Students generally get 40 percent return during University textbook buyback

Veronica Baas

Junior Biology major Miles Eckley shops for books at the Lory Student Center bookstore Monday. With the rising cost of tuition and being a student in general, the university is working on a bill that will establish a tax holiday for all Colorado State university bookstores.
Assistant director of textbooks, Terry Clayton claims that books at buyback are usually priced at 40 percent of the orginal price, but some students claim to receive only 10 to 20 percent for their books during buyback. (Collegian File Photo)

Students who buy textbooks at the Colorado State University Bookstore are given the opportunity to sell them back at the end of the semester, but at less than half the price paid.

Rising textbook prices and low buyback rates are causing students to opt out of purchasing a textbook.


“I stopped really buying some of my books because of (low buyback rates),” said Steven Costantino, a CSU junior studying business marketing. “I didn’t really use some of them that much either, so I would return brand-new books and get $10 or $15 back for like an $80 book.”

During buyback week, CSU is purchasing textbooks for the bookstore. This is when students receive the most back for their books. Buybacks offered at any other time of the year are put on by a wholesale company.

The bookstore also offers daily buys year-round. These books are bought at wholesale price, which is generally lower. Then they are shipped off to companies that are buying books for stores nationwide.

Terry Clayton, assistant director of textbooks at CSU, said the buyback price tends to be around 40 percent of the original cost.

“In the past, it used to be half of new,” Clayton said. “Now, because we are doing the price comparison, and we have so many books out there that are priced competitively with the online markets. We have to look at every title.”

There are four buyback locations: the CSU Bookstore, outside Clark on the west side, Moby parking lot at the drive-thru or at Academic Village in the sunken lounge.

Amanda Fields, a senior at CSU studying English, sells her books back to the school every year.

“I think I’ve done it every time that I’ve bought books through the school,” Fields said. “There’s maybe only been three I haven’t been able to sell back, the prices are a little bit lower, but it’s better than nothing.”

Many students have turned to alternative options to sell their books. Some have found success posting books to class Facebook pages or selling them to an online site, such as Chegg or Amazon.

“I think that being an English major, since our books aren’t the new updated versions, you can usually sell them back for a pretty good price,” Fields said. “If anything, I’ll just throw a post on Facebook and I can normally get rid of it within the week.”


Collegian Reporter Veronica Baas can be reached at or on Twitter @vcbaas.