Where to Buy, Sell and Rent College Textbooks

It’s usually cheapest to rent textbooks rather than buy them, but make sure you compare prices from multiple sellers.
Updated
Profile photo of Anna Helhoski
Written by Anna Helhoski
Senior Writer
Profile photo of Des Toups
Edited by Des Toups
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
7 Sites to Buy, Sell and Rent Textbooks Online

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

MORE LIKE THISLoansStudent loans

Whether you need traditional or digital textbooks, you can buy or rent them from multiple sources.

Textbooks, like supplies and other college expenses, are considered part of your cost of attendance. That means you can use your student loans to pay for them. But before you dip into your loans or your college budget, find the cheapest option.

Top Private Student Loan Lenders

Ad

Best Private Student LoanOverall

5.0

/5

NerdWallet rating

Fixed APR

3.99-17.99%

Variable APR

5.59-17.99%

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

on College Ave's

on Credible

4.5

/5

NerdWallet rating

Fixed APR

4.15-15.49%

Variable APR

5.37-15.70%

Min. credit score

Mid-600's

on Sallie Mae's

on Credible

Is it better to rent or buy college books?

Students at four-year colleges spent an average $1,240 on books and supplies for the 2021-22 school year, according to the College Board. You can keep your costs low by renting a book instead of buying it.

Buying used books and reselling them when you no longer need them is a way to reduce your upfront costs and get cash back later. If the textbook is common or used every year or every semester, you’re more likely to resell it.

Whether you rent or buy a used book, find out from your teacher if an older edition is acceptable. Sometimes old versions might not include everything needed for your course.

Options to buy, sell and rent textbooks online

You have plenty of options when it comes to places to buy, sell and rent your textbooks, but buying online is the easiest way to compare prices. Search by title, by author or with the codes that identify specific book editions, known as ISBNs. When buying online, factor in shipping, handling and taxes to the total cost. These sites are good places to start.

  • AbeBooks.com users can save up to 90% on textbooks, many of which have free shipping. The site works with TextbookRush to buyback books for cash.

  • Amazon users save up to 90% on textbooks and can access free two-day shipping with Prime Student. You can buy, sell or rent ebooks and textbooks and make returns within 30 days for a refund. You may get a new or used textbook, based on availability.

  • BooksRun.com users can buy, sell or rent textbooks and ebooks. You can save up to 90% buying or renting ebooks, and shipping is free on all orders.

  • CampusBooks.com is a marketplace for new and used textbook rentals from various online vendors, at up to 90% off. Compare book prices using its “Buy vs. Rent” feature. Users get free shipping for renting and returning.

  • CheapestTextbooks.com users can get up to 95% off new and used textbooks and 70% off rental books. You can also sell books and ship for free.

  • Chegg customers can save up to 90% on textbooks and ebooks. Buy or rent books with 21-day risk-free returns in case you drop or switch classes. You also get free shipping on orders over $35.

No matter where you get your books, compare multiple stores and online marketplaces to get the lowest prices.

Get pre-qualified in just 3 minutes with Credible
Check multiple student loan lenders to get accurate, pre-qualified rates with no impact to your credit score.

Powered by

Spot your saving opportunities
See your spending breakdown to show your top spending trends and where you can cut back.