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Textbook Buyback & Returning Rental Books

Textbook Buyback Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How does the textbook buyback program work?

For two weeks at the end of each semester, we hold large textbook buyback events in the store. You can bring books you’re interested in selling and we’ll pay you cash on the spot.

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 buyback 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.

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 buyback 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.