Often students seek relief from rising prices through the purchase of used copies of school textbooks which tend to be less expensive. Most of the bookstores will also buy used copies back from students at the end of a term if the book is going to be re-used at the school. These books that are not being re-used at the school are purchased often by an off-campus wholesaler for 0-30 % of the new cost, for distribution to other bookstores where the books will be sold. Most of the textbooks companies have countered this by encouraging faculty to assign homework that must be done of the website of the publisher. A student can use the pass code in the book to register in the site in case he or she has a new book. He or she must pay money directly to the publisher in order to access the website and complete assigned homework if they have purchased used school textbooks. All the students who look beyond the campus bookstore can typically find low prices. Most of the books can be located through online used book sellers or retailers with the IBN or title, edition and author.

School textbooks

There are several ways a student can sell his/her school textbooks back at the end of the semester once a textbook is purchased from a retailer for the first time. Students can sell to the university/college bookstore, fellow students or a number of online web sites or student swap service. Faculty decisions largely determine how much a student receives as for buyback on a specific campus. In case a professor chooses to use the same book the following semester, even if it is a custom text, specifically designed for an individual instructors, often bookstores buy the book back. If a book is in good condition and will be used on the campus again the next term, the bookstores will pay students fifty percent of the original price paid according to the GAO report. Furthermore they may offer students the wholesale price of the school textbooks which could range from 5 to 35 percent of the new retail price in case the bookstore has not received a faculty order for the book at the end of the term and the edition is still current according to the same report. These textbooks are often sold into the national used textbook distribution chain when students resell their books during campus “buyback” periods. Many times the college bookstore will sell that book to a national used book company in case a textbook is not going to be used on campus for the next semester of courses. The used book company then resells the book to another college bookstore. At the end that book is sold as used to a student at another college at a price that is typically seventy-five percent of the new book price. A markup is applied to the book at each step to enable the respective companies to continue to operate.