This article applies to selling in: United States

Textbook Season Best Practices

Textbook season can be one of the busiest and most profitable times of the year for sellers. To help you get the most out of it, we've compiled a list of the business practices of our top textbook sellers.

Tip 1: Be prepared for a sudden increase in orders.

  • Keep on top of orders by checking your Seller Account daily. This will help you ship items on time, even if you miss our "Sold, ship now" e-mail notification.
  • Fall textbook season begins in mid-July and goes through mid-October. Peak textbook sales are generally the week before Labor Day.
  • Spring textbook season begins mid-December and goes through early February. Peak textbook sales are generally the first two weeks of January.
  • If you sell through multiple sales channels, avoid disappointing customers by updating your inventory daily.

Tip 2: Make sure your textbook is listed under the correct ISBN and the condition is described accurately.

  • Decrease returns by making sure the buyer gets exactly the product described on the detail page where you place your listing.
  • Students will search for textbooks by ISBN. Use the ISBN on each book to match to the correct page.
  • Check the details on the page to avoid listing your book against a page for a different version or edition.
  • When listing your book, pick the appropriate condition and add accurate condition notes about marks and highlighting.
  • Do not list solutions manuals or teacher's editions. These items are prohibited.
  • Read our policies about Selling Textbooks.

Tip 3: Allow for multiple shipping options.

  • Students need their books ASAP and will pick listings that offer expedited shipping. During back-to-school season last year, over 25% of textbook buyers requested expedited shipping.
  • If a buyer selects expedited shipping, be sure to honor it. Check the shipping speed requested for each order.

Tip 4: Ship within 2 business days.

  • Do not list textbooks that you do not have available for immediate shipping. All textbook sales must ship within 2 business days. Delayed shipments usually end up affecting your performance ratings.
  • If you must cancel or refund an order, do so promptly. When you use Charge When Ship, you can cancel unshipped orders. Learn How to Cancel an Order.

Tip 5: Provide Shipment Confirmation to buyers.

  • Students are anxiously awaiting their textbooks. Confirm your shipment through Manage Orders as soon as possible. Amazon will send a shipping confirmation to the buyer. Learn more at our Confirm Shipments and Manage Orders Help pages.
  • You may want to consider purchasing delivery confirmation or using a trackable shipping method; however, if you choose to use these options, we encourage you to set the price of the item with the cost of these services in mind. You may not invoice buyers for additional service fees.

Tip 6: Be prepared for increased returns.

  • Students often need to return textbooks due to class cancellations. All Amazon.com sellers must accept returns even if the order is fulfilled correctly.
  • Impress buyers by helping to expedite returns. Consider including a return address and instructions inside your package in addition to the return address on the package itself.
  • Request that the buyer pack the item and return it to you. In cases where the seller is not responsible for the return, return shipping costs should be paid by the buyer. Upon receipt, immediately issue the appropriate refund.

Tip 7: Consider using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

  • Amazon fulfills orders for you from our fulfillment centers, whether sold on Amazon.com or your own website.
  • FBA listings on Amazon.com are eligible for Amazon Prime and for free shipping on orders with eligible items that total $35 or more (Hint: Buyers love free shipping and Amazon Prime).
  • Shoppers can view an up-to-the-minute countdown for One-Day Shipping on product detail pages for FBA listings on Amazon.com.
  • Amazon offers world-class customer service for your FBA listings sold on Amazon.com.
  • Learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon.

In addition to using these tips and best practices, we encourage you take advantage of the wealth of information available in our Help pages for sellers.

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