Where to sell your college textbooks: not at your school!

According to an article in The Dailly Collegian, "Since 1986, textbook prices have nearly tripled, increasing by 186 percent, while tuition and fees have increased by 240 percent. Overall inflation since this time has increased by 72 percent. "

While outrageous textbook prices are a fact of life, cash-strapped students can make up some ground by selling their old textbooks directly to other students -- rather than trading them in at the school bookstore or another place that pays wholesale and then profits by selling the book at retail.

Websites like Amazon.com and Half.com allow you to cut out the middle man and get more for your old books. To list your books on those sites, click here for Half.com's textbook site or here for Amazon's. In addition, there are a number of sites that offer cash for your textbooks -- and they'll even include a printable shipping label so you can mail them in. While you'll probably do better selling the books yourself on Amazon, these sites offer convenience and you don't have to wait for a buyer to stumble on your listing. As a test, I decided to see how much a copy of Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America would bring on a few of these "cash for your books" sites, all of which pay the shipping. The book goes for $106.69 new on Amazon, while a used copy can be had for as little as $55.

Of course, there may be some variation from book to book -- but the folks at eCampus look pretty stingy! Forward this post on to any colleges students you know before they trade in their books for peanuts at the school store.
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