Book Buyback

Try to sell your books back as soon as you can - demand for used books is limited and the value of your textbook drops after we buy the necessary books needed. You must have your student ID to sell your books. Have questions about the buyback process? Read our FAQ below or submit a question to ubs-online@uiowa.edu.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What determines the amount of money I get for a book when I sell it back?

A. The money you get for a textbook depends on the future demand for that book. So when a faculty member places a request for a book to be used on campus the next semester, the book is worth approximately 50% of its new retail price.


Q. How does the demand for a textbook affect its selling price?

A. At the end of the semester, any title which has been ordered for a course for the next semester is worth approximately 50% of its new retail price at buyback. If a book is not being used for a course at the University of Iowa the following semester, we buy it back for it's national market value and ship it to other colleges. Market value is established by the demand for a given title on the national used book market and can run anywhere from no value to 30% of the new retail price.


Q. Does the condition of the book affect the selling price?

A. Yes, books with water damage and broken binding/covers cannot be bought back.


Q. Why am I sometimes unable to sell back previous editions?

A. If the professor selects a new edition for next semester, we're unable to buy back the book.


Q. Can I sell back course packets, workbooks, or lab manuals?

A. You cannot sell back course packets because they change each semester. Workbooks and lab manuals can be sold back if the pages are not ripped out and are clean.


Q. Why did my friend get $40 for a book and I only got $20?

A. The price of a book will decrease once we have bought enough books for the next semester. If 300 students use a book this semester, but then only 100 students need to the book next semester, we are only able to buy 100 books back at the highest price. Sell your book back as early as you can to get the most money.


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