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How do I get rid of old textbooks?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted December 28 2010 - 08:20 AM

I have a bin full of college textbooks that the store wouldn't buy back at the time (because they were being replaced the following semester), and now I need the space.  But, who wants old, out of date college textbooks?  The library?  Half Price Books?  The recycle center at the city dump?  I don't care about making money off of them, though I wouldn't mind if there isn't a lot of hassle involved (ex: selling them individually on eBay).


#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted December 28 2010 - 11:26 AM

Greg, I tried to donate my old college texts last year, along with about 100 paperback novels. A used book store in town didn't want any of them. My local library didn't either. Not even the NYC public library which is an entire library system itself wanted them. I was a little surprised that the libraries didn't at least want the novels but they didn't. I just tied them up in bundles with some twine, put them out at the curb the sanitation guys picked them up.



Carl

#3 of 18 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted December 28 2010 - 11:47 AM

It is a shame. I would try Half Price Books, a USED book store, and maybe even Craigslist.


#4 of 18 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted December 28 2010 - 12:49 PM

Thanks, guys.  Carl, I tried to take about forty commercially-made VHS tapes to Half Price, and they wanted to give me $2 for the lot.  That included a sealed Star Wars widescreen limited, which I determined from eBay last night that nobody wants.  I ended up throwing them out.  I'll check a couple of places, but they'll probably end up trashed like yours.  One thing I've learned in going through all this junk is that you don't worry about fancy, limited edition packaging.  I had tins collecting dust and nobody even wants them brand new on eBay.  Also, I fought hard to get the good, pre Special Edition Star Wars trilogy on eBay years ago, and now they're sitting there unsold even when brand new.  Technology, like school books, quickly goes out of date.



#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted December 28 2010 - 02:45 PM

Yep, I agree Greg. I think the days of CD's and DVD's having any sort of collectible value are generally pretty much over. I tried to sell a Godfather Trilogy box set not very long ago to a used CD/DVD store nearby and the guy very humorously pointed to a wall where he had 4 of the same boxed sets and said they'd been sitting in his store for years unsold.


Far as the books go....a few years ago when my son went off to college, I told him he could save money buying used from the school bookstore and save even more from a used book store off campus. A week later, he called me and was really upset because he spent a fortune on books. I asked him about buying used and he told me..there were no off campus used stores still in business, and all of his courses had updated the texts to a new edition. As I've experienced with him and now my daughter, revised college texts seem to be a big racket between the schools and the booksellers.


Times have sure changed.


Carl

#6 of 18 ONLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted December 28 2010 - 03:56 PM



Originally Posted by Carl Miller 
As I've experienced with him and now my daughter, revised college texts seem to be a big racket between the schools and the booksellers.
Times have sure changed.


It's actually mostly the publishers, not the schools or booksellers. It's a constant source of frustration to schools to be told a familiar edition is out of print and their students will have to buy a higher priced new edition, and faculty will have to revise their course planning for a new edition. And the booksellers would love to sell more used books, as the profit margins are much higher than with new books. It's the publishers that keep updating to new editions and taking the older editions out of print so they can sell more books, since if everyone kept using the same books/same editions, the used market (for which publishers and authors receive no payments) would overtake the sales of brand new books.


I've pretty much given up trying to sell or donate physical media. As noted above, even libraries don't want donations of books anymore, and there's no market at all for CD's or DVD's. I just give them away, usually just taking a box to work and letting my co-workers snap them up, or to a charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army.


The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open mind.

#7 of 18 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted December 28 2010 - 04:53 PM

Kindling for a fireplace.



#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted December 28 2010 - 06:04 PM


That reminds me of the movie Fahrenheit 451. Posted Image

Originally Posted by nolesrule 

Kindling for a fireplace



#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Paul D G

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Posted December 28 2010 - 07:18 PM

My kids' grade school has large dumpsters in the parking lot for paper recycling.  The school gets money for this.  If you're going to have to dump them check to see if your local school does something like this.


#10 of 18 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 29 2010 - 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by Malcolm R 

 
...and there's no market at all for CD's or DVD's.


Miraculously, I sold my used copy (which did look like it was just opened) of The Breakfast Club on eBay last month for $8. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I sold the Back To The Future trilogy for $10 a few weeks before that.



#11 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 29 2010 - 01:37 AM

DVDs sell on eBay and Craigslist. Used stores can't sell anymore because everyones shopping online now. I dispose of old books in paper recycling bins at work.

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted December 29 2010 - 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malcolm R 

It's actually mostly the publishers, not the schools or booksellers. It's a constant source of frustration to schools to be told a familiar edition is out of print and their students will have to buy a higher priced new edition, and faculty will have to revise their course planning for a new edition. And the booksellers would love to sell more used books, as the profit margins are much higher than with new books. It's the publishers that keep updating to new editions and taking the older editions out of print so they can sell more books, since if everyone kept using the same books/same editions, the used market (for which publishers and authors receive no payments) would overtake the sales of brand new books.


That makes perfect sense Malcolm. Don't many of the schools though contract the book store biz to retailers these days? Both of my kids college stores are operated by Barnes & Noble and we were told at my daughters school, by students there during orientation, that when B&N took over the store, they stopped buying used books completely, regardless of revised editions. That's why I was under the assumption that schools and booksellers had something to do with this.


At any rate, it's a real scam under any circumstances.


Carl

#13 of 18 ONLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted December 29 2010 - 04:14 PM



Originally Posted by Carl Miller 


That makes perfect sense Malcolm. Don't many of the schools though contract the book store biz to retailers these days? Both of my kids college stores are operated by Barnes & Noble and we were told at my daughters school, by students there during orientation, that when B&N took over the store, they stopped buying used books completely, regardless of revised editions. That's why I was under the assumption that schools and booksellers had something to do with this.


At any rate, it's a real scam under any circumstances.


It is, and I'm sure there are cozy arrangements between some booksellers and publishers. Neither can really exist without keeping the other happy. But I still think it's mostly the publishers pulling the strings. They are the ones who keep regularly bringing out new editions. I don't think booksellers care which edition is on their shelves. The Barnes & Noble near me (regular retail store, not a college bookstore) has a whole room dedicated to sales of used books, so I don't think B&N has anything in particular against selling used books.


As long as your kids are checking carefully which editions of the books are required, they should be able to buy them anywhere, not just from the college bookstore. The last college course I took a couple years ago, I bought my book from Amazon.com and saved about 40%. BN.com also has a whole section online for used textbooks, as does Borders.com. It looks like some will even "rent" books. And type "used textbooks" into a search engine, and there are many links. You just need to be careful that you will be able to receive the books before the course begins. It becomes less attractive when jeopardizing success in a course costing several thousand dollars in tuition to save $40 on a book.


The same sites listed above also seem to purchase used textbooks, so that would be another option to get rid of used texts.


The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open mind.

#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted December 29 2010 - 05:26 PM

Well, I haven't done anything with the texts yet, but I did take some assorted fiction and other entertainment books to Half Price and did get $24.  I could have made more on eBay if people had been biting at these particular titles, but I was okay with the total.


#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted December 30 2010 - 10:49 AM



Originally Posted by Malcolm R 


It is, and I'm sure there are cozy arrangements between some booksellers and publishers. Neither can really exist without keeping the other happy. But I still think it's mostly the publishers pulling the strings. They are the ones who keep regularly bringing out new editions. I don't think booksellers care which edition is on their shelves. The Barnes & Noble near me (regular retail store, not a college bookstore) has a whole room dedicated to sales of used books, so I don't think B&N has anything in particular against selling used books.


As long as your kids are checking carefully which editions of the books are required, they should be able to buy them anywhere, not just from the college bookstore. The last college course I took a couple years ago, I bought my book from Amazon.com and saved about 40%. BN.com also has a whole section online for used textbooks, as does Borders.com. It looks like some will even "rent" books. And type "used textbooks" into a search engine, and there are many links. You just need to be careful that you will be able to receive the books before the course begins. It becomes less attractive when jeopardizing success in a course costing several thousand dollars in tuition to save $40 on a book.


The same sites listed above also seem to purchase used textbooks, so that would be another option to get rid of used texts.


Thanks Malcolm. My son did what you suggested whenever possible and it helped save some money which is always good. I totally agree with you about the publishers pulling the strings. It makes complete sense that they'd be the engine behind it rather than what I initially posted.


Carl

#16 of 18 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 30 2010 - 11:01 AM

I wonder if a local Sr Center would be a good place to donate books (NOT textbooks) too?



#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted December 30 2010 - 01:23 PM

My local VA hospital likes getting books and magazines.



#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Sher Cordon

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Posted January 25 2013 - 09:58 AM

If you still have those books, I am looking for foreign language books of any kind.




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