In part 1 of this post, I detailed some steps on how you can sell your still popular or Really old pocketbooks. Now in part 2, I’ll be featuring the kind of books usually traded in the streets of Recto: Textbooks.
I was engineering student before, and I had a lot of Calculus, Math and Electronics textbooks, hardbound and softbound, gathering dust in my cabinet. So instead of occupying space, I decided to sell them, expecting to receive a significant amount. Even though I purchased the books around 2003 to 2005, they’re still Engineering Books – and they’re HARDBOUND. So I was expecting to at least get 1000 pesos for 5 books. Turned out I got 750 for 10 books. Much lower than I expected, but it is better than getting coins in exchange.
A bit disappointed, I asked Ate Cecille, the seller who I sold my books to, for tips on what does she look for when buying books from people:
1. The books’ edition – Students mostly buy textbooks from Recto in the hopes of getting their textbooks cheaper than commercial bookstores, so the buyers are on the lookout for the latest editions they can easily resell. The trick here is to sell your used textbooks right after you use them so you can fetch a higher price for them. Don’t be discouraged to sell older editions though, they still buy them because some people use older editions “as a reference” according to Ate Cecille.
2. Condition – The better the condition of the book – the higher the price.
3. Relevance / Demand / Rarity – The demand is high for Nursing and Engineering books, so they’ll fetch more buyers and higher rates. If the book is popular across schools (i.e. The Calculus Series), then you’ll find more willing buyers. In my experience, I had a hard time selling my hardbound Calculus book, probably because not a lot of Recto-goers can afford them – fortunately I was able to sell it to Ate Cecile, whose stall is located inside the building. Which leads me to another tip..
4. Sell to the buyers inside the building – When I tried to sell a less popular textbook to a sidewalk buyer, what happened was the buyer went inside the building, asked the stall buyer what the price was, and then she returned, and told me the price. I figured from this that people in the sidewalks resell their books to those with the stalls – so its possible that you might get a higher price for your books when you go directly to the stall buyers.
While selling my books, I also managed to take a peek at the books being sold – seems like they really had everything – they had books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Little Prince, the classics (or prescribed literature class reading). They were even selling Filipinana titles in there. I had a hard time fighting the urge to spend the money I just earned from selling. Bookworm paradise talaga ang Recto, both to those who would want to make a quick buck, or someone who’s looking for a bargain, or for literature hunters on the lookout for a steal or that one-of-a-kind find.
Read part 1 here.