SellBackYourBook.com Review: TextBook SellBack Scam?

The other site I used when selling back my old textbooks online was and SellBackYourBook.com. All the websites I used did indeed eventually pay me for my books.

Reviews on the Web
I did not spend more than couple minutes on this, but a quick search did not find any claims of non-payment or scam reports on SellBackYourBook.com.

I found two Better Business Bureau listings for this site. One gave No Rating and the other gave an A- rating. SellBackYourBook.com does advertise that it is an BBB Accredited Business, so if you do have issues I would file a complaint.

My Personal Experience
After typing in my ISBN numbers into BigWords.com, SellBackYourBook was the highest bidder for certain textbooks. Although I found their site lacking polish, I went ahead and agreed to their price and terms, and they provided me with a printable packing slip and prepaid shipping label. Here’s part of the email sent to me:

This confirms that your order has been placed with Sell Back Your Book. Please print a copy of your packing slip and include a copy of it in the box with your books. A link to print your packing slip can be found at the bottom of this email. Please mark your order number on the outside of your box so that we can quickly check in your books and pay you (order number is listed below).

It took me a couple of days to get around to going to the post office, and mail it out via USPS Media Mail (formerly known as Book Rate). 20 days later, I received a confirmation email, partial text below. There was no 2nd email confirming payment was sent.

Thank you for your order. We have received your books and payment will be processed with in three business days.

A check was made the same day, and three days later it was in my mailbox for the exact amount the promised me for my books. It was from “Ez Book Recycle Inc.”, for which SellBackYourBook.com is the sourcing arm. In total, 23 days went by from mailing out to receiving the check.

Summary Timeline

Day 1 – Sent out book via USPS Media Mail

Day 20 – Email confirmation of arrival

Day 20 – Check printed and mailed out

Day 23 – Check received successfully

Comments

  1. I used cash4books.net…real quick and easy. Just had to find a cardboard box and some packing tape. They didn’t have a $10-$15 minimum, so that’s what made me use this site. Looked into this after your initial post on this matter, and I’ve already received the $$.

  2. Why don’t all of you folks donate the books to a local library instead? There’s more to life than trying to make a buck on every single thing, you know!

    • jessica says:

      some of us payed hundreds of dollars on college text book that we need to sell to get more college text books. DON’T JUDGE!

  3. Shannon says:

    Gloria, good thinking! You could make more money by donating the books and using it as a tax deduction.

  4. Shannon and Gloria, do you know how I can calculate the fair value of books donated to the local library? I have over 50 books (regular reading and college) that I want to get rid off.

  5. Why does the title of this post question about a scam? Jonathan, it sounds like you received your money, and in a reasonable amount of time as well. Am I missing something?

  6. Shannon: You are missing the point. I am solely talking about performing an altrusitic action here. Tax deduction is irrelevant to the point I was making.

    Krishna: I never claim a tax deduction for the books that I donate or for that matter for any of my non-cash donations to charities. I donate because I want to do my part of helping out the unprivileged; not to earn any brownie points or tax deductions.

  7. @Shannon lol! Well played, good lady.

  8. Gloria, you don’t know the current circumstances of other people. For example, it’s possible that people will benefit from getting a tax deduction for the simple reason that they might have been laid off recently.

  9. Yeah, the title definitely does not match up with the review. I thought you were going to say how it’s a scam, but there seems to be no scam. Confusing.

  10. I feel misled. I clicked in wanting to read about a scam. I just read about a successful transaction instead :(

  11. @Gloria: This is a finance blog, not an altruism blog. Thanks for the suggestion, but please get off that high horse.

  12. yinna and krishna: ok, i’m stopping it here RIGHT NOW. i hope the pennies you save, help you on your way down. My horse, however, will take me where the sensible belong. i’m outta here.

  13. My public library doesn’t accept textbook donations. They have a big sign saying “NO TEXTBOOKS!”

    I’m confused about the scam also. Are other people saying that the site reviewed is a scam and your experience disproves it. (Did they know you are a widely read blogger?) I’d be reluctant to deal with a place that has a whiff of scam about it.

  14. @Gloria – Saving a dollar and donating to charity are not mutually exclusive. Does donating an old nuclear physics textbook to a neighborhood library really help that much? My library has stacks and stacks of donated books, most of which are old and useless and from people who simply wanted to throw them away but now have some lame tax deduction. The library will probably take years to sort through it all, and most of it will end up being recycled for bulk paper or thrown away anyway.

    My library also has a big sign that says “no textbooks”.

    By selling a used textbook, you are allowing another college student to buy one at less than new price, thus saving paper and fuel needed for production, and money for them as well. Every time I could find a used book for one of my classes as a student, I was ecstatic!

    Finally, imagine donating the $20 you got for your textbook on top of that. In my opinion, the net positive is much greater.

    —-

    There is no scam here, just the question of whether there is a scam initially to a website with such a barebones look. I am simply running an experiment between two posts reviewing similar sites to see how putting “Scam” in the title affects both search engine visitors and regular visitors. I am sorry if anyone felt misled.

  15. I agree that selling books online is more efficient.

    Generally the local library has no use for used textbooks. If they do accept them as donations then they’ll most likely be sold at a ‘friends of the library book sale’ for a flat $1. And its unlikely that a local library will find a buyer who is taking a class for any given textbook. Textbooks are not good sellers at library book sales.

    Reselling books online helps poor college students much more. Looking at one specific book it costs $140 at the university book store. You can buy it online for $60-70 and the online sellers will pay $30-40 for it.

  16. I hope Gloria did not really leave, as she made good points that led to important discussion.

    I think donating books is best done at betterworldbooks.com, which has the goal of eradicating illiteracy in third world countries. Most universities have bwb clubs that organize book drives and have drop boxes for books. You can buy books from them online and they offer free shipping, as well as carbon offsets for the fuel used to ship them.

    I donate books to bwbs, after I have failed to receive money for them. This is one of my sources of income, and I don’t feel bad for not donating, As others mentioned previously.

    I also used a book buyer from bigwords.com and received prompt payment. Sorry I can’t recall which company I used, but they had no minimum and they covered shipping costs. one of them didn’t offer paid shipping, so I cancelled that sale by not shipping the books.

  17. Hmmm. Donating may be done without expecting a return (tax deduction). But at least, if you really want to clean up your book room with your useless books, the clean-up is already a benefit. Then if you will monetarily earn, it’s just a bonus.

  18. First I was confused about where the scam was; now I feel a bit misled. However, I do appreciate you being upfront about it in the comments. You may want to consider doing such experiments in a way that won’t confuse your readers and devalue your content.

  19. Hey John,

    Thanks for writing about your experience with us! I am glad that you received your payment and everything went well. Although the heading worried me initially thank you for putting

    “I did not spend more than couple minutes on this, but a quick search did not find any claims of non-payment or scam reports on SellBackYourBook.com.”

    As we try to make sure everyone that sells books to us is happy.

    As to it taking about 23 days this is pretty normal when using media mail, that is why I am pleased to announce we are rolling out a fedex option in the next two weeks!

    Fedex will cut out the lengthy time it takes to get us the books and this will help ensure our customers get paid as quickly as possible. We are expecting all Fed Ex packages to only take 2-5 days to get to us opposed to the 7-14 days media mail takes.

    Once again thank you for writing about your experience and I hope we earn your business in the future when you have books to sell.

    Glen Nothnagel
    Founder/CEO
    SellBackYourBook

  20. I’d like to report in and confirm that my experience so far with sellbackyourbook.com went very smoothly for the titles that sellbackyourbook was the high bidder on bigwords.com. I received my check in roughly the same timeframe as detailed here. I’m sending in a second shipment of textbooks today!

  21. @Gloria- You are clearly not a poor college student who was forced in to paying $100-150 for a necessary textbook and needs the mere 16 bucks in return to eat dinner.

  22. I used sellbackyourbook.com and am sorry to say was scammed! They received my book which was a college text book and instead of paying me like promised are now charging me shipping to get it back as they do not want to purchase it now. If I do not pay shipping they are going to “recycle it”. Yeah right! They are going to resell it to another college student for 4Xs what they offered to pay me. So, not only is it a scam, but also an inconvenience. I highly recommend using other buyback companies. sellbackyourbook.com is a bad choice.

  23. Marcia,

    I am sure the reason we are offering to ship the item back to you is simply not because we do not want to buy it. Usually this happens when the item is an international edition that is not for sale in the US or the physical condition does not meet our quality guidelines. If you could post back your order number I would like to look into this more and see what I could do for you to make your experience better.

    Thank you,

    Glen Nothnagel
    Founder/CEO
    SellBackYourBook

  24. @Gloria: Most people who use sites like sellbackyourbook.com are college students, and use the money that they get from the books to buy their books for the new semester. Not all, of course, but most. I was actually on there to buy a book that looked way too cheap to be a real deal, so I went Googling to see if there were any negative reviews about it and found this page ^.^ I agree that donating books (or anything for that matter) is a great thing, and feel that everyone should do this whenever possible. But, sometimes people’s current circumstances (college, no job, low wages, etc.) force them to sell things rather than give them generously.

  25. As a person who is a big believer in passing on books I enjoy (excepting the few I can’t bear to part with) by sharing with friends, donating to my local library for their collection or their used-book fundraiser, or to local nursing homes, hospitals, etc.

    Today I am looking into *gasp* selling such books (and maybe other things) and found myself here today because I wanted to verify the legitimacy of the company in question and see if there were any red flags before I go any further.

    But before you pass judgement on my motivation, I am doing so because I think it would be a unique and virtually painless fundraising idea to support our world-class high school marching band. The money helps cover the costs for uniforms, instruments, travel and lodging, meals and snacks, private instruction, and summer camp experiences for students who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate without exception.

    In other ways, there is more than one way to “donate” a book.

  26. Gloria: because textbooks are not cheap – my cheapest textbook this semester used was $140. So, excuse me for wanting to make money off a textbook that I paid for. I understanding donating books is nice, but when it comes to college its not cheap and I use the money used from selling back books to buy next semesters.

    90% of this sellbacks are meant for people like me college students, so sorry if you do not understand I use this to make sure I can one: eat, and two: afford next semesters ridiculously price book.

    Most of the books sold back to sites are then again resold at a lower price for students, so before you judge think about what it is actually used for.

  27. susan terrents says:

    I mailed in books t you on 9/28/11. I received a e-mail from you my order was accepted by you. My order #214034. I’m begining to think your site is a scam. If this is not the case can you please advise me when I will receive my check for $67.60.

    I would hate to report this site to the Better Business Bureau.

    Please respond asap.

  28. susan terrents says:

    I am still waiting for my check for the books I sent to you over a month ago. My order # is 214034 for $67.60.

    PLEAse reply to me asap!

  29. @susan, we sent you an email with more info about the order. It looks like everything went as it should minus the address assosicated with your account does not look correct. If you can reply to the email with a correct address we can send out another check!

  30. Hey Gloria,
    Not all college students can afford to give things away which have potential monetary value. I can barely afford gas, food, rent, and you want me to donate an item worth 20-50 bucks? I volunteer at a local humane society as my way of giving back to the community. I encourage you to join me, in the real world, when your done riding that horse.

  31. I received an email informing me that 2 of the books I had sent were “definitely missing” and that there was “no sign of damage to the box.” Well, I know for a fact that I did indeed send out those books in the package because I don’t have them. Sound suspicious? Yes.

  32. It frustrates and amazes me more and more everyday when I see posts from people like Gloria! Why doesnt she, and every other person who feels the need to turn a simple forum or review into something its not, take that old lesson we all learned at a very young age and put it into action: If you have nothing nice to say-dont say it at all! Or, in this case, if you have nothing pertinent to say-keep it moving!!!

  33. Ps. I googled sellbackyourbook.com because I have been waiting almost 2 months for payment!!

  34. I sell a high volume of books monthly to many of these sites and of all of them I can tell you that Sellbackyourbook.com is untrustworthy and I would not do any business with them at all. Of the few packages i have sent them they have claimed that they never recieved 2 of my orders and I recieved no payment and no return email when I asked for a response. They have also refued to buy several books and I recieved no payment for these books. I have never had a problem with any other book buy back company except Sellbackyourbook.com. WARNING, STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPNY!!!!!

  35. @bookguy

    I am very sorry to hear about your negative experience with us. I would love to look into your order history to see where things went wrong and how we could have done a better job. As far as the orders we claimed we never received we have been adding tracking to every package for the last 6 months so I would be happy to look into those orders as well and make sure you get paid. If you could just post an order number I would really appreciate it.

    Once again I am sorry to hear about your negative experience and hope I can personally resolve any issue.

    Thank you,

    Glen Nothnagel
    Founder/CEO
    SellBackYourBook

  36. Sellyourbookback.com ripped me off. I sold and sent several books to them as they was the highest bidder on particular books. I sent the books in August 2012, and I got the run around and never got one penny until the middle of December 2012. The books was supposed to total around 93-95 dollars and then they only sent me a check for around 22 dollars. the only reason they even sent 22 dollars was because I wrote them in email constantly from August until December claiming that I was going to be calling them at the end of the semester to raise hell ( which I haven’t yet, but still plan to), and that I was going to turn them over to the better business bureau for nonpayment. I have every single email saved that they sent me and then all of a sudden by the end of September they ignored every single one of my emails, no matter what I said, but they still kept me on their email list trying to sell me crap. I would always respond to them telling them that they already ripped me off, and have never seen a penny yet all the way up to the first of December. Finally, in the first week of December they sent a email saying they was gonna send 22 dollars and will not pay the rest. They are a ripoff and have terrible customer service.

  37. this has been a very informative and entertaining thread!!
    im def among those indebted to book buy back companies. thank you for your services!! =)

  38. This website really pissed me off. I ordered a DVD season of South Park, which comes with 3 DVDs. They said the only bad thing about it was that the corners were slightly bent and used, which I have NO PROBLEM with. However, I opened it up, knowing Season 8 was 2006, to find a 2010 DVD. So first off, WRONG season. I wouldn’t have cared, but, of course, it doesn’t even work. I’ve tried cleaning it properly, using it on multiple devices and it’s obvious the website has ripped me off. I understand it was only about $6, which isn’t a lot, but that’s still very frustrating I got ripped off for a good show that I paid this business for. I’ll be calling them if they don’t respond to my email properly.

  39. Cedalia Tolar says:

    My thing is, why do people have to make a issue out of every little thing. I sell back my books because I NEED THE MONEY! Like someone said above you never know the situation of the next person.If you can afford to just give books away that you paid for than kudos to you, but I can’t.I need mines.

  40. Sellyourbookback is not what You Think i sent my books and they promised to Pay $58 and then they sent me an email saying they had an issue with 3 books and that i could get them back if i paid 3.99 or o could recycle.

  41. By the way Sellyourbookback. Com is not bbb accredited.

  42. Hello Elizabeth,

    I am sorry to hear that some of the items you sent in did not meet or quality guidelines. I would be happy to look at the order personally if you could provide me with an order number.

    Also sellbackyourBook.com is accredited with the BBB and have an A rating.

    Thank you,

    Glen Nothnagel
    Founder/CEO
    sellbackyourBook.com

    • Kenya Mitchell says:

      I shipped a perfectly conditioned book back with an unopened CD and have received an email stating I had liquid damage. Now I am trying to get it back because I know it was a perfectly conditioned book. Why is paypal the only option to pay for return? Id rather keep it for reference than to give it away for free to a company that seems to have taken advantage of mail type services.

  43. I shipped my book out on Sept. 21, 2013 and got paid today Oct. 1, 2013 for my psychology book and the disc it came with. They paid me through paypal and paid me the amount that they said on the quote – $22.38. Fast payment. I will use them again.

  44. To whomever Jessica is that wrote me in favor of sellbackyourbook.com=She probably works there.

    Well, I was one of the people that paid hundred of dollars for textbooks as you state that many people pay hundreds for books, which this does not matter if you want to sell your books back, but I will tell u this, if you want to make anything at all on your used textbooks then you will sell them to Amazon.com and take a credit for your textbooks, or sell them to bookbyte.com, powell’s books.com, or to many, many other reliable, trustworthy, and honest online bookstores that will actually send you a check via mail for your used textbooks. I have been selling textbooks back for quite a while now, and by now, I know of several book companies that will send you a check for your books in the mail, and I know of two companies that you will be lucky to see one dime for any of your books. Sellyourbookback.com or sellbackyourbook.com, which is the same company has ripped me off twice large on selling books back to them. 2-3 years ago I sent around 8-9 books back to them at once, and they paid me for like two books. They claimed that 2-3 were damaged and they were practically brand new books except for one, and on several others they claimed they were not in the box and did not receive them, and they were for dang sure in the box with the other books, as I had the postal service double check for me before I sealed it and sent it off. They lie to you and when you email them, they will respond once or twice and then they go radio silent and probably put your email address on spam folder or something because they will never respond again nor pay you a dime for all those other books. So, if you wanna talk about paying a lot for books then at least have enough brain to send them to a company that will pay you and RESPOND. Then just a couple months ago, I fell for it and sent some textbooks to them again by accident because I didn’t catch on that the two companies I listed above was the same company. Then, for sure, I got the same email saying 3 of the 5 books I mailed back to them was not in the shipment, which was another flat out lie. I then looked into it and realized this is the same company that ripped me off before. One other of the books they said was in too bad shape, but let me tell you that I bought it for one quarter and it was brand new and I hardly used it and used the class power points instead, and they never paid me for the book nor mailed it back like I asked nor ever paid for the other three books they claimed they did not recieve, a lie. They paid me for one book and will not 2-3 months later answer, will not answer emails whatesoever. This is the crappiest online book company in the nation in my opinion. Put that in your book of judgements.

    Thank you

  45. sellbackyourBook.com tried to play some games with me by notifying me via email that they received only one book. Since I had proofs that I had sent 6 books, I replied back to their email. They never responded to my email but at least they deposited my money via Paypal as I requested. Only use their service if you are willing to fight for your money but keep in mind that there are other great companies that you can use.

  46. Joe Garnel says:

    I bought a 5 CD set but received only one CD. Seller said the price had changed. I could pay the new price (8 times as much) to get the full set. This was my second encounter with this type of scam. It was for this reason that immediately after purchase I cautioned the seller to cancel the transaction if the intention was to send only one CD. On the bright side, I was refunded.

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