How to Sell your Old Books when you’re in Manila part 2: Textbooks Edition

Sidewalk at Recto
The Recto Book Sidewalk

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:

Textbooks for Sale!

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.

[EDIT: 7/1/2018] Hello Everyone! Instead of selling your book, might you want to consider donating it to kids in Marawi instead? Visit Mindanao State University – University Training Center Library Hub Program‘s page and learn how you can contribute! 🙂

Kisses, Bom


88 thoughts on “How to Sell your Old Books when you’re in Manila part 2: Textbooks Edition

    1. Yes, I think they do – just don’t expect to receive a large amount for it if they’re very old editions or if they’re badly worn out.

      1. Umm,how do they price each book? From what price range should i expect when i’ll gonna sell my old textbooks? Like 100-150php,50-100php for each book????

        Thank you in advance

      2. Well, I’m not really sure on how they price Highschool / Elementary books..the books I sold were College textbooks for Engineering students. If they’re still the ones being used, then you might get that price, mga 100 siguro. If not, then you better not expect that much. 🙂

    1. I think I saw some stalls with signs saying that they’re buying Old Magazines. You might want to ask around if you have the chance to go there. 🙂

    1. I’m not recommending any exact place, because the whole of recto is lined with Book Buyers, particularly those stalls after National Bookstore leading to Isetann. Better scour them if you want the best deal for your books. If you want to find the building in the picture that I posted, its beside National Bookstore in Recto. You got to enter the building and find the last stall. 🙂

  1. me too’ im planning to sell my nursing books, it was published last year.. they look new. and the pages are complete.. i have medical surgical, pediatric nursing, nclex books(really big ang thick) pharmacology, nursing leadership, doh book(public health nursing) maternal and child volumes 1 and 2… how much do u think i can get with those books? can sumone give me idea? tnx..

    1. Wow, that’s a lot. Given that the books were just published last year, maybe you can sell them for 80% of the price you bought them. This is just a guess of course. 🙂

  2. oh okay, yeah the copyright year of the books ranges from 2007-2011.. i hope so, coz am really planning to sell them. thank you for the reply 🙂

    1. Hmm, see that sign included in this picture that says “Orient Pearl”? The building is beside National Bookstore’s Recto Branch, go to the end of the hallway and you’ll find her stall in there.

  3. Hi! I have these nursing and medicine books. I have the 10th edition. I checked the latest prices and found out that there’s already a 12th edition for the said books which cost 7000 and other books are around 1900. For the 10th edition which I have at what price can I sell it?

  4. Hi I was wondering if it’s safe to bring a car? and where can I park it safely? It’s cause the books im going to bring is super heavy! I’m trying to sell my nursing books, latest edition, perfect condition, literally looks brand new. The name is Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology 9th Edition, Comes with the Atlas, and an unopened dvd. OH and I was also wondering how much do you think i can sell this book for? Please reply asap 🙂 I’m trying to sell it before April 14, where I’m leaving out of the country. Thank you!

    1. Hmm, FEU is near the place and I think there are students who bring their car to the area, so I guess it’s sort of safe to do so, but then my gut feel says it’s Risky (haha!)…maybe you could have someone to drive you to the place instead. Or if you really can’t I think you could park near the FEU campus, or worse case, in front of PRC.

  5. Okay. Hopefully, it’ll be ok :/ and btw do you know when’s the best day/time to go? I know Sundays are usually the day when it’s not traffic, would it be open then? Sorry for all the q’s!

    1. Hmmm…Not sure with Sunday…I think you’ll have better luck going on a Weekday afternoon – not a lot of students, though you might have a hard time parking

    1. Yup, if you’re talking about the Professional Regulatory Commission in Morayta, yes it’s near that.

  6. Hello po. Im 4th yr studnt po and planning to sell my used books. Sa tingin niyo po mga magkano ko po iyon mabebenta. Computer book po siya and physics

    1. I guess there’s a market for law books. There are also shops that sell Law Books beside these buy and sell shops, so you might want to sell your old law books to them.

  7. I have lots of books. Some medical and some college textbooks. Kaso the edition, i’m not quite sure if applicable pa. 😦 In terms of condition, maayos na maayos pa. Mabenta ko kaya to? 😦

  8. I went to Recto yesterday with a friend, invited him para may kotse kasi i don’t know how to get there alone. I was so disappointed that my precious books, purely new looking and references, assorted language, management, etc. were not really a buying content. I had 1 box and 3 bags of those books but no one bought a book from where i asked. So disappointing to read some people comment like “Oh Recto is a bookworm haven”, “Recto is for people who love books”, D@mt !t.(sorry for the word) I was so stressed yesterday because i thought i’ll be able to sell my books there, but this i can say “Recto is a TEXTBOOKS haven” so to not mislead people. Bookworm people doesn’t read textbooks for all their lives OK?.

    1. Sorry to hear about your experience. You’re correct in saying that it is more of a “TextBooks Paradise”, since it does make up at least 90% of the things being sold in there. For me though, I felt that it was “BookWorm paradise” in a sense that you’ll be able to buy books (i.e. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, classics, Pocketbooks) for a slightly cheaper price than commercial bookstores, that is, if you don’t mind exploring every nook and cranny of the place.

  9. hi…i’m also planning to sell my old books…3 Calculus books, 1 Chemistry, 1 Engineering Mechanics, 2 Technical writing and 2 History books…i have used these books from 1st-3rd year college. though some were highlighted then ung iba may mga answered activities tas may sulat ng name ko sa gilid…will they buy those kaya kahit may ganun?

  10. eh ung mga books po na mga novels like twilight, harry potter ganun…binibili rin po ba nila ung mga ganun…nakapile lang kasi sa room ko,,, tapos ko na kasing basahin lahat so ibebenta ko na lang din para makabili ng new releases na mga novels

  11. I have a book, “Architectural Graphic Standards – 11th Edition” balak ko rin syang ibenta sa Recto kasi rarely used sya kaso kinakabahan ako kung magkano sya bibilhin sakin hehe. Siguro mga 3 or 4 years old na sakin yung book. May sulat na pangalan sa gilid ng book(sa paper part) pero pininturahan ko ng poster paint, haha. Matatanggap pa kaya yun?

    1. Mahahalata yung poster paint, I think. Siguro kung rare talaga yung book you can get a good price for it. But for anything sold in Recto , just don’t expect around a 1000 for it.

    2. Hello there. Am I looking for that book.
      Just surfing the net then this came up in google results…

      Alam kong medyo late na tong reply, but are you still selling it?
      If yes, how much?

      Nahirapan din ako hanapin yun. Thanks.

  12. pupunta po ako sa recto bago magpasko para makadiscount
    tanong ko lang po kung sunod sunod po ba ang mga tindahan ng libro po dyan
    o talagang hahanapin ko pa ung mga pwesto nila
    bibili po kasi ako ng book tungkol sa electrical engineering
    eh iniisip ko po kung baka mahirapan ako sa kakahanap
    eh first ko panaman tapos marami daw na magna
    saka baka maligaw ako
    salamat po

  13. Hi 🙂 ask ko lang po kung pag nag dala po kme ng books sa RECTO dii po ba kme mbbigo ? 😀 marme pu ko pang nursing tpos meron din pong pang high school , hhmmm .! tumatanggap po ba sila ng may NAmE sa GILID ng page .? 🙂 reply po ASAP thanks po 🙂

    1. To be honest, Hindi ko alam kung magtatagumpay ba kayo or hindi 😛 Someone actually commented that there books weren’t bought so it’s best you go see it for yourself.

  14. Hi! Do they buy old high school textbooks? Dated 2006-2010? They are still in good condition but they are old, with plastic cover and name. How much can I earn from each book? I’m expecting to get around 40-50 pesos each.

  15. Hi! planning to sell Calculus 7 by leithold (had my name written on it) and University Physics 12th edition (hardbound). bought them three years ago and both are in good condition. How much can I earn from that in your estimation? Thanks. 🙂

  16. Hello. I have a Gray’s Anatomy 40th Edition. People say that it is the bible for Anatomy. My sister bought it in Dubai for around 9k in Php. I covered it in plastic cover but I never actually used it. Can I expect a good price for my book? Are buyers from recto willing to buy it for at least 5k ?

  17. How bout nursing brand new books po? Meron po kasi akong like ibenta sana na brand new nursing book and unopened pa po sya nabili sya sa SG. Pwede po ba mag range ako ng price na worth ng book na to. Hindi kasi cheap ung nabiling book haha.. worth to buy naman sya kasi latest edition sya hehe:)

  18. salamat sa info. it helps a lot. marami akong books for sell engineering,mathematical analysis second edition 1972.,,differential and integral calculus six edition international editions, printed 1972,,..biology sixth edition .the insolvency law by arthuro tolentino,.commercial law of the philippines 1940 by jose p. laurel,.algebra and trigonometry world student series edition 1971 printed in phil,,.thermo dynamics1970..f.e.u. year book 1950 college and high school..with pictures of students,faculties…year books encyclopedia 1969,70,71,72,,73,74 ,75 ,76,77..



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