Book Buyback FAQs

What is the book buyback policy? How does it work?

The bookstore has a buyback policy. To ensure that you sell your books back at the right price, please read the following requirements:

  • We buy back your books everyday.
  • The best time to sell your used books is when finals start.
  • We will pay you 50% of the book's new selling price if your professors have assigned it for the next term and the bookstore is not overstocked.
  • If the book does not meet this criteria, prices are determined by the current national demand.
  • Study guides and workbooks must be "like new" without any writing on their pages.
  • All books must be in good condition.
  • Some books have little or no monetary value. Out of print books and old editions are not in national demand and we can't buy them.
  • Course packs and response pads have no buyback value.

Please remember: For the protection of the students on campus, we always require those selling books to show current student identification.

When do I get the best price for selling my used books to the bookstore and how is that price determined?

The best time to sell back your book is during Finals Week. The University Bookstore does buy back textbooks throughout the year, but you can get the best value during fall semester finals time from 12/7 thru 12/24.

What determines how much I get paid when I sell my books back to the University Bookstore?

Guaranteed Buyback Program: Certain books which are guaranteed by faculty and staff members to be used again for future semesters will be bought back from students for up to 50% cash back. Simply look for the Buyback Guarantee tag to see if your book is eligible for this program.

Books not ordered for the upcoming semester: Used book wholesalers determine the prices they will pay for certain books. The University Bookstore technically acts as the wholesaler's agent and buys the book for the company from the student, and thus we must use their prices. Nationwide demand (the need for certain books from other university bookstores across the country), current wholesaler supply and anticipated revision dates are some of the factors that the wholesale companies use in determining the prices they offer.

Books that we are not buying back: There are four reasons why a book may not have any buyback value:

  • A new edition has been published
  • There is little or no nationwide demand
  • There is excess wholesale supply
  • The book is in poor (non-salable) condition

I tried to sell back my textbook and the bookstore would only pay a small price. Why?

The University Bookstore buys back a predetermined quantity of titles that are being used for an upcoming semester. When the bookstore limit is reached, a lower wholesale price will be offered if available. The lower price represents the value of the book to a used book wholesaler. The University Bookstore makes every effort to get you the highest possible price for your USED books. It is important that you sell your books back during the buyback period during Finals Week.

If I purchased my textbooks on-line or from another bookstore, will the University Bookstore buy it back?

The University Bookstore buys back textbooks no matter where you purchased them as long as the textbook is in demand.

Why does the University Bookstore require me to show my student ID when selling back books?

Buying back books from only Stony Brook students assures that the best prices can be offered to Stony Brook students for those books that are being used on campus next year. It also helps discourage book theft. Please remember to bring your Stony Brook ID when selling back your textbooks.

What are the University Bookstore's hours during book buyback?

During the best buyback time, 12/7 thru 12/24

Hours for 12/7 thru 12/13:

Monday - Thursday 8:30am - 6:00pm
Friday 8:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday 11:00am - 3:00pm

Hours for 12/14 thru 12/20:

Monday - Thursday 8:30am - 7:00pm
Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

Hours for 12/21 thru 12/24:

Monday - Wednesday 9:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday 9:00am - 1:00pm

Can I sell back a textbook from a previous semester?

Yes. Buyback values are determined by whether the textbook is needed for upcoming courses here and at other universities across the country.

How will I be paid for the textbooks I sell back to the University Bookstore?

All buyback credit is issued to you in cash.

Can I sell back an e-book?

eBooks cannot be sold back.

Can I sell back my textbook before or after the "official" buyback date(s)?

The University Bookstore buys back textbooks all year round.

If my books are stolen on campus, how can I find out if someone tries to sell them to the bookstore?

Always write your name in your books and also put a "code mark" in a hidden place (such as write your initials on the bottom of a certain page of every book. If your books are lost or stolen, call the bookstore textbook department and let them know the titles and your special markings. If somebody tries to sell your books, the bookstore staff will alert you and the appropriate authorities.