Do Students Have a Knack for Getting Textbook Money Back?

Textbooks typically empty our bank accounts and gather dust on our shelves.

Textbooks from CAS first-year Anna Nuratova's dorm. (Photo by Alina Patrick)

Tedious readings are an integral part of any NYU student’s college career, and where there are readings, there are textbooks. It leaves us at the end of the semester with a stack of unwanted and expensive books sitting on our shelves waiting to be reread and reannotated.

Every student has their own method of acquiring and then disposing of them. Tisch sophomore Kavya Krishna has conceded to the inevitability of buying expensive books but would like to somehow make up some of the cost.

“There are ways to get your money back from textbooks,” Krishna said. “NYU has places for students to sell the books back — there is usually a stand outside Weinstein where textbooks can be sold. I have sold books there before for basically the same price I bought them for.”

CAS Sophomore Isabella Jazrawi has also tried to get money back from unwanted textbooks, finding both success and failures.

“I think that the easiest way to go about it is to post on Facebook; people will be checking to find cheaper options than the NYU bookstore or Amazon,” Jazrawi said. “You won’t get all of your money back but you can get some of it and it’s better than nothing.”

Jazrawi is aware that there are other ways to get more money back but admits this is not always easy.

“There is a specific way to sell books on Amazon which might get you more money depending on the demand of the book,” Jazrawi said. “But this process is harder and longer, so I don’t think that many students go through with it.”  

Frantzca Pascal, a Liberal Studies sophomore, follows the rule that if you’re not interested in the textbook, sell it.

“I’ve sold books that I wasn’t too interested in back to the NYU Bookstore in exchange for money,” Pascal said. “I feel if you know you’ll never pick it up again and have gained all that you wish to from that textbook, it’s best to pass it on or sell it.”  

Pascal tries to avoid the age-old habit of cluttering dorm rooms with unwanted books that are now a makeshift nightstand. He makes moves to get money back, but does not see it as the ideal situation.

“Selling back to the bookstore is the easiest way to go about selling books but probably not the most convenient,” Pascal said. “They offer way lower prices than what the original payment was.”

Email Hanna McNeila at [email protected]

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