If you’re like many college students, you spend far too much on textbooks. With the school year ending, you may want to turn those books into cash. Unfortunately, your college bookstore may prove a fruitless endeavor to maximize cash. Thankfully, that’s not your only option. The best places to sell used textbooks online make unloading your books for cash simple and often result in a better return.
Instead of being stuck with books you won’t use again, why not sell them and get some of your money back? It’s one of the best ways to make money in college and you can use those funds for other needs. While it may seem like a hassle to sell back textbooks, it’s actually fairly simple.
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Best Places to Sell Textbooks Online
Do you have a stack of books you want to unload? Here are the 11 best places to sell textbooks online for cash. Just remember to compare multiple sites to ensure you receive the best possible amount.
Decluttr is one of the best websites to sell used textbooks online. Not only does Decluttr buy used textbooks, but they also buy other items, including:
You can also sell video games online through Decluttr. Decluttr is one of the simplest websites to use when it comes to trying to sell your textbooks. All you have to do is go to the Decluttr website, choose the textbook option, and enter the barcode of each textbook.
From there, you choose the condition of the textbook, and Decluttr will offer you a quote on what they’ll pay you. It’s really that easy.
Once you accept the offer, they provide you with a free shipping label to print so you can ship your books. You can also take them to your local UPS store for free if you have one in your area.
Once Decluttr receives your item, they’ll pay you via PayPal, direct deposit, or check. They even have an option to donate your money to charity if you’d prefer that.
BookScouter allows you to sell your textbooks from your mobile device. Created as an app, all you have to do is sign up, scan the ISBN codes of the books you want to sell, and call it a day.
The app will let you know what each book is worth and who will accept them. They work with numerous vendors including Amazon and Chegg.
Based on the price you want to sell your textbooks for, you can choose whichever vendor is giving you the highest amount.
Once you choose the vendor, you’ll then choose the condition of your book and print off your shipping label. While BookScouter doesn’t buy your books directly, it’s a great third-party app to sell books online and get the most money for your items.
You may not think so, but Amazon is one of the best places to sell textbooks online. In fact, the company began as a book retailer, and it’s still a major platform for selling textbooks online.
So how do you sell your used textbooks on Amazon?
There are actually two ways that you can sell textbooks through Amazon. The first is by creating a listing by yourself as an Amazon seller.
This means you would need to price your product, create shipping labels, and take it to the post office yourself. This option may put more money in your pocket and is great as long as you have the time to do it.
Since many of us don’t have that kind of time, the second option for selling books online is more efficient. This option for selling your textbooks is to go through Amazon’s trade-in program.
You’ll answer some questions about the condition of your book, and if Amazon accepts it, you’ll get a shipping label to print.
Once you send in your textbook and Amazon verifies its condition, they’ll submit your payment to you. Amazon claims that they pay you up to 80 percent of the textbook’s purchase price.
4. Barnes & Noble
Did you know that Barnes & Noble has their own textbook sales platform?. It’s true, and their platform works like many of the other book selling platforms.
Before selling your books, you’ll have to add their barcodes into Barnes & Noble’s system. Then you’ll answer questions on the condition of your books, and ship them off to Barnes & Noble–for free–when you’re done.
Barnes & Noble does have a clause that says you must submit at least $10.00 worth of textbooks before they’ll accept them, but everything else is equal to the other textbook-selling services.
Even if your textbooks aren’t in the best condition, Bookbyte will take them off your hands. If your textbook is in like-new, good, or acceptable condition, you’ll get paid to send in your books.
They even accept normal signs of wear and tear, like discoloration on pages, highlighting, and marking. As long as the text is legible and all of the pages are there, Bookbyte will most likely accept it.
Even if your textbook is unsellable, Bookbyte will take it off your hands and recycle it for you. You won’t receive payment for it, but at least you won’t have to dispose of the book yourself.
Bookbyte offers free shipping and payment via check or PayPal. They even have a 30-day price guarantee. To start selling your textbooks, all you have to do is enter in their ISBN numbers.
Craigslist can be a great resource if you want to sell used textbooks locally. This can be great if you live in a college town, because you’re more likely to find someone who needs that book.
While you can’t technically sell books online via Craigslist, you can post an ad for them. To make things easier and more efficient, you can post one ad with all the books, their barcodes, and the price you’re asking for them.
That way, you aren’t trying to manage multiple listings.
Whatever you do, be safe selling your items via Craigslist. Always make sure to meet up in a well-lit area, make sure the person is who they say they are, and be smart about your surroundings.
Craigslist can be a great resource, but be cautious and take safety precautions.
Read our guide on selling sites like Craigslist to find other options to sell books.
Cash4Books is a great place to sell textbooks online, even if you don’t have a computer. Their app, available for both Android and iPhone, allows you to scan your books’ barcodes easily and receive an instant quote. If you accept their offer, you print off a free shipping label and send in your books.
Another reason to sell your textbooks to Cash4Books is that they buy CD books as well. So if you purchased an audiobook through your university, or if your book came with a CD version as well, Cash4Books will accept it.
Once Cash4Books receives your books and confirms their conditions, you can receive your money via check or PayPal. Payment is typically issued within two weeks.
You can rent and sell books through ValoreBooks, making it an all-around helpful site for any college student (or former college student). However, ValoreBooks tends to be one of the pickier places that accept textbooks.
Even something as slight as a little water damage could mean that your book won’t be accepted. Their pickiness aside, ValoreBooks is a textbook comparison website so you can compare prices from multiple buyers.
As with the rest of the places that you can sell your textbooks to, ValoreBooks starts with getting the ISBN numbers from each of your textbooks and asking you a few questions about their condition. Then, you print off their free shipping label, mail your books, and get paid via check or PayPal.
BookFinder is like the Google search engine of the textbook world. You won’t directly sell to this website as it’s more of a third-party connecting service. On it, you can search for books to purchase, or find which websites are buying back the books you want to sell.
All you have to do is enter in the author and title of the book or add in the ISBN number. BookFinder compares buyback prices across various textbook buyback programs, including bookstores, and shows you the ones that will give you the most money for your books.
From there, you can go to the website of your choosing, and follow their instructions for selling your book.
TextbookRush allows you to sell your books, games, and movies for cash. While the structure is the same as everywhere else, TextbookRush offers you three payment methods instead of just two. You can receive cash via check, PayPal, or for store credit.
This is great if you’re still in college and want to buy other textbooks. And, because you’re getting store credit, you also earn a little extra. That can go a long way for a broke college student.
Shipping is free through FedEx, and it can take up to 14 days to receive payment.
ECampus has two ways to sell textbooks online through their platform. The first way is to use the usual method of entering in your textbooks’ barcodes, shipping your books, and getting paid.
The other is to use their marketplace. The eCampus marketplace doesn’t have any hidden costs or fees, pays via ACH payments, and is a great option if you have a ton of textbooks that you want to sell, at the highest price that you can sell it at.
You can also manage your inventory and receive shipping discounts if you choose to use this route. Similar to other sites, eCampus offers store credit, allowing you to earn a little extra on your sale.
How to Sell Textbooks Online
If you want to sell used books online, you need certain pieces of information to start. Each site is different, but expect to have the following information to successfully sell your books:
- Author name or names
- Book title
- Condition of the book
- Publishing information, like publisher or year published
Some sites may only require an ISBN, but the more information you have the better.
It’s fairly straightforward to sell used textbooks online. You go to a site and provide the information of the book.
If you accept the rate, you print a mailing label, ship the books, and wait to receive payment. Each site varies on payment terms, but expect to receive payment within two weeks.
Keep in mind that if your book is in good condition you will receive more than a book that’s in less-than-perfect condition.
How to Sell Books Near Me
The best places to sell textbooks online make selling your books relatively simple. However, you may want to sell books in person and not deal with shipping.
In that case, you have options to sell books in person. Below are a few options for selling textbooks in person:
- Second-hand bookstores
- Local libraries
- Local high schools and colleges
Your mileage may vary with these options, but it’s worth considering if you’d rather not deal with shipping books.
Selling back used textbooks online doesn’t have to be hard or cost you money out of pocket. The above 11 websites make it easy for you to sell and ship your textbooks and receive payment quickly. Plus, many have options to help you get the most money from the books you have.
Textbooks are expensive, but selling your textbooks after you’re finished using them is a great way to recoup some of the college costs that you’ve had to pay.
What have you found to be the best places to sell textbooks online? How much money do you spend on textbooks each semester? What has worked for you to get more money selling your used books online?
Kim Suazo has been a freelance writer and business owner for over four years. When she's not writing for Frugal Rules, you can find her on other publications like Chime, Discovery, and Due. She also owns her own websites The Entrepremomer and Part-Time Profit, where she teaches overworked moms how to streamline their new businesses so they can scale without a team.