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Morality of re-selling unused textbook

mihcal1mihcal1 Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
edited January 2013 in Parents Forum
My college-freshman D asked me last night what to do about her fall-semester Chemistry textbook. It was listed as a required text by the university, so she bought it (online ~$70, not from the bookstore >$100) before the beginning of term. However the class never actually used it -- it's still in the shrink-wrap! I suggested she re-sell it at the start-of-term book swap, to recoup at least part of her investment. She feels it would be dishonest to mislead another student into thinking the book is actually required. I suppose she could ebay it, but she doesn't want to hassle with packaging and shipping.

What to do?
Post edited by mihcal1 on

Replies to: Morality of re-selling unused textbook

  • argbargyargbargy Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    Thats a highly developed sense of morality!

    She isnt representing it as required (presumably)- its the college that is doing that. She is merely offering it for sale.

    Anyone that would buy it from her would also have bought it from the bookstore, right? So its not like she is making anything worse.
  • collegeshoppingcollegeshopping Registered User Posts: 1,937 Senior Member
    since it is still in the wrap is it returnable to the online retailer?
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Registered User Posts: 6,208 Senior Member
    Oh I agree. MUCH better to entomb all the text in a landfill that get it to someone who will actually benefit from the knowledge contained therein.

  • MizzBeeMizzBee Registered User Posts: 4,578 Senior Member
    By selling it on ebay it may actually get into the hands of a student that has a professor that will use the book.
  • absweetmarieabsweetmarie Registered User Posts: 1,905 Senior Member
    Are none of the sections using the book (i.e., is it just her particular teacher who called the book required but declined to use it)? I don't see a problem with selling it at the book swap.
  • momfrommemomfromme Registered User Posts: 2,669 Senior Member
    Besides Ebay, you can sell it through Amazon. They have quite the business with textbooks.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,073 Senior Member
    My kid sold all of her used texts on Amazon. They would simply credit her account...and she would use the credits to buy her next used book.

    This text might just be required and used at a different school, or different professor.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,900 Forum Champion
    thumper is right. Just because HER prof didnt' use the book doesn't mean that another prof that teaches that class at HER school doesn't use it.
  • wellthatsokaywellthatsokay Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    Is it just that she never had to use the book because she was doing well without it? If so, I don't think it's dishonest to sell it to someone at her school. I know there are classes I've taken for which my friends never opened the textbook, but I looked at it quite a bit. It just depends on how you learn, so even if it wasn't helpful to her it might be for someone else taking the same class.

    If she didn't use it because the professor never suggested readings from the book or something or the book didn't cover what was being taught in class, then that's different I guess. But won't incoming students still just buy the book, from a different (and perhaps more expensive) source? If she sells it, she could sell it with a disclaimer that it's listed as a required textbook but she personally didn't find it helpful. Someone who just wants all the required books would probably still buy it.
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 6,145 Senior Member
    Permission granted.
  • Pennylane2011Pennylane2011 Registered User Posts: 2,716 Senior Member
    I sold some books back to Amazon. They make it very easy as you just enter the book code, they price it and calculate the postage for you. You print it out and mail it to them and they credit your account. You only need to find a box to carefully pack the book in. Amazon won't accept it if there isn't a market for it. Kudos to your daughter for avoiding having a student spend money on a book he/she won't use.
    Google "Amazon Sell your books" for the link.
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Registered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    If she sells it to another student at her college, she simply needs to make clear that the book may not be required. There are some students who like to have a textbook even if the prof doesn't require one. (Personally, I found it easier to learn math from a textbook instead of lectures.)
  • moonchildmoonchild Registered User Posts: 3,296 Senior Member
    If your family doesn't have a selling account on Amazon, this might be a good time to start one. I re-sold the many of my two kids' textbooks all through their college years, as well as several books we had sitting around the house. It isn't that much work to ship them. Just get a bit of bubble wrap and save your old boxes. Sometimes we were able to get 75% of our original cost. It really does save you some money.
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 5,264 Senior Member
    I sell books on Amazon. It's super easy once you've set up an account. Unlike ebay, you don't need to take a photo or closely monitor it (though if you want it to sell really quickly, you can check every few days to make sure you have the lowest price on the item selling) I've sold a lot of my son's high school/college textbooks there; textbooks sell really quickly.

    Cross posted with moonchild.

    I use brown grocery bags to ship most books and I reuse bubble envelopes and other envelopes all the time, thus saving $$ on shipping supplies.
  • PackMomPackMom Registered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    Do you still have the Amazon receipt or credit card statement showing the purchase? We returned an unused textbook to Amazon after S found he didn't need it and got a refund.

    Even if they wouldn't give you a refund, they might allow you a credit on her next book purchase. It doesn't hurt to call and ask. The Customer Service agent was very helpful when I called to ask about returns.
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