How Buyback Works?

At the end of each term, The Phoenix Bookstore gives students the chance to sell their books back for cash. This can be a confusing process for students and this explanation is intended to describe how the bookstore determines a buyback price for each book in order to help you get the most money back for your books.

Buyback Overview

When a student comes to the bookstore to sell back books, the value of a given textbook is determined by which of two categories it falls into, Retail or Wholesale. Retail means the book is going to be used for the next semester. Books falling into this category give the students the most money back. All other books fall into the category of wholesale, for which the prices are always less.

Retail Books (or books being used the next semester)

Retail buyback is conducted during finals week of spring and fall semesters. As stated earlier, this is your best chance to get the most money for your books. The retail value of a given book can potentially be as much as half of the new price of the book, especially when the book is new. This means that if a textbook's new price is $40.00, then the retail buyback price could be as high as $20.00. Keep in mind that if you bought a book used, it is still possible to receive up to 50% of the new price during buyback.

There are several factors that determine whether or not the store is able to buy a book back retail. First and foremost, the book must be used for the next semester. If a given book is not being used the next semester, you will not get retail price for it. Many classes are offered in fall or spring only, or every two years. In these cases, it may be in your best interest to hold onto the book until the buyback before the term for which the book will be used.

Second, a professor must have told the bookstore that the book is being used the next semester. Occasionally, professors do not get their orders for the next term in on time, which prevents the bookstore from buying a book at the retail price because we don't know for sure the book will be used again.

Third, if the store has received an order for a book from the professor, we are able to buy back that book only up to the number of books that the store can reasonably expect to sell for that class. For example, a class in the fall may have 100 students, but the same class in the spring may have only 50, in which case the store could not buy back 100 books at the retail price for that class for the spring semester. This means that it is extremely important to sell your books early in the buyback to get the most money back.

Fourth, if there is a new edition coming out for a book you are trying to sell, and the professor wishes to use the new edition, your book will unfortunately have no value. Editions change every 3-4 years, sometimes more often. Your book must also be in good shape; both covers and all pages must be intact, no wrinkled pages from spills and no blanks filled in on study guides or workbooks. Also, if books were originally purchased as a set, all pieces must be brought back together to get the full value. Avoid using excessive highlighting or more than 3 colors in law books. Do not write translations in foreign language books.

Finally, preference will be given to those persons who purchased the book from the bookstore.The bookstore does not sell or buy back international editions, instructorís copies, or rebound books.††

If the book you are trying to sell meets the criteria, you will get the highest (retail) price for it. If not, then we will attempt to buy it at the wholesale price, with the exception of the books noted above.

Wholesale Buyback

Here at the bookstore, we conduct wholesale buyback throughout the entire year. Wholesale buyback involves selling your book to a used book company, which will then sell it to another college that uses it. In this case, the buyback price is determined by the national demand for the book. This means that the money you get back for a book can vary greatly, but is always less than if the bookstore bought the book to resell it. Also, old editions, damaged or over-used books, international editions, professorís copies and rebound books will have no resale value.

If you wish to sell your books on-line directly to the Wholesaler, go to: Online Buyback

Hopefully this explanation of the buyback procedure has helped you to better understand what price you get for your books. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us at