Guaranteed Textbook Buy Back

How It Works Online and On Campus

Did you know you can get guaranteed textbook buy back when you buy your book? By doing this, you avoid keeping a book you don’t need, and you don’t have to stand in line wondering if your bookstore will have filled their quota for your book.

By the way, you can click over to Beat-Tuition's Cheap Textbook Hub for dozens more ideas to get cheap textbooks.

Guaranteed Buy Back

I hated that feeling, as you get closer to the cashier. You wait. You wonder. Will they still need my book? Then, you arrive at the register, and they only need half of the books you brought.

You can avoid this now by buying through companies that offer a guaranteed textbook buy back. You still have some limitations, as you might expect. Instead of waiting in the line to find out that you can’t sell it back, you find out when you buy it that you can’t or won’t be able to unload it back at the bookstore.

You also don’t have to wonder how much you’ll get at buy back. The company will tell you right away how much value you will lose – but you will still have the guaranteed textbook buy back price. And for the books you have to buy, it will help keep the textbook cheap.

End of Semester Time Saver

Using this method will save you significant money on your books, and will also save you time. You’ll know ahead of time which books you can just send back in, and which you will have sell yourself or just keep.

The companies that provide this service will tell you how much they will pay. Many university bookstores also offer this service. The books included in the program will typically have a sticker or an icon, if online, to show you that they have a guaranteed textbook buy back amount.

Important Tip:

Never Remove A Guaranteed Buy Back Sticker! It IS Your Guarantee!

College bookstores that offer this service usually require that their sticker still be on the book, or have some other identifier, to keep from buying a book bought online. Just be aware.

Not All Textbooks Included

Whether through a bookstore or online, not all textbooks will have a guarantee. Even if some of yours don’t, the bookstore may still do a buy back, just not with a guarantee. Back to the same old routine, going to the bookstore, waiting for the cashier. Or you could sell it online.

Are Used Books Guaranteed?

Also, even if you buy a used book, it may have a guaranteed textbook buy back. It all depends on the department and the professors at your school. If they have committed to using the book for a while, like 3 years, then the store will offer a guarantee on that book.

The Numbers

The breakdown I give here won’t be accurate in every case, but gives you an idea of how the program works. When a university or an online bookstore offers a guaranteed textbook buy back, they will often guarantee you half the book price you paid at the beginning of the semester. Then, they will add half of that when they resell it, or about 75 percent of your price, as an example.

Your book will drop half its value, but you do get a sizable amount back. To get a better deal, you can try selling the book yourself, renting a book for the class, or even borrowing one. The Cheap Textbook Bible has several options - but a guarantee is a nice offer to have.

If you have access to a guaranteed textbook buy back, you get a pretty good deal. You know which textbooks you can sell for something, you probably know how much, and you save time. Cool. Cheap textbooks and less work.

Differences Between Online and On Campus

Textbook buy back will be slightly different online versus on campus. You will have to ship for an online bookstore, but not on campus. And you will have to wait for the online bookstore to acknowledge your books. On the other hand, an online store may have a wider variety of books with a guaranteed buy back. And you may be able to ship to them sooner than you can take your books to the bookstore for the guarantee.

But your on campus bookstore will be close by, no waiting for shipping. They will give you cash, and hopefully the line will be short.

Both will want to look at your books before they pay you – you can’t destroy the book and expect the guarantee to apply. Don’t drop it in a puddle, or scribble on every page. Excessive wear or damage will cancel your guarantee. And you have to have all the pieces – all the pages, and any CDs or workbooks if included when you bought the book.


You can’t really expect to get your textbook costs to zero. I managed to get to zero on several classes, and even had a profit on at least one class. But over a full year of classes or a degree, you have to expect to spend something. In those cases, the guaranteed textbook buy back fills the bill, and helps reduce your expenses.

Now you can buy the Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese – sweet! ;o)

More Resources

Everything You Ever Wanted to know about Guaranteed Buy Back (weighted toward campus bookstores)

You can check out the Barnes & Noble Guaranteed buy back program online. Thy will even send you a shipping label so your shipping is free when you send it.

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