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7 Sites to Buy, Sell and Rent Textbooks Online (and on the Cheap)

Oct. 11, 2013
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7 Sites to Buy, Sell and Rent Textbooks Online
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When it comes to college, students are always finding ways to penny pinch and save their money. However, one of the biggest financial stresses for students is the amount they have to pay for textbooks they need for their courses that they rarely use or only use for a short time period. Thankfully, online marketplaces to rent or buy and resell textbooks have blossomed, allowing students to share resources across campuses and grades.

Should you buy or rent your textbooks?

Although renting books is an option to lessen the cost for students, buying used books is another way to reduce the amount of money students dish out for their course books. Not only does it reduce costs, but, unlike renting, students can have their used books for an unlimited amount of time – if you drop your class and decide to take it another semester, you don’t have to re-rent the book.

Along with that, used books tend to be more in stock compared to new books. This allows more students to have access to the books and save money. Another benefit of buying used textbooks is that students can resell them and earn cash back.

Two websites, and CampusBooks, let you compare the cost of renting and owning a textbook. They can break down the total cost of renting versus buying, and factor in shipping costs as well.

Where to find cheap textbooks

Thanks to the need for cheaper textbooks, online websites that sell used books have blossomed on the Web tremendously. With many online websites that sell used books, students have a wide range of venues to choose from and save more on textbooks for their classes. Whether an avid reader looking for leisure books or a graduate student looking to find cheaper reference books, these seven sites can help with saving money on books.


With up to 95% off textbooks, offers a wide variety of college textbooks at affordable, jawdropping prices. Used books are sold at, and the company also offers a selling venue when you’re finished with your textbooks. provides tips to finding the cheapest textbooks on its website, such as finding an older edition of a book instead of buying the new edition.

2. Chegg

Save up to 90% on used textbooks through Chegg’s website. This website provides eTextbooks as well and allows up to 80% of savings on them. With both eTextbooks and used textbooks on its website, Chegg provides both convenience and incredible savings for students. Not only is Chegg a site for buying, renting, and selling textbooks, but it’s also a community that helps students who need study help for their courses.

3. AbeBooks

AbeBooks offers 50% to 90% on textbooks and provides free shipping as well on most books to cut costs for students. From academic to reference books, AbeBooks gives students a wide selection of books to choose from. The site also presents a collection of classical literature books for leisure reading or academic reading. AbeBooks’ Textbook Buyback allows students to sell their books for cash.


As a partner of eBay, the world-renowned auction site, is a conveninent book-selling site that automatically links with students’ eBay accounts, if they have one. Students can search through for various books and their conditions, which can range from new to acceptable. This feature allows students to choose the specific condition they want their textbooks to be in. also has a collection of books besides textbooks, such as graphic novels, fiction, and crafts.

5. Affordabook

From novels to textbooks, Affordabook is filled with a medley of books for leisure and study. Once students register for an account on Affordabook, they can manage their newsletter preferences and be notified when a book is available for them. Affordabook extends its convenient site for students by providing a discount list for students to browse through and find even more savings for their books.

6. Amazon

As one of the top e-commerce sites on the Web, Amazon has become more college student friendly by providing a used textbook service for them. Students can find up to 90% off used textbooks. Along with used textbooks, Amazon offers 40% off new textbooks and 80% off eTextbooks. When students are finished using their textbooks, they can swap them for an Amazon gift card and receive free two-day shipping when they join Amazon Student.


At, students can find a wide selection of books, from rare to used. also provides price comparison services to bring the best deals to its students. With, students around the world can find books for their courses, since the website refines its search system with destination and currency. The site can also be viewed in a variety of languages, such as Dutch and Spanish.

Even though these seven sites offer magnificent savings on textbooks and other books, there are more ways to save when buying books. When students buy used books online, it can be easy to overlook the shipping and handling costs, which can add up quickly. Find sites that offer free shipping on every order or on a certain amount of orders. This can lower the amount of money spent on books and reduce financial stress. Looking for regular reading books or novels? Some sites and stores offer a bargain section that offer great savings on books. For example, Barnes & Nobles has a bargain book section that provides fiction books under $5. Although it takes a time to research for cheap books, it benefits in the long run as students and readers can save hundreds of dollars and resell their books for cash back. There’s no need to pay full price on any book – go on the cheaper route and save on books that most likely will be used for a short time period.