- May 16, 2018
My mom dropped by my apartment unannounced recently, and what she saw was totally embarrassing. So embarrassing that I immediately shut the bedroom door in shame. When I mustered the courage to step back out, she and I went to the kitchen and had coffee in awkward silence. When she left, I marinated in the shame I felt over what she saw.
What she saw was a room covered in books. (What did you think I was embarrassed about?) Books overflowing from the shelves. Books covering the bed. Books on the floor. Books in my closet. Some of these books I’ve had since I was a kid. But most of them were textbooks. I’m a college professor, and I always thought accumulating textbooks was “scholarly.” But the truth was, I was a hoarder. I had to sell my books and restore sanity to my home.
Some of my colleagues sell textbooks to Cash4Books. It was an appealing option, because the site specializes in buying textbooks, and the fact that it was online. I didn’t want to haul my books to swap meets or thrift stores only drag my unsold inventory back home. So Cash4Books it was. What follows is my Cash4Books review. Is Cash4books legit? Read on to find out!
What is Cash4Books?
Cash4Books is a used book buyer that specializes in textbooks. They claim to buy other types of books, but the list of books they recently bought contains mostly textbooks and technical books.
This site is more suitable for people who have a large number of textbooks. If you have mostly fiction and non-fiction, your earning potential won’t be as great.
How to Sell Books on Cash4Books
I’m no newbie when it comes to selling books, and I think Cash4Books is one of the easier options out there. For starters, they have an app which makes it possible to scan the ISBN numbers on your books, which you need to do to get a quote from them. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Visit their site and download the app on your phone
Here are a few direct links:
Once you’ve downloaded, create a seller’s account by following the instructions on the app.
2. Scan the ISBN numbers on the books you want to sell
On Cash4Books, you don’t have to manually input the titles of your books. You simply use the app to scan the ISBN numbers on your books.
Take note that books published before 1970 don’t have an ISBN number. You can still input it yourself, but do not that the site mostly buys books published in 2014 and earlier.
Like I mentioned, the site buys mostly textbooks. But that doesn't mean you can’t try selling your collection of Stephen King paperbacks. Just scan the ISBN numbers with your app. If Cash4Books isn’t selling, you’ll get a message politely declining to buy the titles. But it still beats carrying those books to a thrift store only to get turned down!
Important! Cash4Books is particular about the condition of the books they buy. For more info on that, check out their used book guide. Make sure you properly note the condition of the books you sell. The site will send those books back to you if you’ve misrepresented the conditions they’re in.
3. Receive a quote
As you scan your books, the titles that Cash4Books is buying will automatically go into your seller’s cart. It will include the total amount that the site will be paying for those books. Once you’re done, simply click “Sell my Books Now” and move to the next step.
4. Ship Your Books
One of the things I like about Cash4Books is that it provides a free shipping label (either USPS or FedEx). Make sure your books are packed securely, then send them off.
5. Get paid!
This is the best part, of course. When Cash4Books receives your shipment, they will have to first inspect the condition of the books. Once they’ve confirmed everything, they will send payment either via PayPal or cheque. It may take up to 13 for payment processing. A bit on the long side, but not really a deal-breaker.
It depends on the books you have, and whether Cash4Books is buying those titles. I made a fair amount of money from my first sale because, well, I sold a huge amount of books - about five large shipping boxes.
I was surprised to learn that a few people sell used textbooks to supplement their income. A few of my students ask for their classmates’ books at the end of the school year. Since they don’t have any more use for the books (and have their eyes on the coming break), they’re often willing to give the books away. My students then sell the books on Cash4Books. Pretty enterprising! If you have access to a large pool of used textbooks, you may want to give this a shot.
Cash4Books: the Good and Not-so-Good
I’m pretty effusive about Cash4Books, but since this is a review, I have to give you a balanced view. So here’s the good and not-so-good (because there isn’t anything about the site that is really “bad”) about the site.
The pay is pretty good
The site has a list of books they’ve purchased recently. The list is pretty extensive, and shows the amount paid per title. I think the rates are above, or at least equal to, what other sites will pay.
Books are heavy, and sending them can get costly. It’s good that the site offers free shipping labels. Having to pay for shipping would make a big dent in your earnings.
It’s really easy to get a quote
Thanks to the app, I was able to list my books pretty quickly. A few years ago, I spent an entire weekend cataloging books for a different sale. This time, it took me less than an hour.
Long waiting time for payments
Thirteen days is a long time to wait, especially for people who use their earnings to pay bills.
They’re pretty strict about book condition
Thankfully, I haven’t had any books sent back. But I have heard that the site will return books if the items don’t meet their standards. So be careful when listing books.
The Verdict: Legit or Scam?
Cash4Books is legit! If you’re looking to declutter or have some unused books at home, don’t hesitate to sell through this site. Your mom will appreciate it.
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This review is based on my own experiences selling books on Cash4Books. Now it’s your turn to share! Have you tried selling used books? What titles did you sell, and how were your earnings?
Let’s hear your stories!
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