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Textbook Buyback FAQ

What is textbook buyback?

Textbook buyback is a service provided by the UNM Bookstore to students who wish to sell back textbooks that they do not want to keep for future reference.


Why should I sell my books back to the UNM Bookstore?

It is an opportunity for you to help other students reduce the cost of their textbooks, while assisting you to cover the expense of your own textbook purchases by giving you cash for your unwanted books. Having a large supply of used books available is the single most significant way the UNM Bookstore can assist you to reduce the cost of your textbooks. You are our best source of used books. Our preference is to purchase them from you rather than from a used book supply dealer.


When is the best time to sell my books back?

The best time to sell is right after classes have ended and during finals week each semester. Remember that during this period, we are buying books for the upcoming term so the buyback value will most likely be higher. Once the semester has begun, we have all the books we need, so your books will be purchased at whatever the used book dealer has determined their market value to be. Although the UNM Bookstore does conduct daily buyback, you will usually receive more for your textbooks during the end of semester buyback.


How much will I get back for my books?

If we have received a firm order from a professor that your textbooks will be used again in the upcoming semester, we will pay UP TO HALF the new book price whether the books were purchased new or used. If we have not yet received an order for a particular title, it may still have a resale value, so all titles should be brought into buyback for price quotes.


How much will I get back for books not yet ordered for the upcoming semester?

If you have a current edition of a title that has not yet been ordered at UNM for the upcoming semester, we check the database of a nationally recognized used book dealer for its national market value. If the book is listed, it will be purchased and recycled into the used book market for purchase by other universities.

The prices paid (national market value) can range from 0-30% of the retail price determined by copyright, subject matter, and demand. Due to frequent edition changes, used book companies take a huge calculated risk in purchasing these titles with the potential of worthless inventory.


Do I need my receipt to sell my books?

No, a receipt is not needed. However, YOUR LOBO ID IS REQUIRED.


Do you buy packaged textbooks with CD's or access codes?

If the package contained a CD, then you should include it with the book at buyback. Since access codes can only be used one time by one person, only the book is potentially eligible for buyback. The buyback value of the book is determined by the availability of the stand-alone access code from the publisher and the price of the stand-alone access code relative to the package price. In some cases, the price set by the publisher of the access code relative to the package may prevent us from buying back the book.


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

There are three different reasons why this could happen:

  1. Buyback prices are driven by professors' book requests. Unfortunately, some book orders are received at the UNM Bookstore after the end of semester buyback period has ended. Therefore, you received less money than you could have if the information had been known earlier.
  2. We are still receiving textbook orders as buyback is occurring. Prices change daily as new book orders continue to arrive. A title worth $10.00 today could be worth $30.00 tomorrow but, as stated in reason number 3, the reverse could also happen.
  3. Purchase quantities are based on the estimated enrollments that professors supply when they submit their orders. When the UNM Bookstore has reached its limit of used books needed of a title, the price will then drop from half the new book price to national market value.


If I know that a book is only used in the fall semester or only in the spring semester (so it is used again in 2 semesters) should I try to sell it back at the end of the current semester?

That's a tricky one. To receive the best price, you should wait until the end of semester buyback immediately before the book is used again (May for fall only classes; December for spring only classes). However, if the book has been around for a couple of years, you then run into the possibility of the title going into a newer edition, resulting in the book having no buy back value. Since the buyback value is determined semester by semester, we cannot speculate what a book's value will be in 2 semesters, only for the upcoming semester.