Where to buy and sell your University Textbooks in Sydney?

July 20, 2020

Got textbooks lying around at home? Want to know what you can do with old uni textbooks? You can sell them! But where and how are the best ways to sell my textbook?

As recent university graduates, we’ve compiled a list of groups, and websites where you can buy and sell your textbooks, with our tips on the best places to buy and sell textbooks in Sydney.

Facebook Groups

What is a Facebook Textbook Exchange Group?
Facebook Textbook Exchange groups are effective groups (especially when specific for your degree) to buy and sell textbooks. The groups are personable enough to be a very safe method of transacting. I’ve made a list of textbook exchange groups at the bottom of this page.

How do transactions occur in Facebook Textbook Exchange Groups?
As a seller, you can upload images of your textbooks, and note the names of the textbooks and what courses you used them for. You can choose to set a price, which will make it easier for buyers. Buyers will then directly message you in relation to wanting to purchase, so make sure you keep track of messages, as if they’re from non-friends, they can get lost easily. Now that you have a buyer for your textbook, here comes the hard part, actually getting it to them! Thankfully you have a few options, you can organise a time and a place where you will be able to meet up at the same time, or use a yellowbox in the CBD or near uni as a drop off and pick up letterbox so you don’t need to wait around.

As a buyer, you can scroll down the group or search the group to look for your desired textbook. Then you can directly message the seller saying you’re interested in purchasing the textbook. If there isn’t a price on the post, be ready to negotiate and understand the market price, which can be found on another website below.

What to look out for using Facebook Textbook Exchange Groups?
Make sure the books you are purchasing are the correct edition (unless you don’t mind a previous edition, which is normally fine), and make sure you don’t get ripped off, by seeing how much people are selling the same textbook on StudentVIP. Also, watchout for your mates commenting “SOLD” just to troll you.

Facebook Groups


What is StudentVIP?
StudentVIP is a website where you can list your textbooks to sell, and search for second-hand textbooks to purchase. It is a fantastic platform that I have used in conjunction with Facebook Textbook Exchange Groups to sell and buy cheap textbooks, as it is free and easy to use.

How do transactions occur on StudentVIP?
You need to first create an account with StudentVIP, then as a seller you can list the textbook by entering the details of the textbook, the condition and how you would prefer to transfer the textbook. Then from there you wait for someone to message you through the platform, showing their interest in the purchase.

StudentVIP is really a buyers market, as you are able to see how much sellers are willing to sell their textbooks for, thus reducing the leverage a seller has when there are many identical textbooks. As a buyer, you can view all the available sellers and choose based on price and condition.

Similarly, with Facebook Exchange Groups, you have the option of discussing and coming to an agreement of when and where to meet up, although if you're like me, and you don’t enjoy going out of your way to meet strangers, a yellowbox can be used to avoid those awkward meet-ups. Just make sure you confirm the quality of the textbook through photos and beemit after confirming pickup.

What to look out for when using StudentVIP?
You do need to make sure you get a picture of the textbook before purchasing, as it isn’t displayed when searching around. Overall StudentVIP is a simple, low effort and quick way to sell your textbooks, you probably aren’t going to ‘profit’ off your sales, but it’s a great platform to realise the value of those old textbooks.



What is Gumtree and eBay?
Gumtree and eBay are popular online platforms that allow people to buy and sell used and second hand items, jobs and services. These platforms are very broad in terms of the amount of items that people exchange.

How do transactions occur on Gumtree and eBay?
Similar to how StudentVIP is a platform, sellers will post their textbooks as an ad, providing a picture, details of the textbook, an indicative price and general area for pickups. If selling by Gumtree or eBay, I would make sure to include all the details to improve search matching, including Name, Edition, ISBN, Authors, and even the course/university you used it for.

Buyers need to know what textbook they’re looking for and use the search functionality to find an appropriate match. 

Gumtree and eBay recommend COVID-19 safe precautions, thus to either post the textbook over, or utilising a yellowbox as a contactless exchange locker.

What to look out for when using Gumtree and eBay?
Gumtree and eBay probably have the least amount of structure and consistency to it, as people have different descriptions, with only some having ISBNs and some don’t have the edition number. So you might need to be more inquisitive to ensure it's the right textbook.



Overall you can use all these methods to sell and purchase university textbooks. Facebook Groups have been the most trustworthy in my experience, and StudentVIP is definitely the easiest, so I’ve used a combination of both in my time.
Good luck exchanging textbooks and stay safe!

If you're interested in how yellowbox works, you can find out below!

How yellowbox works

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