The end of the semester is fast approaching, and with the end of the semester comes the rush of students looking to earn some fast cash in exchange for their used textbooks.

This creates another question — sell them back to local stores, or sell them online?

Online buyback seems to be the trend, says Jeff Sherwood, CEO OF, a website that compiles information from about 30 smaller online bookstores that sell and buy back books at various prices.

“We’re like Google for textbooks,” Sherwood said.

Sherwood said he has seen buybacks via Bigwords rise 500 percent for each of the past three years.

By buying books through the website at the lowest possible price and selling them back at the highest price, students can get an average of 80 percent back on their books, he said.

Paying rent and employee salaries makes it tough on local stores to offer students a better return for their books, said Lynne Vaughan, the director of UF Bookstores.

But some students still prefer selling them back to the stores themselves, despite online companies paying more.

One major factor is the convenience of selling books back to the stores they came from.

“I just don’t want to go through the complications of selling them back online,” said 21-year-old psychology major Craig McShaffry.  “Just dropping them off [at UF Bookstore and Florida Book Store’s buyback kiosks] is a lot easier.”

Local buyback is also instantaneous. Students are able to walk out of the store with cash in hand as opposed to waiting for their money.

(1) comment


I am in college, and I sell my textbooks back online to I don't have to stand in line at the college bookstore, and they pay me fast by PayPal.

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