Does Amazon Buy Used Textbooks? (Trade-in, Buy Back, + More)

It can be expensive to buy textbooks for university and college. Students often spend a lot of time searching for the best prices on the books they need each year. You end up with extra books that you don’t need.

Although selling your textbooks can be a great way to get back some of the money that you have spent, it can also prove difficult. Amazon is a great option for anyone looking to get rid of their textbooks from university or college. However, recent policy changes can cause confusion.

Continue reading for details about Amazon’s used textbook policies and how to sell used textbooks online.

Amazon Will Buy Used Textbooks

Amazon used to offer a direct buyback program for textbooks. Amazon abruptly ended the buyback program in April 2020 without giving any explanation. Many thought it was a joke, since it occurred on April Fools Day. But it wasn’t.

Amazon will allow you to trade in your textbooks, however. The program is similar to the one they offer for selling used electronics. These guidelines will help you sell used textbooks on Amazon.

  • Check that the ISBN number listed matches the ISBN number in your textbook. You could be selling a different cover type or edition if you have an ISBN number that is slightly different from the one listed.
  • Do not try to trade in copied material or unauthorized material. It is strictly prohibited to trade in scanned images,.pdf files, or photocopied textbooks.
  • You should not try to trade in instructor’s editions or promotional editions. These editions will contain the same content as regular textbooks but will bear phrases such as ‘promotional copy’ or ‘not to be resold’.
  • Do not try to trade in teacher editions. Teachers’ editions or instructor editions that include additional annotations are not accepted unless Amazon has a listing specifically for such editions.
  • Do not trade in international textbooks or books in foreign languages. These editions are not usually authorized to be sold outside their country of origin.

This page provides more information about Amazon’s textbook policy.

How to Sell Used Textbooks on Amazon

Although the trade-in process for textbooks at Amazon has evolved over time, it remains relatively straightforward. Amazon offers textbook trade-ins with discounts, gift cards, and even direct payments, much like used electronics. There are offers for certain textbooks and these offer may change from time to time. It is therefore important to keep checking the program frequently to determine which books can be traded in.

These steps will help you determine if your textbook qualifies for trade-in.

  • Visit Amazon’s Trade In page
  • Scroll down to “Other Trade in Categories”
  • Click on “Find More Items”
  • Enter the ISBN number of the textbook that you want to trade.

If your textbook is eligible for trade in, you will be able to click on it to start the trade-in process. Amazon will generally prefer the latest edition of any textbook. Books in better condition are likely to fetch higher prices. Books in poor condition will usually be refused trade-in.

Amazon allows sellers to trade in textbooks using a seller account. This is just like selling any other used item. Although this process can be more complicated, it is easy to get started. This process should not be difficult if you are familiar with managing a seller account.

  • You must identify the books that you want to sell. It is important to know all details so that you can determine the selling price of your book.
  • Register for an Amazon seller account. Register as an individual seller, or as a professional seller. You can find more information about the seller plans here.
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  • Set a fair price on your book. Take a look at similar listings online to determine the exact edition of the book and the condition in order for you to list it for a fair price.
  • Amazon allows you to list your items. To easily create a listing, click “Sell on Amazon” on any textbook product listing.
  • Promote your item listing. This optional step entails promoting your item listing via social media and other avenues to help you sell your book.
  • Send your item by mail. After someone has purchased your book you can either ship it via Amazon Fulfillment, or pack and ship it yourself.

The process is more complicated than the trade-in program. You can sometimes get higher prices by selling your book direct than trading it in. If your book isn’t eligible for trade-in, this is a great option.

Are you looking for money-saving hacks? Woot Amazon is a great resource for money saving.

What is the best way to sell my used textbooks?

Amazon’s Trade-in Program for Used Textbooks will offer you discount coupons or gift cards in return for your books. Sometimes, you may also be able to receive direct payment for textbooks. There may not always be an offer for the textbook you are looking for.

If you are in these situations, it is probably a better idea to sell your book through a seller’s account to get the best value for your money. To get more detailed selling tools and metrics, it may be worth signing up for a professional seller’s account if you plan to sell textbooks in bulk or regularly.

Feel free to ask questions and share your concerns in the comments section.

You want to know more about Amazon? These posts will explain what Amazon Flex is, what Amazon delivered to safe places means, and if Amazon ships to Hawaii.


Amazon has discontinued their buyback program for used textbooks. However, students can still list their textbooks with their trade-in program.

Amazon’s Trade-In Service makes it simple to sell textbooks on Amazon. It takes just a few steps.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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