One of the toughest decisions to make at the beginning of the semester is if you actually need to purchase the textbooks that your professor says are required for the class. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes the textbooks are helpful and (usually) are definitely needed to pass the class. But other times, you spend entirely too much money on a textbook that you don’t actually need, and it just sits on your desk collecting dust until the end of the semester when you can sell it. Luckily, now that summer has arrived, you can. Check out this list of the best places to sell textbooks online and make back some of that cash.
On BookScouter, you input the ISBN number of your textbook and it compares a bunch of different book-reselling sites and shows what each site is offering for that book. You can pick the offer you like, ship the book to the seller and then get paid how you choose.
Pro: You get paid by PayPal or check from the reseller, ship for free, and get to choose from over 35 resell sites.
Con: BookScouter redirects you to the website of the reseller and does not share the reseller’s guidelines for an acceptable book condition.
Much like BookScouter, on Chegg, you start out by entering your book’s ISBN number and then you will receive a price that Chegg will buy your book back for. If you like the price, you will receive a pre-paid shipping label and get paid 10 to 15 days later.
Pro: You don’t have to pay for shipping, and you get paid by a check.
Con: The site might not be willing to pay you for your book, but if you are just desperate to get it off of your hands they will still accept the book as a donation. You won’t receive any money but shipping is still free.
Amazon gives you two options for selling your textbooks. You can use the “Trade-In” program and receive an Amazon gift card in exchange for your book or you can create an Amazon seller account and set the condition and price of the book yourself.
Pro: You can choose how to sell your book, and with the trade-in program, you will receive a pre-paid shipping label.
Con: You can only get paid in Amazon gift cards, and if you choose to sell the textbook on your own, you must also pay for shipping.
Barnes & Noble offers a buyback program just like Amazon. You will get a prepaid shipping label and receive payment via PayPal or by check.
Pro: They will accept your book if it has markings as long as it’s not an excessive amount.
Con: You have to have at least $10 worth of books to sell.
This site buys your textbook directly from you and is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Shipping is always free and they pay you within three days of receiving your book.
Pro: They have a mobile app, which makes posting your books very easy.
Con: They only accept student books—no instructor manuals allowed.
This site accepts textbooks as well as old electronics, which means you can make money from everything you no longer need. Shipping is free and your payment is processed one day after they receive your items.
Pro: You can get paid by direct deposit and they accept more than just textbooks.
Con: The site won’t accept marked or damaged items, so if your item isn’t accepted, it will be recycled instead of shipped back.
CampusBooks is very similar to Chegg. You enter the ISBN and the site will tell you how much you can receive for your book. You can receive payment via check, store credit, or PayPal.
Pro: Shipping is free and they have a mobile app for easy selling.
Con: The site will not accept any books missing supplemental materials.
eCampus allows you to sell your books for store credit or cash via check or direct deposit. They also have a rewards program that you can earn points by buying and selling textbooks on their site.
Pro: They accept textbooks with markings, shipping is free, and you can get paid by direct deposit. If you choose to sell for store credit, you can buy next semester’s textbooks with your old ones.
Con: You will receive a higher selling price if you choose to sell for store credit rather than cash.
This website will only buyback your book if the ISBN is currently listed in their database. They are also one of the few websites that will purchase instructor editions of books.
Pro: You can receive payment by check or PayPal.
Con: Shipping is only free on buybacks over $50 and there is a surcharge of $2 if you’re shipping from Alaska or Hawaii.
This site accepts textbooks even if they’re a little worn and torn as long as the book is still legible. Once you get a quote on a textbook from BookByte, they guarantee you that quote for 30 days even if the value of the book goes down.
Pro: Shipping is free on buybacks over $10 and you can get paid by check or PayPal.
Con: If your book is not accepted, it will be recycled and not shipped back to you.
Campus Facebook Buy and Sell Pages
Campus Facebook pages are a good way to sell your books because other students will need the same books for the same classes you took. This means you’re probably guaranteed to sell your books.
Pro: You won’t have to worry about shipping and your book can be in any condition.
Con: You’ll have to set your own price and hope someone is willing to pay it.
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Opening image by Jennifer Motoval.