In a recent effort to reduce clutter in my home, I stumbled upon Amazon's Trade In program. I'd been trying to sell some old textbooks online with Half.com and Ebay for a few months, without result. There's nothing like spending all that money on a book you use for one class, only to let it gather dust for years. If there was any way to recoup some of that money, I'd be happy.
Plus, I needed the room on my book shelf for all those summer beach reads I just bought.
I opened an Amazon Seller Account, listed a bunch of titles, and succeeded in only selling one book of fiction. One day, while exploring the site, I noticed a banner advertising the Amazon Trade In program.
Basically, you can search to see if your books are listed among their buy-back titles. If they are looking for one of your books, you indicate the condition of it, package it up, and mail it to a third-party vendor. When the vendor confirms receipt, you get an Amazon gift card in your account. You can use this gift card to buy anything from Amazon. Anything!
Not only is this a really good way to recycle the books collecting dust on your shelf, but it's the perfect exchange—turn in the old, pick out your own new. If you need cash, this isn't the program for you. But since Amazon will pick up older editions or titles that others might not buy elsewhere, it might be all you're going to get for some of those books.
Now, as for my own personal experience, I sold back five books. I packed them up, sent them away to the vendor, and waited. Within the week, I received an email from Amazon saying that my package had been received and my gift cards were ready.
I turned my textbooks into DVDs – a couple of new releases, Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. I also picked up a few classic titles that I’ve never gotten a chance to pick up. And then I bought a few used books from other sellers. All with free money, pretty much.
From start to finish, this was a very positive experience. I've been telling all my friends who are looking to simplify their lives and eliminate excess clutter. When I find myself looking to unload books again, I'll be checking Amazon first. This is just another way that they continue to be an outstanding retailer who reaches out to their customers in new ways.
If you need to clean out that bookshelf, try it out!
For book coupons check out our book section.