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Used Books FAQ

Used books are one of the few competitive alternatives to the high costs of new textbooks. The bookstore encourages instructors to adopt text books early and to adopt the same textbook. Early textbook adoptions allow the bookstore to procure more used copies for sale in subsequent terms. Typically the bookstore will repurchase textbooks which are adopted for course at Queen’s for 50 percent of the original price, 30 percent if the book is adopted on a campus elsewhere in Canada, and 15-30 percent if the book is in demand at US schools. Frequently students can buy or sell used books in peer to peer networks at more favorable prices than the bookstore can offer. The bookstore hosts student used book classifieds as part of the web site and integrates peer to peer networks into textbook search results. Buying used books and reselling the same books at the end of a term can reduce textbook costs for students by over 50 percent.

The bookstore monitors the current value of used textbooks. The value of used books increase as they are re- adopted in Canada and at Queen’s. The highest value is realized at the point of re-adoption by the instructor. Consequently the highest buy back prices occur at the end of a term. Students are encouraged to register all textbooks in the buy-back alert system which will email customized buy back lists at selected times throughout the year.

Do you have a textbook you no longer need? Looking to make cash on that textbook? Don't want to mail your book away somewhere and wait for your Cash?

Several Campus Bookstores have merged their Textbook buy-back lists for access by students on or near participating Schools.

The purpose of the facility is to increase the resale market for used books, to make more used books available for resale at Campus Bookstores at reduced prices, and to provide more options for students to help manage their textbook budget.

How is price determined?

The pricing formula is simple. Generally if a book is used on your home campus or at a participating store near your home campus you will receive approximately 50% of the price of the current new book price. We call that the "Home Price". If the book is being used at a campus elsewhere you will receive 30% of the current new book price. We call that the "away price".

What can I do if I find the price offered too low?

If the book has not yet been adopted on any campus you can list the books, in fact, you can list all of your books in BuyBack Alerts. As soon as a participating campus adds the title you will be notified by email of the price.

How firm is the price?

The demand for the book is finite and is maintained in real time. The demand decreases instantly with every sale and can expire quickly as other students line up across North America at end of terms to sell their books.

I attend a school in another town. When I go home can I sell my book back to the university/college in my hometown?

Yes! And we encourage the practice, but remember demand can expire quickly so get there quickly. Also, please make sure that the university/college in your hometown is buying your book.

What happens if demand expires before I get to my nearest store?

Sorry, you are out of luck. You can list the book in resale registration and when another campus adopts the book you will be notified by email.

What happens if I am notified by email and demand expires before I get to the nearest store?

Sorry again but it is due to the real time nature of the system. The local store has no control over the demand for a book or the numbers needed at another school.

How does my book get to the other Campuses?

Your home or nearest participating bookstore will pay you the cash and look after shipping the books to the campus with the demand.

Do you buy study guides or CD-ROMs ?

Some schools do, some don't. As long as it has an ISBN number you can search and won't miss any opportunities to sell your book back at participating schools.

What is an ISBN?

International Standard Book Number. All books have one and each edition of a title has a different ISBN.ISBN Location

Can I sell a book I originally purchased used?

Yes, you will receive about 50% of the new list price if it will be used on your home campus and about 30% of the new list price if used elsewhere.

Does the previous edition of my text have resale value?

Not usually, and the system buys based on ISBN to ensure the correct and most current edition is purchased.

Can I sell back books in any condition?

The decision belongs to the buyer at each school. We want used books not abused books and reserve the right to refuse to purchase damaged books or books that are unlikely to be repurchased by other students.

Why are there not more titles on the list?

Late adoptions or a change in editions, a different book being used on the same course are some of the reasons. Only those books that are certain to be used on a campus make it to the list. Ask your instructors to adopt early and adopt the same book to help increase the numbers and value of used textbooks.

How do I delete my classifieds entry?

Sold your book? Great! To delete your classified entry just create a bookstore account. We only ask for your email address and password. It's a cinch and only takes a moment! Then you'll be able to delete your classified entries using your "My Account" page.

Already have a bookstore account? Sign in here!

The Campus Bookstore at Queen's University
Students serving students, as not-for-profit, since 1909.

Regular Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am to 6pm, Saturday: 10am to 5pm
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The Campus Bookstore at Queen's University