Sellback FAQs

Used Book Sellback FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions 


The purpose of this program is to increase the resale market for used books, to make more used books available for resale at campus bookstores at reduced prices, and to provide more options for students to help manage their textbook budget.

How is the Sellback Price determined?
The Sellback price for any given book depends on who is buying the book (it's not just the U of L Bookstore!). There are 2 different categories of used book buyers in this system; each determines the Buyback price in a different way. This is how it breaks down:

  • If the University of Lethbridge Bookstore  is buying it (ie. the book is being used next semester for a course at the U of L, and the Bookstore is not already fully stocked for that book) we will pay 50% of our current new book price for it. We call that the "Home Price".


  • If we are buying a particular book, we will have a quota set on the number of copies we need based on our current stock and the number of students who are enrolled in the courses which use the book. Once we have bought back that quantity, then the system automatically switches over to the used book wholesalers operating out of the US. Unlike the academic stores, they do not offer a fixed percentage of the new price, but set their prices according to the demand they 'guestimate' for each title. Sometimes when a book is not being widely used, that can sometimes result in very low price for a used book.  For example, rather than controlling the number of copies they buyback of any given title by setting a quota on it (like the campus stores do), the wholesalers control supply by changing the price they offer for it. So if they don't think that they will need many copies of a particular book, they set a low bid price, if they want a lot of copies, they use a higher bid price.

How firm is the price?
The demand for the book is finite and is maintained in real time. The demand decreases instantly with every sale and can expire quickly as other students’ line up across North America at end of terms to sell their books.
When is the best time to sell my used textbooks?
The best time to try to sell your used books is when the bookstores is creating orders for the next term. Most professors submit their orders to the Bookstore about a month or two before the class starts. Selling your book(s) at that time - before the bookstores have placed their orders for new & used copies from wholesalers - gives you the best chance at selling your books at a decent price.

So the best times are mostly near the end of a semester: those times of the year are when the best prices are typically available. The rest of the year wholesale prices tend to dominate in the buyback database. Also note that books which are used in fall or winter classes may not be used during summer courses, as a result, demand for those books can be minimal during that time. If you're not seeing any good prices for your book during the summer, check again at the beginning of the fall term.

Do I have to be a U of L student to sell you my textbooks?

Do you buy study guides or CD ROMS?

The Bookstore does not generally buy back study guides, however on occasion the wholesaler might if the book has little to no writing in it. Any CD’s purchased usually come with a textbook, so if you want to sell a textbook, you must include any CD’s that came with the book to get the full sell back value. There are always exceptions to the rules and sell back lists are always changing so if you are unsure, the best thing to do is to bring the book in and we’ll be more than happy to look into the value of your sell back items.

What is an ISBN Number?
International Standard Book Number. All books have an ISBN number and each edition of a title has a different ISBN. Even different versions of the same edition (i.e. with/without an included CD, or study guide) have different ISBN numbers.

Can I sell a book I originally purchased used?

Does the previous edition of my text have resale value?                                                                                                                        
Not usually, and the system buys based on the ISBN to ensure the correct and most current edition is purchased. Also, when Faculty orders the books for their classes through us, it's all done by ISBN - we don't necessarily know what's different from one edition to the next of a given book, that's why we're sticklers for matching up those ISBN numbers.

Can I sell back books in any condition?
The decision belongs to the buyer working at the Sellback. We want "used books" not "abused books" and reserve the right to refuse to purchase damaged books or books that are unlikely to be repurchased by other students. This includes water damage, missing pages, excessive highlighting, etc.

Will you buy back general reference books?
Only if the book is being used in one of our upcoming courses.

How do I get my Sellback monies?
You have two options available to you:
1.    Debit Card: we will refund your Sell-Back monies onto your debit card.
2.    Bookstore Gift Card: with this option, you will receive a 10% Sell-Back Bonus.  We will give you 10% more of the value of your Sell-Back books.

Where can I recycle or donate my outdated textbooks?
Your University of Lethbridge Bookstore is proud to partner with Better World Books in their mission to create a better world, one book at a time. If your books are not eligible for Sell Back you have the option to donate them to Better World Books. Just look for the bin located directly in front of our store.

Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,800 college campuses and partnerships with over 2,000 libraries nationwide. So far, Better World Books has converted more than 25 million donated books into $7.3 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process, Better World Books has diverted more than 13,000 tons of books from landfills. Thus far, Better World Books has donated 1.5 million books to partner programs around the world. Better World Books' five primary literacy partners are Books for Africa, Room to Read, Worldfund, National Center for Family Literacy, and Invisible Children.

Events Calendar

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 10:00

Textbook Sellback will be April 24 & 25 from 10am - 6pm at the Calgary Campus office, room #...