11 Best Places to Sell Textbooks [2024]: Get the Most Money

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Your local campus bookstore is usually the best place to sell textbooks, but if you’re looking to sell online, BooksRun and BookScouter are our top picks.
Updated March 1, 2024
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Once you’re done with a class, there’s a good chance you won’t want to keep the textbook. So where do you sell it?

Your local campus bookstore is often the best place. Your professor may be using the same textbook again, which means there’s still a demand for it.

Some textbooks may not be accepted by your campus bookstore, though. The next best places to sell your textbook to make extra cash are BooksRun and BookScouter. Learn more about these and our other top picks.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • The best place to sell your textbook for money is typically your local campus bookstore.
  • The best alternatives to your local bookstore are BooksRun and BookScounter.
  • BookScouter is a third-party aggregator that will help you easily find the highest-paying site

The 11 best places to sell textbooks

Your campus bookstore

Pros
  • Easy to access while on campus
  • Can get paid easily
  • Don’t have to worry about packaging and shipping
Cons
  • May not receive as much money
  • May only accept certain books
  • May have limited buying hours

We recommend starting with your campus bookstore because it’s accessible and easy. Some schools have multiple campus bookstores, so finding one that will buy your books may be easier than most online options. Instead of worrying about needing to pack things up, you can just bring your books in and sell them directly and get money immediately.

Some campus bookstores may have restrictions on which books they buy, often depending on what books the professor will use the following semester. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to sell a book that you were using just a few weeks ago.

BooksRun

Pros
  • Can get paid via check or PayPal within four days
  • Can ship via USPS or FedEx
  • Free standard shipping
Cons
  • Books cannot have damage

We recommend BooksRun because it is a streamlined site where you can sell textbooks that are in acceptable, good, or like-new condition. When you visit the site, you’ll type in the book’s ISBN and learn how much you can get for the book. Remember, this may only be a tentative offer. If the quality is deemed to be worse than what you stated, you may receive a lower offer.

BooksRun lets you print a shipping label directly from your computer or use a QR code that you show when you drop off your textbooks. You can choose how you want to get paid — via check or PayPal. And you can get paid in as little as four business days, which is much faster than some other sites.

The main downside? Your book can’t have a lot of damage, so keep your books in good condition if you want to resell them here.

Visit BooksRun

BookScouter

Pros
  • Can compare prices from multiple vendors
  • Can sell back books via the mobile app
Cons
  • Side hustlers will need a pro subscription for the most benefits

We like BookScouter because it aggregates prices from several bookselling sites. To use it, type in your book’s ISBN, and BookScouter will let you know which sites will offer you money for your textbook. They compare prices from many top sites, including BooksRun, TextbookRush, ValoreBooks, and more.

You can even try to compare multiple books at the same time, which will speed up the selling process.

Some features are limited unless you sign up for a Pro subscription. These features are more geared toward side hustlers, though. For example, the Pro subscription offers Hot Flip Deals that help you identify retail arbitrage opportunities and a bulk liquidation tool that lets you upload up to 10,000 ISBNs at a time.

Visit BookScouter

Amazon

Pros
  • Can sell a wide variety of books, including non-traditional textbooks
  • Can sell books in various conditions
Cons
  • Will have to pay a fee, either per item sold or per month

We like Amazon because you can sell a wide variety of books. Unlike other book sites that buy your textbook directly, Amazon lets you sell to individual buyers. This means that it may take longer for your book to sell because you have to wait for someone to buy it.

However, you may be able to earn more money because you’re not selling through a third-party company. If you’re not desperate for cash immediately, this option may help you recoup more of your funds. Keep in mind that it takes three to five business days for the funds to hit your bank account after the sale settles, which is still faster than some other options on this list like ValoreBooks.

Visit Amazon

AbeBooks

Pros
  • Can set own shipping rates
  • Can sell books internationally
  • Funds will be sent weekly
  • Can set own shipping speeds
Cons
  • Have to pay a monthly listing fee
  • Have to pay a commission fee and credit card transaction fee

AbeBooks is a platform for buying and selling textbooks, rare books, fine art, and collectibles. Like Amazon, you have to list the book and wait for a buyer to purchase it. AbeBooks does not buy your books directly.

Also, there is a minimum required fee to sell books through this site. AbeBooks does give you two months free when you start selling. After that, the fee will be $25 per month. This is higher than what other sites charge.

AbeBooks is particularly good if you have unique textbooks to sell. And it pays out weekly.

Visit AbeBooks

Half Price Books

Pros
  • Can sell books in person
  • Don’t have to worry about shipping and packaging books
Cons
  • No guarantee they’ll accept the books you have to sell

Half Price Books is a bookstore chain that sells both new and used books along with music and collectibles. They will also buy your books if you bring them in. If your books are accepted for resale, then you’ll receive the money instantly.

But that’s also the rub — you have to visit a local Half Price Books with your merchandise. They do not have a mail-in option. Then, you’ll have to wait and see if your books will be purchased. It can be frustrating to drive all that way just to discover that they won’t take your books. And Half Price Books stores are only located in 19 states.

Visit Half Price Books

GoTextbooks

Pros
  • Can be paid via check or PayPal
  • Buys loose leaf textbooks
Cons
  • May not accept all textbooks

GoTextbooks is a third-party site that will buy your textbook from you. It offers free shipping, but you will need to print out a label. It also can take up to 14 business days to receive your payment.

GoTextbooks may have higher standards for each textbook. For example, if your textbook originally came with a CD, you must include it.

Visit GoTextbooks

ValoreBooks

Pros
  • No charge for prepaid shipping labels
  • Can get paid via check or PayPal
Cons
  • Strict condition requirements

ValoreBooks is a site that will buy textbooks directly from you. When you visit their selling page, you’ll input the ISBN for each textbook and click to see the offer.

You need to send your book within 30 days of getting your quote, and your book has to be received and approved. Once it’s approved, payment can take up to 14 business days if you get paid by check or seven business days if you’re paid via PayPal.

Visit ValoreBooks

Facebook Marketplace

Pros
  • Can get paid in cash
  • Free to list items
  • Items can be listed for a long time if they don’t sell
Cons
  • Must have a Facebook account
  • Can take time to find buyers

When most people imagine selling items on Facebook Marketplace, they think about furniture, used cars, or toys. College textbooks? Not so much.

But if you have used textbooks and you live in an area filled with college students, then Facebook Marketplace might be a decent place to try to sell your textbooks. You might do better if you can bundle textbooks for a popular class. If you’re selling niche textbooks, finding a buyer might be harder. Plus, much like Craigslist, you’ll have to find a safe place to meet your buyer.

Visit Facebook Marketplace

Craigslist

Pros
  • Can sell textbooks the same day
  • No selling fees
Cons
  • Have to meet the buyer in person

When it comes to selling sites, Craigslist is one of the first places that comes to mind. You don’t have to pay money to sell textbooks on Craigslist, and buyers can pay you in cash or any other way you decide.

However, scams are common on Craigslist, and many sellers don’t feel comfortable meeting potential buyers. Plus, it may be hard to find buyers on Craigslist since it’s not the first place someone tends to look for textbooks.

Visit Craigslist

eBay

Pros
  • No limit on an item’s quality
  • May be easier to find customers
  • Money can be deposited via PayPal
Cons
  • Rewards sellers with a history of positive sales, so you may have trouble selling if you’re new to the platform
  • Will pay fees

Most people know that eBay is one of the best marketplaces no matter what you want to sell.

One of the downsides is that buyers often rely on a seller’s profile to decide if they want to purchase something from them. If you’re a new seller, then you may have trouble getting people to shop from you unless you offer serious discounts.

eBay may or may not charge a listing fee, depending on how many items you’ve listed before. If you do sell an item, they will charge a fee based on the item’s final sales price.

Visit eBay

How to choose the best places to sell textbooks

There’s no single place that you should rely on when trying to sell a textbook. Here are some questions to ask yourself when comparing different sites and services:

  • How quickly do I need to sell my book and get my money?
  • Will I have to pay any fees if I don’t sell my book?
  • Does it matter what kind of condition the book is in?
  • Is it easy for me to package and ship a book?
  • Does the book’s condition matter?
  • Do I have an easy way to get to a meeting place if I’m selling books in person?

It also depends on other factors. For example, do you have any packaging or shipping materials? If not, then buying those will cut into your profit margin. In this case, selling a book in person might be easier — and even more profitable.

FAQ

Where is the best place to sell textbooks?

The best place to sell your textbook depends on what kind of textbook you have, as well as your location. For example, if you’re in a vibrant college town, selling textbooks on Facebook Marketplace or Craiglist may be just as profitable as using a national site like eBay or Amazon.

What is the best app to sell textbooks?

The best app to sell textbooks depends on how much work you’re willing to put in. If you want to maximize your profits, then using the eBay app might be your best option. The eBay app has a 4.7 out of 5 rating on the Google Play Store and a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the Apple App Store.

If you just want to sell your books ASAP, then BookScouter might be the right pick for you. BookScouter is available both for desktops and mobile devices. It has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on the Google Play Store and a 4.3 out of 5 rating on the Apple App Store. You can use the app to scan the ISBN instead of having to type it in manually.

Is it worth trying to sell old textbooks?

Selling old textbooks could be a lucrative business — depending on the actual book. Some professors will still use older versions of textbooks in their classes, so there will be a market for those books.

In some cases, an old textbook won’t have a wide audience because newer editions have made the older ones obsolete. However, there are sites where you don’t have to pay a fee to list a textbook. You could create a listing and just wait until it’s sold.

Other ways for college students to make extra money

Of course, selling textbooks isn’t the only way to make extra cash. Here are some of our favorite side hustles:

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Best places to sell textbooks: bottom line

The best place to sell textbooks depends on how much work you’re willing to put in. BooksRun is a good choice, as is BookScouter if you just want to earn money quickly and don’t have time or energy to devote to selling.

But if you are patient, you could list your books on Amazon or eBay, where the selling fees are fairly low. If you price the textbook accordingly, you can sell it in a reasonable amount of time while making more money.

A good way to determine which route is the best choice for you is to create a spreadsheet and write down all your textbooks, including any nontraditional textbooks you have. Then compare prices from both third-party sites and direct sellers.

Methodology

The companies we chose for our best places to sell textbooks list may be current or past FinanceBuzz partners. We did not review all companies in the market. When evaluating these companies, we considered factors such as ease of use, payment speed, and shipping policies.

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Author Details

Zina Kumok Zina Kumok is a freelance personal finance writer specializing in student loans, credit, personal loans, mortgages, investing, and more. As a former newspaper reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four, and everything in between. She also paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years.