If you’re a nursing student or recent graduate looking for a way to save – and even make – some money, you can sell nursing books you no longer need. Here’s how to cash in and maximize your earnings.

  1. Know where to sell nursing books
  2. Compare buyback offers
  3. View real-world examples: How much can you sell nursing books for?
  4. Understand the disadvantages of selling nursing school books
  5. Tips to get even more money

1. Know where to sell nursing books

Getting more money starts with knowing the differences between selling options. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Online bookstores

Online bookstores often have buyback programs that pay cash or credit for used books. The stores then resell the books for a profit. Most offer free shipping, and some even supply packaging that simplifies the selling process.

Selling online is fast and convenient – you do not need to create a detailed listing, upload images or answer buyer questions – but it's worth noting that not every bookstore will buy every book. That means you might need to contact multiple stores to sell all your nursing books. Payouts are typically submitted via your choice of check, PayPal, Venmo, direct deposit or store credit within two weeks after the store receives your books.

  • Convenient
  • Guaranteed sales
  • You do not need to add detailed descriptions, upload photos or answer buyer questions
  • Fast sales
  • Free shipping
  • Cash payout options

  • You might need to contact multiple stores
  • Payouts are not instant (but typically arrive within 2 weeks)


Compare offers from these sites and more on DirectTextbook.com. See who pays more

Online marketplaces and apps

You can list your books for sale on peer-to-peer platforms. Local marketplaces and apps like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and LetGo can be good for quick sales if you're located near a large nursing school; however, you might have to settle for low prices if a lot of nearby nursing students are selling the same books at the same time. You'll likely struggle to sell your books on these platforms if there are no nearby schools.

eBay can help you reach a global audience. The platform allows you to list up to 50 books per month for free, though there is no guarantee of sale. If your books do sell, you'll be assessed a selling fee (12% of the final sales price). While eBay's auction format can help drive up prices, competition from pro resellers could make it difficult to get as much as you want for your books. You might even have to eat shipping costs to compete (and books are heavy so they're expensive to ship).

Another consideration: if the buyer claims your books arrive in poor condition (or not at all), you might have to accept a return and issue a refund.

In most cases, it's free to sell on OfferUp and LetGo, though OfferUp charges a 12.9% service fee to help cover postage if you're shipping your books (you will receive a prepaid shipping label). Both apps allow you to pay for upgraded posts and greater visibility. Like eBay, OfferUp offers buyer protection that could result in returns and refunds. It's free to sell books on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

You might need to invest considerable time and effort to sell on online marketplaces and apps. Most required detailed listings and images, and you'll likely spend time answering questions and negotiating with potential buyers.

If you decide to use an online marketplace or app, be wary of potential scams. Unscrupulous eBay buyers have scammed sellers with bad checks and other tactics, while unmoderated sites like Craigslist can be rife with scammers – some of them dangerous. If you agree to meet an unknown buyer in person, always take a friend along and meet in a well-lit, public area.

  • Potential for quick sales (when selling locally)
  • It's free to sell on some platforms
  • Cash payouts

  • Your books might not sell fast – or at all
  • You must create detailed listings, answer questions and negotiate with buyers
  • Selling fees (on some platforms)
  • Competition from pro resellers (on some platforms)
  • Unmoderated sales (on some platforms)
  • Potential for returns and refunds
  • Expensive shipping fees
  • Meeting buyers in person
  • Potential for scams


College bookstores

Your school bookstore likely has a buyback program, which can make it a convenient place to cash in. However, it probably won't be the highest-paying option: expect to get a maximum of 50%, and likely considerably less, of the original price.

College bookstores offer fast sales without the hassles of making a post or dealing with shipping – but they won't buy back every book. For example, most bookstores won't buy damaged books or those that are in low demand (if they have a surplus of new books, they don't need used editions). They also won't buy books that are discontinued due to new editions or custom edition textbooks. That means you could stand in a long line to sell your books, only to go home with empty pockets.

  • On campus convenience
  • No risk of returns or scams

  • Low offers
  • No guarantee of sale
  • Potential for long waits


Local bookstores

Off-campus bookstores are another option. Some will buy books the campus bookstore will not, since they're not dependent on local demand and can resell them online, and they'll typically pay more than the college bookstore. Still, they might not buy every book you have.

You'll need to travel to an off-campus bookstore to make the sale – which might or might not be convenient, depending on the location – so it's a good idea to call ahead to see if they're buying your specific titles. Like other bookstores, both online and off, you don't need to worry about scams. Local bookstores typically pay via your choice of cash or store credit, and they're often willing to offer greater value in credit than cash.

  • Better prices than campus bookstores
  • No risk of scams
  • Cash or credit payout options

  • No guarantee of sale
  • You might have to travel if no local stores are nearby

How to find local bookstores
  • Search Google for “bookstores near me,” “off campus bookstore near me,” “textbooks near me” and related terms

2. Compare nursing book buyback offers

It pays to compare buyback offers before you sell, especially since some options pay considerably more than others. A book buyback comparison service like DirectTextbook.com makes it easy to see who will pay the most money for used nursing books.

Textbook buyback comparison services offer multiple advantages, including:

Find the highest-paying offer

DirectTextbook.com, for example, instantly searches dozens of trusted online stores to find the highest-paying offers for used books. The service is 100% free – there are no selling fees, and it even finds stores that offer free shipping so you can profit even more.

You can also compare store ratings and payout types at-a-glance, plus sign up to get notified by email if a buyer is willing to pay your pre-set price.

Sell all your books at once

You don't need to waste time searching dozens of online bookstores or taking trips to local stores when you can find buyers for all your textbooks in one place. There's no need to upload photos or type out detailed listings, either – you can sell in just a few clicks.

Speed and convenience

Simply enter your ISBNs, and DirectTextbook.com will show you who is paying the most for your books. Pick the best offer, and you'll be issued a free prepaid shipping label. The entire process takes just a few minutes and you don't even need to leave your home. Print the label, pack your books and ship them off, and your payout will be on its way once the buyer receives them.

3. View real-world examples: How much can you sell nursing books for?

So, how much money can you get for your books? Here's a real-world comparison from the St. Paul's School of Nursing Queens and Staten Island Nursing Program book lists:




Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children 11th (978-0-323-54939-4)



Advanced First Aid, CPR & AED (978-0-87912-341-3)



Pharmacology and the Nursing Process 9th (978-0-323-52949-5)



Calculation of Drug Dosages: A Work Text with Access 11th (978-0-323-55128-1)



Study Guide for Pharmacology and the Nursing Process 9th (978-0-323-59437-0)



Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care 12th (978-0-323-55112-0)






* Campus bookstore offers via St. Paul's School of Nursing textbook buyback

As you can see, you can get a lot more money for your when you use a free textbook price comparison service like DirectTextbook.com.

4. Understand the disadvantages of selling nursing school books

Selling your books clearly saves money and puts some extra cash in your pocket, but there are times when it makes sense to keep your textbooks or avoid buying physical textbooks altogether, in which case you won't have books to sell. Here are your options.

Keep your textbooks

It's a good idea to hold on to books you'll use for multiple classes. That way, you won't need to buy the same book more than once. In addition, you might want to keep any required reference volumes that will come in handy when you begin your nursing career.


Ebooks typically cost less than physical textbooks. Some come with interactive features like digital highlighting and bookmarks. Note that you can't resell ebooks, so it makes sense to compare your net cost.

For example, a physical edition of Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children 11th costs around $90 used, but the ebook version is only $37. However, you can sell a physical copy of that book for $63, which leaves a net cost of $27, so it would be $10 cheaper to buy and sell the used edition than to purchase the ebook.


If you prefer physical textbooks but don't want to bother with selling them, you can rent instead. Again, it makes sense to compare net costs.

For example, a 151-day rental of Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children 11th costs around $18, making it the cheapest option available.

5. Tips to get even more money when you sell nursing books

Use these tips to maximize your payout.
  • Avoid damaging your books: Use book covers, resist jotting notes and avoid highlights. Protect your books from wear and tear, and it will be easy to sell them at the end of the semester
  • Find custom textbook alternatives: Some schools partner with publishers to produce custom editions that typically have revised introductions or chapters. Though they're often 90% identical to existing textbooks, they can't be resold. However, if you research the title and publisher – or ask your professor – you can probably figure out which book it is. Then, you can purchase the mainstream version and resell it after the semester to minimize your overall costs
  • Sell as soon as you can: Bookstores stock up right after the semester ends as students sell their books back. You want to sell as soon as you can, when demand is high and supply is low. Wait too long, and you might have to settle for a lower price (or not sell at all) due to reduced demand
  • Buy used textbooks: It can be tempting to buy new, untarnished textbooks, but new book prices add up over the course of your college education (up to 90% more than used books). In addition, books purchased new aren't worth any more at the end of the semester – by then, they're used. Minimize your overall costs by purchasing used books, then selling when you no longer need them

Use the tips listed here to get more money for your used books, and you can save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars while you're earning your nursing degree.


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