The service, which is available right now, allows students to search by ISBN, title or author to find out what their used textbooks are worth and if the price is right, ship them to Amazon free of charge.
In order to sell your book to Amazon it must be in "good condition," which for textbooks means there can be no damage to the book and you will need to have any media which you received with the book. After a third-party receives and inspects you books Amazon will credit your account for the trade within two days. If, for some reason, your textbooks are damaged or unacceptable they will be returned to you in 14 days.
To see how Amazon stacks up to competing book buying services we compared the "Featured Textbooks" on the Amazon Trade in Book page to other book buying companies.
Online Bookstore Price Comparison:
"Very Good Condition"
(Sell it Now)
and Physiology, 8th ed.
| Organic Chemistry
As you can see from this limited selection, Amazon doesn't always have the best price but on several random checks of book prices they did come out on top.
The convenience of selling textbooks to Amazon versus selling them on Half.com is obvious in that you don't have to wait and shipping is free. Even thought the buyer is supposed to pay shipping on Half.com I rarely receive the actual cost of shipping.
It will be interesting to see how the prices paid at Amazon and the other booksellers change over time to deal with the new big book buyer in town.
One thing is definitely clear. That guy buying books at a folding table in the campus commons is making a killing selling your used books; so don't even bother to pick up the free bookmark/pen combo he's handing out this year.