The BBB: Buying back books

There are many options at Pierce to sell those old textbooks.

Lizzie DukeReporter

While at college, most students will need to purchase textbooks for classes. Pierce College provides a few options of how to sell back textbooks once the quarter is over.

The first option is the campus bookstore. The bookstore will buy books back every day, bookstore manager at Pierce College Puyallup Dionne Latta said. On a daily basis, it’s what’s known as a wholesale buy back. Wholesale means it’s not for the school specifically but for the country, so the amount paid for the book is based on demand throughout the nation rather than just at the college.

For the last two weeks of each quarter, it’s resale buy back. This is when the bookstore buys books back that’ll be needed by students for the next quarter. It’s based on how many rentals the bookstore receives back, so they can’t buy back all the books or they’d have more than is needed.

During wholesale, students can receive up to 20 percent of their money back. During retail, books are purchased for up to 50 percent.

For example, if a student bought a book for $100, during wholesale the greatest amount they could receive back is $20. During resale, they could receive up to $50.

“It (the price) is a quote,” Latta said. “It doesn’t stay that way, it’s based on demand. It can go down in a matter of a day or two.”

Also, if instructors don’t notify the bookstore of which books they’re planning to use, the bookstore can’t buy the books back yet, because the books aren’t in their system.

The individual book or barcode matters as well. If the book is missing a CD, is torn or if there’s a new addition of that book pending, it’s worth less. There are also some books the bookstore  won’t buy back because they also cannot sell back books that were bought places other than the bookstore.

Another option at Pierce is the book wall, which is in the College Center on the top floor, against the back wall by the computer lab.

“We do encourage people to also use the book wall,” Latta said.  “Try us first to see what we’re buying it back for and if that’s not something that seems reasonable enough, try the book wall.”

To post a book, students can go to the Office of Student Life to fill out a slip with their name, the book’s condition, personal contact information and how much money they’d like for the book. The slips are color coordinated based on subject. For example, red is for science and pink is for social science.

At the end of the day, Student Advocacy Senator Perry Doidge adds the papers onto the book wall and keeps them up for the quarter.

“We don’t handle any of the books,” Doidge said. “It’s kind of like Craigslist where they keep the books and they (the students) sell it to each other.”

There’s also an online book board also organized by the OSL. To access it, students can go to This can also be accessed through the OSL website by selecting the tab textbook revolution and then “digital book board.”

To find a book online, a student can search by author. To post a book, students need to fill out information for it including the name of the book they’re selling, the author and subject.

If someone paid $100 for their textbook, they can usually sell it for $50 or the best offer from the student buying it off the bookwall, Doidge said.

Doidge recommends that students try to sell their textbooks on Amazon before trying the book wall. He doesn’t recommend selling it to the bookstore.

“Sell it to your friend (or) sell it to the students here,” Latta said. “That way, you can make some money if we’re not buying it back.”

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

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The BBB: Buying back books

by Lizzie Duke time to read: 3 min