Making money the easy way: selling used books, items

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Lisa Crawford

Starting Monday, a line will extend from the MWSU bookstore, Barnes and Noble, as students try to get some quick, extra holiday cash by selling their books back.

According to Greg Nikes, Barnes and Noble manager, students who want to sell their books back to the bookstore should attempt to do so immediately after they complete their finals. He cautions students that not all books can be sold back to the campus bookstore.

“Book buyback is driven by the professors,” Nikes said. “If the book is being reused next semester here [Missouri Western], then we will buy back an amount based on the enrollment marked on the professor’s order.”

Nikes urges students to sell their books back immediately following their final exams since there are only a limited number of books they can repurchase from students and a limited amount of time to buyback as well.

“We have to close the buyback off to order the remaining requested books,” Nikes said. “Since we have a shorter turn around from the fall to the spring, we’ll have to quit buyback sooner than from the spring to the fall.”

If a student wants to sell back a book from a class they took during the fall semester, but the class is not offered during the spring semester, students may still be able to sell their books back to be sent to the used book company Barnes and Noble works through, MSB Textbook Exchange.

“Whether the book was purchased at the new price or used, we will refund half of the new book price back for eligible books,” Nikes said. “So students will make either one-half or two-thirds of their money back from the bookstore.”

If MSB does not offer anything for the book, Nikes suggests students should hold on to the book to see if it will be used the following semester.

“The best thing to do if the course is not being offered the following semester is to wait until halfway through the following semester and try to sell the book then,” Nikes said.

Nikes suggests students sell their books back to the campus bookstore to help keep used books on campus, but isn’t against students selling their books using online networks.

“I don’t think it has any effect on textbook prices,” Nikes said. “Prices are generally the same at every college and university across the country.”

Nikes said there are benefits to buying and selling textbooks on campus though. Purchasing and selling books online can include shipping costs for both parties and server charges. Also, if a student purchases a book weeks before classes begin and a professor changes the required text, the student will be stuck with the book unless they purchased it from the campus bookstore.

“Plus, when students purchase books from the bookstore, part of the money actually goes back to Missouri Western,” Nikes said.

Textbook buyback will take place during finals week starting Monday, Dec. 7. The bookstore will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Craigslist offers variety of classified, personal ads

Worldwide, Craigslist.org, serves 570 cities in 50 countries. Each city has its own Web page filled with local classified listings in almost every category imaginable. Nine headers divide the very basic web page into areas that include the following: for sale, personals, jobs, résumés, gigs, community, services, housing and discussion forums. Under each header, specific categories further divide the classifieds. Craigslist was designed as a free public service for classified listings.

No membership is required to post or respond to a post on Craigslist. There is no need to join although users can create an account. With the exception of posting job offerings, Craigslist is completely free to use. Since there is no cost is associated, and no membership required, individuals can use the site anonymously.

Since users can post anonymously, buyers are not guaranteed anything. Buyers may be able to talk down a price with a seller, but there is no way to guarantee a sell, until the transaction is complete. In addition, there is nothing on Craigslist that guarantees the identity or honesty of its users.
Buyers must also act fast, because unlike other online market places, there is no way to see how much attention an ad is receiving.
Senior English major Levi Smock used Craigslist to get rid of clutter around his home. “It was easy to make the ads,” he said. “It took me a few minutes to make each ad and it didn’t take long to get some responses… I would use it again.”

Craigslist is updated often, with new postings appearing almost continually. Ads are sorted by the time they are submitted with more recent ads showing up higher in the categories. For users making posts in popular categories, this may require reposting ads often to ensure that other users see it.
Users may also encounter spam and scams since there is no account required to make a posting or respond to one.

Facebook Marketplace safer way to sell, buy textbooks, other items online

Social networking Web site Facebook has been in the classified ad business since 2007. Web site users can utilize the Facebook Marketplace application to sell, buy, rent or give away nearly anything. Facebook is not alone in the world of online classifieds. So what makes Facebook Marketplace stand out in the crowd?

Facebook Marketplace postings can only be made and responded to by Facebook users. Unlike other online classifieds, users know exactly who they are dealing with. Only registered users can make postings, and users browsing can see exactly whose ad they are reading. Since Facebook requires that you set up a free account to respond to ads, users making posts don’t have to worry about spam responses. In addition, users making posts to sell items are required to disclose why they are selling. Marketplace listings can be searched by designated categories, user networks, or by proximity to the user posting.

Facebook users can easily navigate their market place, but not everyone is a Facebook user. Even as Facebook dominates the global social networking market, its own marketplace is rather exclusive. Since only other Facebook members are able to respond to the classifieds, the potential responses to an ad would be seemingly less. For those posting, this creates a smaller market; and for those searching, it gives fewer options. Despite the fact that Facebook has nearly $300 million users worldwide, not all actively use the marketplace.

“I’ve had good luck selling on Facebook but never on the marketplace,” sophomore criminal justice major Jacob Shute said. Shute posted simple ads in his status area. “I think enough people use the site to make it a good tool for selling, Marketplace or not.”

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