Frequently Asked Buyback Questions

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Why aren’t my used books worth more? Why do I get more for some books than others at buyback?

Value of used book depends on whether that book is going to be used the next term and also whether there are additional materials required that can’t be inexpensively purchased elsewhere. For example, a code may be required that comes bundled with a new book. The publisher will often charge very little for the code’s inclusion as part of a bundle but a great deal more if it is sold separately. So much more that a used book and an access code cost more than a new book that comes with one. The Bookstore will generally pay more if the book is being used the next term, usually half of what the book would cost to purchase. If the book is not being used the next term, the Bookstore will see if a wholesale book company they have partnered with will purchase the book. The wholesale company is a for profit company who will purchase the book at a price based on national supply and demand. Wholesalers buy used books that will be resold to other bookstores around the country. The wholesalers establish their purchase price not the Bookstore and it is often much less than what the Bookstore would pay.

Why did my friend get more for the same book?

National market value for a book fluctuates based on changing supply and demand for the book nationwide. The store will only be purchasing as many books as it feels it can sell. There will be a limit to how many they will need. If the Bookstore buys more than it needs and can’t resell that book. That loss has to be absorbed by the Bookstore. IF your friend received a higher value from the store than you, it was probably an issue of timing. The store probably already reached its limit before you sold back your book. If you sold your book before your friend, the store may not have received the instructor book order yet and could only offer the wholesale price at that time.

The store won’t buy back some books. I bought these books just a couple months ago. How can they be worthless now?

There are many reasons a book may be turned down for buyback. The store and/or the wholesaler may have no need to buy any more having reached their limit of what they think they can sell. Possibly, the book is not being used anywhere next term, particularly if it is highly specialized. The publisher may be replacing the book with a new, updated edition next term. The book may be part of a required package of items that can’t be sold separately. Your copy may not be salable due to a broken cover, missing or torn pages, excessive highlighting or marking, offensive marks, stains, water damage or missing additional components.

I paid a lot of money for my books. Why doesn’t the store give me more for them?

Used book are provided by the Bookstore as a less expensive alternative for students. Paying more at buyback means the store would have to raise the retail price of used books.

Why doesn’t the store sell used books for the same price that they were bought at buyback?

The store must add an amount to the price of all merchandise – including used books – to help cover the store’s normal operating expenses such as staff wages and benefits, equipment purchase and replacement, security, supplies, travel and other expenses.

How much money will I get back for my book?

If you purchased the textbook new, it has been ordered for the next term, and the Bookstore needs additional copies, you will receive up to half of the current new book price. If you bought the book used and it is needed for the upcoming term, you will receive up to half of the current used book price. If the book is not needed, you get whatever the current used book wholesale price is. Unfortunately some books are worth nothing.

Why do I sometimes get less than half of what I paid?

Books not ordered by BMCC for the upcoming term and not needed for terms in the near future MIGHT be purchased by a used book wholesale company at current wholesale value. These books will be sent to the used book company's warehouse and sold to other bookstores across the country. These books are not kept on campus.

Why wouldn't the wholesale company buy back my book?

The book might be going into a new edition or there is no demand for the textbook at any college or other bookstore. It is also possible that the book is not in resalable condition.

What condition should my book be in?

The books cannot be falling apart, missing any pages, or have any water damage. Workbooks must have no answers written in them and any course software must be unopened.

I don't want to wait for the next Bookstore Buyback date. Do I have any other options?

YES! The BMCC Bookstore has partnered with MBS Textbook Exchange - the nation's largest textbook wholesaler - to offer year-round online buyback. You can now sell back your books ANY TIME, YEAR ROUND!