Textbook Buyback

The best time of the year to sell back your textbooks is at the end of the semester. This is when you can get the most value for your books. However, we do purchase textbooks daily. If you need a quote, please contact textbooks@oswego.edu

During our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, many students asked that we buyback a larger selection of books. At the end of each semester, The College Book Store would like to buy back 100% of books sold that semester. There are frequently titles though, that we do not buy. Here are some reasons why:

  • Faculty have not turned in book orders for the following term(s)
  • Faculty has changed textbooks
  • Faculty will not use text for following semester
  • New edition available for upcoming semester
  • Text has gone out of print
  • Books have access codes or online supplements that have a one semester life
  • Text is only used in Spring or only in Fall. For example, at the end of the fall semester we buy for the spring semester. A course that is only taught in the fall may not have books eligible for buy back.

Any questions on buyback please contact Paul Divita, Textbook Manager at (315) 312-2898 or textbooks@oswego.edu 


  • Our #1 goal is to purchase your textbooks for 50% of the price you paid for them at the beginning of the semester. If your instructor has told us that he / she will be using the same material for the following semester, we generally pay half of the College Book Stores selling price.
  • Immediate cash (No waiting for a check or a deposit)
  • No need to pay for shipping costs
  • No appointment necessary
  • Lower your future textbook costs - By selling your textbooks to us you will help other SUNY Oswego students and you by reducing textbook costs as we can provide a larger selection of used textbooks for the following semester

Recently, private companies and websites have gotten involved in buying back textbooks. These third-party and online buyers claim to give students more money back for their books, but this is not the case. Although buyback prices may be slightly higher, it does not factor in the student spending time and money shipping books back to the buyer, also the payment is not instant nor cash.

Did you know that selling back your books to The College Stores not only saves you money, but it also helps other students? Being able to provide more used textbooks (our number one objective) helps lower textbooks costs for others the following semester. We would rather buyback textbooks from our students than use book supply dealers!

BUYBACK 101: Everything you ever wanted to know about textbook buyback

What is textbook buyback?
Textbook buyback is a bookstore-sponsored event that takes place at the end of the term in an effort to recycle titles that will be used in the future. Buyback is a triple-win situation where current students get cash for selling their books, bookstores get in-demand used titles to put on their shelves, and future students are offered money-saving used editions next term. Buying and selling used books benefits everyone involved by cutting costs and reducing the environmental strain of additional textbook printing.

What determines which books are being bought back and how much cash I will receive for them?

  • Whether or not the book is being used the following semester
  • The condition of the book
  • Whether or not there is a new edition of the book
  • Course enrollment numbers for the next semester
  • Whether or not the book has all of its pieces (CDs, kits, etc.)

How are prices set?
We will pay up to 50% of the book price providing the textbook:

  • Is being used for the upcoming semester
  • Is needed to fill the bookstore quota
  • Is in reusable condition

For Example:  If you paid $100 for a textbook at the beginning of the semester, you will receive $50 during textbook buyback.

If the SUNY Oswego faculty does not have a need for the textbook in the next semester, we will check the book with our wholesaler.  Several factors determine what the wholesaler is willing to pay.  These factors include:

  • How many copies it already has in its warehouses.
  • How much of a demand its buyers think there will be for a book
  • How many copies it thinks it may get from schools across the country

It is sometimes the case that neither SUNY Oswego nor our wholesaler is looking to purchase the textbook.  There are several factors that could result in this decision.  These factors include:

  • The textbook has gone into a new edition or out of print
  • A faculty member has requested that the book be purchased in the next semester with supplementary materials such as online access codes or web-based components.  The publishers are not willing to sell these materials outside of the bundle.
  • The College Store or our wholesaler have fulfilled the limit of what they can buy.

Why should I sell my books back to The College Store?

Selling your books back not only saves you money, but it also helps other students. Being able to provide more used books helps lower textbook costs for others next semester. We would rather buy books back from our customers than use book supply dealers. In addition, we offer the best price, guaranteed!

Recently, private companies and websites have gotten involved in buying back textbooks. These third-party and online buyers claim to give students more money back for their books, but that's not the case, nor does it take into consideration that the payment is not instant, not cash, and that students may have to spend time and money shipping their books to the buyer. Know the deal up front and don't take chances with your money: in terms of buyback payment and service, these third parties can't beat us!

What should I bring to Buyback?
Be sure to bring all parts of the textbook or package with you to buyback. Books may be worth less or have no value if they are missing a cd or study guide. You do not need your receipt of purchase for the textbook.  Please remember to bring your SUNY Oswego Student ID card as well.

Why do I see textbooks on the book store's shelves the following semester when I was told at buyback that an order had not yet been received for those books?

  1. Buyback prices are driven by professor's book requests. Unfortunately, some book orders are received at The College Stores after the end of the semester buyback. Therefore, you received less money than you could have if the information had been known earlier. If your professor informs you that the book will be used next semester, please encourage them to share this information with The College Book Store so we may buy the book back at a higher price for you.
  2. We are still receiving textbook orders as buyback is occurring.  Prices change daily, and sometimes even hourly!  The College  Stores tries its hardest to put new textbook orders into the system as soon as possible to ensure you are getting the best price.

Do you buy study guides and workbooks?
Generally, yes if there are no pages missing and they have no excessive writing.  The purchase is at the discretion of the buyer.

If I know that a book is only used in the Fall semester, should I try to sell it back in December?
To receive the best price, you should wait until the May buyback. However, if the book has been around for a couple of years, you then run into the possibility of the book going into a new edition, thus having no resale value.

I did not use my textbook at all this past semester and it is still sealed.  How come I cannot receive a refund?
A time period is scheduled to accommodate textbook refunds and is posted throughout The College Stores at the beginning of the semester.  Typically the refund period lasts 2 weeks after the first day of classes.  A refund will be issed only if it meets the following requirements:

  1. You have a cash register receipt and student ID.
  2. You purchased the book for the current semester.
  3. New books cannot be marked in any way.  Books purchased in a sealed package must be returned in a sealed package.  Used books purchased may be returned in that condition.
  4. If you purchased your textbooks by credit card or Flex Plan, you will be issued credit to that account, not cash.
  5. Books must be returned during the designated return period which will be posted throughout The College Stores. 


Maximize Your Buyback
Textbook buyback is offered year-around but the best time to sell your textbooks is at the end of the semester. To get the most for your books, make sure they do not have: water damage, excessive writing or highlighting, excessive wear/damage and missing pages. If your books came as part of a set or package, be sure to bring: CDs, study guides, workbooks and/or lab manuals.