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Textbook Sellback & Return Rental Books

Textbook Sellback runs year-around in-store and at the end of each semester at convenient locations around campus. (The best prices are paid at the end of each semester). Buying textbooks back from students helps us to keep a robust selection of used books in stock and lets us to return cash to students.

Textbook Sellback Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How does the Textbook Sellback program work?

For two weeks at the end of each semester, we hold large Textbook Sellback events in the store and at RPCC. You can bring books you’re interested in selling to either location and we’ll pay you cash on the spot. You can also sell your textbooks back year-round by visiting the registers on the lower level of The Cornell Store.

Do I need my original receipt to sell my books back?

No, a receipt is not needed. You will need to provide your NetID or your Cornell ID card. We buy books no matter where you purchased them.

Can I sell back a book that I bought used?

Yes, we very much want books you bought used as well as new. The main determinant of the value is whether it will be used the next semester at Cornell.

How much money will I receive when I sell my books back to The Cornell Store?

If we know the book will be used at Cornell in the next term, during the end-of-semester Sellback event we will pay a premium price for the book until we reach the quantities needed. This price is paid even if you purchased a used copy. We also purchase thousands of other titles on behalf of companies that sell used books to other college stores; this is considered the wholesale price of a book. Bring all your books to our counters to learn the value of each book you have. You can also visit our website near the end of the semester to view the value of books for courses you were registered for in the past. We also buy books year-round after the sellback event has ended at wholesale prices.

Will you personally notify me when it’s time to sell back my books?

Yes. If you provide your Cornell ID card or your Net ID when you purchase textbooks, you will be signed up to receive an email at Textbook Sellback time.

What kind of condition is acceptable?

The books must be in good condition. Highlighting and underlining are fine, as long as it doesn’t make the text illegible. Some wear is fine, but the bindings must be in good shape, with covers and pages intact. Books that are water-damaged will not be purchased.

Will you buy old editions?

In most cases, the answer is no. Once a new edition is available, it is rare for the older edition to be used at Cornell or other campuses. Bring your book to either of our locations to learn whether we are able to purchase your edition.

What about examination copies, teachers’ editions, and international editions?

We do not buy back or sell any of these formats.

Can I sell back coursepacks or ebooks?

No, the contractual terms with the owners of the intellectual property do not allow us to buy back course packs or ebooks.

What about selling online or to another student at Cornell?

This may be a legitimate option for you, but keep in mind that there is very little market for old editions. When you sell online, you will pay freight and transaction fees and experience a delay until you receive your funds. Most students feel that the convenience, immediate access to cash, and the prices we pay are a good deal when everything is factored together.

Can I sell my books at other times of year?

Yes. You can sell your books year-round at the registers on the lower level of The Cornell Store. Be aware that we pay a premium on titles used the following term only during the end-of-semester sellback. At other times of the year, we will offer the current price paid by companies that purchase books to sell to other college stores.


©  The Cornell Store | A self-funded enterprise operated by Cornell University. Purchases directly support university programs.