end of each semester. If you’re looking for a quick turnaround, focus on buying at the end of December and selling back at the beginning of January!
  • Likewise, the best time to sell your textbook is around the start of each semester. On average, a book will sell for the most around August/September or the beginning of January.
  • Check ‘BookScouter Deals’ daily as you never know when you will find a great deal and a quick buck!
  • Look up a book on our “Historic Buyback Price Lookup” before you sell it. This way you know whether or not you will get the maximum value for your book or if you need to hold off until a better time to sell.
  • Although Amazon might give you a better price for your books, prices don’t always vary that drastically and it will take much longer to make the same amount of money you could make quickly on
  • Want to customize the vendors you see? Create a free account so that you can  ‘favorite’ ones you’ve used before and hide away other vendors you don’t care for.
  • Make sure you ship your books on time. Most vendors give you a one to two week window to send in your books. If you ship your books after the shipping label expires then they may not accept them.
  • Sometimes a browser’s pop-up blocker can prevent our site from exiting to the vendor’s page correctly. So if you’re running in to issues accessing our vendor’s page, try disabling your pop-up blocker while you are browsing our site.


You can find more helpful tips and strategies like these in our Guide To BookScouting!


Happy Scouting!

Introducing the Guide to BookScouting!

Hi Scouters!


Hope you are ready to take your BookScouter experience to the next level because we are excited to announce the release of our brand new, ‘Guide To BookScouting’!


In the ‘Guide to BookScouting,’ you will find everything you need to know in order to run a profitable book flipping business through With the help of this guide, a few dollars in your pocket, and a little bit of motivation you will be well on your way to making some serious cash while also becoming your own boss! This guide answers many of your questions about the book flipping business, such as: Where to find books, how to price your books, how to set up shop, guides for using our tools, and much much more!


Not only does this guide come with some pretty amazing tips and tools but it also comes with two free Months of BookScouter Pro! This way you have everything you need to start your successful book flipping business. At the discounted introductory price of just $49.99, this guide is a no brainer for anyone looking to earn some serious cash flipping books!


Find out more information about the guide Here!
Thanks again for being a part of BookScouter and Happy Scouting!

Captcha and President’s Day Update

Hello again, I hope you all had a nice President’s Day weekend. As some of you know, our Captcha machine was malfunctioning this past week. It was asking our users to prove they were human far too often, occasionally making it impossible for them to navigate through our site. Our community was incredibly helpful in helping pinpoint the issue and and solve the problem. Your emails and continued correspondence allowed us to get on top of the issue and everything is working smoothly now. If any of you are still experiencing this issue or any other, please let us know and we will fix it as soon as possible. Thank you all again!


For our dedicated Pro users we have some really exciting news – we are expanding the max number of ISBNs at a time in our Bulk Lookup Tool from 3,000 to 10,000! I know that many of our strongest users were interested in expanding their searches so we really hope that the extended parameters will make selling books in bulk easier for you.


In the next coming weeks we are planning on expanding the buying side of our site so that BookScouter can be a better one stop shop for all of your book buying needs. Part of that initiative is working on our Buyback Tool so that the buying process is more streamlined and user friendly. Finally, we are excited to announce our Guide to BookScouting! It is a complete manual for how to run a book flipping business on your own and will be for sale on our site soon. We will be discussing it more as we get closer the the guide’s unveiling so be on the lookout. Until then, from all of us at BookScouter, Happy Scouting!



Kurt Gloede

What to Look for When Buying Your Textbooks

It’s that time of year! As the new semester approaches, you’ll need to buy or rent your textbooks pretty soon (click here to get started). There are so many options for buying textbooks now that the task can seem overwhelming! Should you buy brand-new textbooks, or used textbooks? Should you buy them from a company like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or should you get them from your campus bookstore? How much money can you expect to spend on your textbooks this semester?

There’s no right or wrong answer to any of these questions. When it comes to buying textbooks, it ultimately comes down to what works best for you. In case you haven’t navigated the waters of buying textbooks yet, we’re here to help! You can click here to begin the process. In the meantime, keep these three things in mind:

  1. Buying vs. Renting–Something to consider when the time comes to purchase textbooks is that you don’t necessarily have to buy them. While many students choose to buy their textbooks for convenience, there are plenty of companies out there that offer textbook rentals instead. This may be more convenient for you if want to sell textbooks after the semester is over!
  2. New vs. Used–If you make the decision to buy your textbooks instead of renting them, you’ll have to decide if you want to buy a brand-new textbook or a used textbook. If you buy a brand-new textbook, it will be more expensive than a used textbook would be, but it will also likely be in better condition. This means that your likelihood of selling textbooks back is higher. On the other hand, if you buy a used textbook, you will probably save more money up front since a used textbook will be cheaper than a new one (use this website for some price lists).
  3. Probability of resale–If you buy a textbook with the intention of selling it back when the semester is over, make sure you take good care of it! You don’t want to treat a book badly and then expect to get a good price for it when the time comes to sell it again. Treat your books with respect and you will receive more money for them!

Try to keep these three points in mind as you begin the process of buying textbooks for your upcoming semester. It’s important to know what you should look for when you buy or rent your textbooks so that you can be certain to receive the most quality for your money!

BookScouter in 2016

Hello and Happy New Year! Alright, so we are a little late on our New Year’s greetings but we wanted to make sure all of our ducks were in a row before letting you know what’s in store for the coming year. Going into 2016, our New Year’s Resolution is to optimize the BookScouter experience. This means testing our system to ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible, streamlining the book buying system to ensure a hassle free experience for every vendor, and revamping our mobile service so that scouting on the go is simpler than ever.

In short, BookScouter will still largely operate the same, but with a few integral changes. Don’t expect any massive, revolutionary overhauls to our site in the coming months. We just want to make sure that the scouting experience is as enjoyable for our users as possible.

Most importantly, optimization means listening to you, the user. As we guide BookScouter into the future, we want you by our side, holding the roadmap. To make sure your voice is heard, we want to keep you all abreast of the goings on here at BookScouter more frequently than we previously have. We will be updating the blog more consistently in order to report our progress, explain any issues that may have occurred, and ask you all for feedback. We also plan on sending out a few emails with pertinent information to our users, so be on the lookout for those.

My name is Kurt Gloede – any of you that have filled out an email on our customer service page will probably recognize my name from your inbox. I have to thank you all immensely, having such a responsive and dedicated group of users has made customer service a hassle free experience for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know. Feel free to message us anytime and I will do my best to get back to you within one business day. We are all ears! Until then, from all of us at BookScouter, have a great 2016!


Happy Scouting,

Kurt Gloede

Help Get Books Into The Hands of Elementary School Kids

We’d like to ask BookScouter users to help make a difference in the lives of children in our home town of Athens, Georgia. We’ve sponsored a local charity called “Books for Keeps” for many years now. The charity provides free books to elementary school children so that they have the opportunity to read through their summer school break.

Studies have shown that students who continue to read through the summer months are more likely to graduate high school and be employed, as well as being more likely to earn a higher lifetime income. About 16% of students who are not reading proficiently by the end of the third grade do not graduate from high school on time, which is over 4 times the rate of students who are proficient readers. Books for Keeps helps kids keep reading, building a strong foundation for future education and life.

The founder of Books For Keeps, Melaney Smith, has been honored by L’Oreal Paris as one of “10 Women of Worth”. As part of the campaign, L’Oreal is accepting votes, and the winner receives a grant of $25k donated to their cause in addition to the $10k already won by being nominated. This would mean that Books For Keeps could expand from 10 to 25 schools in the next 5 years, donating books to an additional 800 children. This expansion will reach more students in Athens, as well as students in Atlanta and other rural schools throughout the state.

We invite all of our BookScouter users to go to the L’Oreal Paris site and vote for Melaney to make this possible! Remember, you can vote every day, and also be sure to like the Books for Keeps virtual Facebook event.