University News

Bookstore: Beware of Book Buyback Scams

December 3, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Buyer … and seller … beware.

As textbook buyback time draws near, Jude Kiah, director of the Western Illinois University Bookstore, wants to remind students to be aware of book buyback scams. In the past year, companies not affiliated with the University have courted students with promises that haven't been fulfilled. And the solicitations from these companies have begun in earnest once again with the end of the Fall 2013 semester nearing.

"In December 2012, a company hired WIU students to go into the halls and collect books from students to send to the company. While a few students received checks for their books, there were many others who did not get paid for selling – or collecting – books. You should never sell a book without immediate payment," Kiah said. "In addition, the students working for these companies are violating University housing policy, which prohibits external solicitation in the residence halls."

As well as operating illegally within the residence halls, students have been led to believe that these companies are affiliated with Western.

"These companies approaching our students to buy – and sell – their books are not affiliated with the University," Kiah said. "Students should only sell their textbooks to reputable businesses, ones they are familiar with. And if they aren't offered cash on the spot for their books, then the deal is far too good to be true. In addition to the University Bookstore, there are reputable local businesses that participate in book buybacks."

As for those students who are promised "easy money" for collecting books and sending to such external buyback companies for payment, Kiah added, "It's not worth the risk. Not only are students who are doing this within the hall violating policy, they are doing all the legwork with no guarantee of payment."

Along with avoiding book buyback scams, Kiah said students should be mindful of their books, like all of their personal property, by locking their residence hall room doors when they leave the room and not leaving books unattended in public places.

"Books are essentially money. You wouldn't leave a $50 bill on a table in the Union and walk away," he pointed out. "Treat the books the same as you'd treat cash and other high-value items."

For more information on book buyback through the University Bookstore, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations