The Definitive Guide to Selling Used Textbooks Online and Textbook Buybacks

Find out how to earn some money back on your used textbooks with this guide to selling textbooks online and textbook buyback programs.

The Definitive Guide to Selling Used Textbooks Online and Textbook Buybacks
Tamara Gak

Textbooks are a large expense, and the purchase isn't exactly made easier to swallow when you realize these books will likely sit and gather dust once the course they were purchased for has ended. Reselling your books online is one way to make the investment easier. Fortunately, nowadays, there are tons of places to sell college textbooks online and textbook buyback programs.

Read on for a list of some of the top sites and services for selling textbooks online.

Table of Contents

1. AbeBooks

AbeBooks is one of the premier places to buy and rent textbooks online, and it’s also a solid choice for when you want to sell textbooks online. AbeBooks actually has an entire book-selling infrastructure, but that mainly caters to people who are trying to get large quantities of textbooks out there to the public, often the writers or the publishers of textbooks themselves. Instead, for college students, the place to check out at AbeBooks is their textbook buyback program. 

AbeBooks provides a pretty simple and straightforward textbook buyback process: You choose one of AbeBooks partners to go through; enter the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) code and get an instant price, plus a free trackable shipping label for each book; then choose how you want to be paid. It should be noted, however, that AbeBooks doesn’t do the selling themselves. As mentioned, they operate their textbook buyback service through partners, namely TextbookRush and Ziffit. So, you could simply go to those websites directly for selling textbooks online.

2. Amazon

Amazon has a great reputation with buyers as being a safe and respected marketplace. You benefit from their reputation as well as the hundreds of thousands of customers shopping on their site every day. The downside is that it can be a little pricey to list items. Amazon charges 99 cents per item when listed as well as commission fees after the item sells. It is important to remember that any conflicts between you and a buyer will be settled by Amazon. It is very rare for a seller to win in these situations. Being totally upfront about the condition of your book as well as shipping quickly and securely are very important here. An angry buyer could cost you. 

3. Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble provides a textbook buyback program where you can sell textbooks online after you’re done with them. In order to take advantage of Barnes & Noble’s textbook buyback service, you’ll need to have a minimum of $10 worth of books, which you can figure out once you have entered the textbook’s ISBN code into their search bar. You’ll then be provided with a quote or be told that Barnes & Noble isn’t currently buying that textbook. If given a quote for your textbook, you’ll also receive an expiration date for the quote, after which it’s no longer valid; the expiration date is typically a 30-day period. You’ll then move on to the “Submit Book Return'' step, where you will enter your mailing address and contact information, and select your desired payment option: Either by a physical check or PayPal. 

4. BiggerBooks

In addition to offering great discounts on purchasing textbooks and textbook rentals, BiggerBooks is a great option to sell college textbooks online. BiggerBooks works like other places where you sell textbooks online: You enter the ISBN(s) of your textbooks, get a quote, and then proceed to checkout. You will need to have or create an account with BiggerBooks to use their textbook buyback program. What’s nice is that they offer free shipping on the textbooks you want to sell. One small cosmetic note is that, though the business overall is BiggerBooks, the domain for the textbook buyback service is actually 

5. BlueRocketBooks

BlueRocketBooks is another straightforward, convenient place for selling textbooks online. You search by ISBN code, get a quote for your textbook, then proceed to checkout. If, for some reason, you have multiple copies of the same textbook, you are able to sell them in one transaction and get money for each copy, depending on the quantity limit that BlueRocketBooks imposes on the specific textbook. Shipping and tracking are free, as is getting paid by check, which many other sites usually charge you a fee for; you can also opt to be paid by PayPal or Venmo, and incur a $1.95 fee. Take note that when you get a quote from BlueRocketBooks, you need to send the textbook within seven calendar days or else the book will be re-quoted on the day of receival by BlueRocketBooks.


This is another textbook buyback website that offers multiple services beyond selling. What's great about is that you can use it to compare textbook buyback prices, which makes another useful aggregator website. You type in the ISBN codes of your textbooks and you'll get a large selection of companies that will directly buy the books from you. You can organize your search results by clicking omn "Highlight highest offers" or "Highlight fewest transactions."'s aggregator even includes the minimum dollar amount each individual textbook buyback program requires for you to sell your books to them. 

7. BooksRun

BooksRun is a very popular website for selling textbooks online. Like some other textbook buyback websites, you will need to have or create an account on BooksRun to follow through with your order. Otherwise, it operates pretty much like all other websites where you sell textbooks online: You enter the ISBN codes for the textbooks you want to sell, get a quote, and then proceed to checkout. What’s a bit unique with BooksRun is that you can select different levels of book condition, such as “used – acceptable”, “used – very good”, or “used – like new”, and the quote then changes accordingly. You can also join BooksRun’s loyalty program and earn points for the textbooks you sell. BooksRun provides free shipping for the books you plan to sell, and they pay by check or PayPal; you can get the cash for your textbooks in just four days after your books have been received by BooksRun.

8. BookScouter

BookScouter is similar to CampusBooks in that it aggregates and offers comparisons of websites where you can sell textbooks online. What’s great about BookScouter though is that has 30-plus vendors, so when you search your textbook by ISBN code, you can often get a whole page’s worth of quotes and places to sell. BookScouter also shows any bonus offers that textbook sites will provide when you sells textbooks online with them. What’s nifty about BookScouter is that they track price changes, and you can get price alerts, so you can sell your textbooks online when the price peaks.

9. CampusBooks

Like its textbook rental service, CampusBooks is an aggregator and comparison site for selling textbooks online. So, you don’t sell your textbooks directly to or through CampusBooks, but that doesn’t make it any less useful for selling textbooks online. With CampusBooks, you’ll see a whole slew of quotes for the textbooks you want to sell online, the payment options, and any bonus offers. Plus, the variation in the prices you can get for selling textbooks online is made readily apparent on CampusBooks, with some websites paying well over a $10-difference for the same textbook.

10. is another great place to sell textbooks online. One thing that stands out about is that you don’t have to search solely by ISBN code. You can search by the author’s name, exact title, and keyword within the title. claims you can choose an expedited delivery method for your payment and get your money from selling textbooks online fast. You’ll need to create an account with them in order to proceed with the transaction, as well as find answers to questions and any additional information about the process. 

11. eCampus

One of the more popular places for textbook rentals, eCampus also allows users to sell textbooks online through them. They offer free shipping and more payment options than most other websites, including check, PayPal, in-store credit, or direct deposit. They also have wider parameters for the books they’ll buy from you, including textbooks, novels, biographies, non-fiction, and “almost anything else on your bookshelf.” You’ll need to create an account with eCampus to sell textbooks online with them, however, the main drawback seems to be the time it takes for payment. According to the eCampus site, payments may take three to five weeks from the time the item is received. 

What is cool about eCampus is, if you’ve managed to compile a true library’s worth of books, you can become a marketplace seller and unload them. This will enable you to list your books directly on eCampus for all their customers to see. They take a 15% commission cut for this, and you will have to ship and provide tracking yourself, but they’ll give you a shipping credit to help cover the costs of shipping.

12. GoTextbooks

You might have ended up at GoTextbooks because Chegg redirects users here who wish to sell textbooks online, albeit GoTextbooks is actually an independent buyer separate from Chegg. Shipping is free and your used textbooks are typically processed within five business days of GoTextbooks receiving them. Getting paid for selling your textbooks online can be via check — which, using USPS First-Class Mail,  usually takes 7 to 14 days — or Paypal, which usually takes between 2 and 14 business days. Like some of the other best online textbook selling sites, GoTextbooks does require you to sign up and create an account. Your account allows you to track your order, print out the prepaid shipping labels, and more. With GoTextbooks, you can also send up to five textbooks with the same ISBN code in one order.


On, you can enter up to 10 ISBN codes per search, which is more than average compared to other textbook buyback sites on our list. Additionally, shipping is free with this website and, perhaps most uniquely, offers a direct deposit option, so you can get paid really fast compared to other sites to sell your textbooks. Quotes you receive from SellBackBooks are good for up to seven days and your books must be postmarked within seven days from the date you submitted your buyback order to guarantee the quoted buyback price. If you don't send your books to us within sevem days, your buyback order will automatically expire and you will need to submit a new order. Although SellBackBooks is designed primarily for students to sell their used textbooks or personal books, bulk sellers can potentially use the website too by contacting [email protected].


With excellent reviews on Trustpilot and BBB, ranks among the best websites to sell textbooks online. Getting valuations on this textbook buyback site are fast and the quote you get for your books are good for up to seven days. The process for getting paid for your used textbooks is fairly straightforward: When they receive your box of books and confirm its contents against the order, they will process your payment — usually within two business days after the order is processed — and you'll receive your money via PayPal or check. The website suggests using PayPal as the quickest way to get paid, and spells out the typical shipping time of used textbooks you send them: If you use FedEx, they generally receive your books in two to five days, while USPS can take 7 to 21 days. Lastly, shipping is free if you use the shipping label they provide you with.


What makes a great place to sell books online is that they don’t have strict parameters on the conditions of the textbooks you want to sell. Textbooks with highlights or notes on pages and books with slightly damaged covers are accepted. You may, naturally, get less money for a worn-out book, but it’s better than some other textbook buyback websites that won’t take them at all. As is common with all the other sites mentioned here, you search and get quotes based on the ISBN code; you get free shipping for your sales transaction; and you can get paid via PayPal or physical check, the latter taking three to five business days, typically. 

16. TextbookRush

TextbookRush is one of the most widely used textbook buyback websites around. As previously mentioned, AbeBooks partners with TextbookRush for its textbook buyback program. The process is the same as other places to sell textbooks online, with you entering the ISBNs of the textbooks, getting quotes, and then selecting your payment method, either check, PayPal, or store credit. You’ll have to create an account with TextbookRush in order to proceed with checkout when selling textbooks online, and they only offer free shipping on textbook buyback orders that meet a minimum of $15. 

17. TopDollar4Books

TopDollar4Books is a very convenient place to sell textbooks online. They offer no minimum order amount for selling textbooks online through them, unlike several textbook buyback websites already mentioned. They offer free shipping through their prepaid shipping labels. And you can get paid pretty quickly: Within 36 hours of your package arriving at the post office, you’ll receive confirmation that your book was received, and payment initiated. Payments are made either by check or PayPal depending on payment method chosen during checkout, with checks typically arriving within two to five business days and PayPal payments should show within 24 to 48 hours.

The Bottom Line on Selling Textbooks Online

A textbook in excellent condition will fetch a higher price than a book with a lot of wear and tear. Avoid writing in books if possible. If you must write in them, use pencil and write lightly so it can be erased cleanly later. Textbooks become outdated quickly. If you want to get the best price it's a good idea to get them listed as soon as you no longer need them. Plus, take advantage of websites for selling textbooks online that feature price tracking and price alerts, so you can then potentially make the most profit by selling at peak prices.

Andrew DePietro

Author: Andrew DePietro

Senior Researcher, and Content Strategist

Andrew DePietro is a finance writer covering topics such as entrepreneurship, investing, real estate and college for BrokeScholar, Forbes, CreditKarma, and more.