16+ Legit Ways to Sell Textbooks Online for Extra Cash (Plus Tips for Selling)

By: Rita Cunha | December 2, 2020

There’s something beautiful about a full, well-organized bookshelf. But are you going to read all the books you own, or are they just collecting dust? If you’re wanting to make room on your shelves, now could be a good time to declutter. You can sell textbooks and books you won’t use and make good money off it.

Let’s take a look at all the ways you can make money selling books online. Some websites will offer a better price quote than others, so it’s important to start hunting for the best deal!

How to Sell Textbooks and Books and Get Paid: Top 16 Online Platforms

There are a lot of ways to turn your old, used textbooks into cash. The easiest way is to work with a textbook buyback reseller. And while they all work a little differently, one thing stays the same: you’ll have to enter the ISBN for your notebook (that 10- or 13-digit number on the back cover, above the barcode) to find out how much you can get for it. 

These are your best options when it comes to selling textbooks for a profit:

1. BookScouter

BookScouter is the first platform you should visit when trying to sell your textbooks. Enter the ISBN number and BookScouter will tell you what reseller will give you the most money for it. This way, you know you’re always getting the best deal possible.

Once you find the best offer for your book, package it, and send it off to the right vendor. You’ll get your money in your PayPal account within days of them receiving it. You could also ask for a mailed check, which will take longer but will reach you nonetheless.

2. Decluttr

Another useful, helpful app is Decluttr. You can find it on the Google Play and Apple App Stores. Decluttr will take any old books and textbooks you have laying around the house. Knowing how much they’re worth is as easy as scanning a barcode or entering the ISBN number.

Besides Decluttr being a practical app, it will also give you top dollar for your books and textbooks. You could also sell tech, CDs, DVDs, and a lot more for a great buyback price. It’s worth checking out—you could be sitting on a lot of money.

3. Textbooks.com

You can give your old college textbooks a new life through Texbooks.com. This reseller gives you several price quotes to choose from so you can get what you think your items are worth. When you decide to sell, you just have to print a free shipping label, package your book, and drop it off at the post office. You should receive your PayPal money or mailed check soon after. It’s that simple.

4. CampusBooks

CampusBooks offers a very similar service. Enter the ISBN number of the college textbooks you want to sell, choose the buyback offer you find most attractive, and ship off your book to the reseller. You won’t even have to spend money mailing your parcel to CampusBooks and then waiting for a refund. They’ll provide you with a free label you can print off your computer.

5. BookFinder.com

Don’t judge a book by its cover—or, in this case, don’t judge a website by its layout. Although BookFinder.com looks old-fashioned, the company offers a great reselling service. Not only will they buy back your college and high school textbooks, but they’ll also resell those novels and cookbooks you have collecting dust on your shelves. Plus, shipping with them is as easy as can be.

6. BookByte

BookByte is yet another of these reseller websites. They do all the work of shipping and finding buyers for you. You’ll only have to worry about securing the most lucrative offer and mailing off your books. Simple, right?

7. eBay

If you’d rather sell to a student directly, eBay is the right platform for you. There’s a lot of demand for high school and college books as soon as the academic year starts, so start preparing your listing in late summer. Include the particular title of the book you’re selling, attach some clear pictures, and arrange the payment conditions with the buyer. It’s more work than going through a reseller, but you can fetch a higher price.

8. AbeBooks

AbeBooks is a giant online bookseller. They’ve been around for a long time and are known for finding new homes for used books.

You’ll have to sign up for a “professional book reseller” account, which has a monthly fee. But if you want to build a side hustle with used books, AbeBooks is the place for that. You’ll be asked to enter the ISBN number on the back cover to see how much that book is going for. You can sell all types of books you can imagine—from textbooks to antique books. If you have a lot of books to sell, AbeBooks can help you make a pretty coin.

9. Cash4Books.net

Cash4Books has a pretty self-explanatory name: it pays you for every book or textbook you sell. Their buyback program is similar to that of other resellers mentioned in this article. Enter the ISBN, lock in the best offer, ship your books using a prepaid shipping label to FedEx or USPS, and receive your money!

10. Valore Books

If you have a lot of books to sell, Valore Books will be your friend. They let you list dozens of books with as few clicks as possible. You can take advantage of their liquidation program to fetch the best price for your stacks. They’re known for paying fairly and handling things so you don’t have to worry after your parcel is shipped.

11. Barnes & Noble

You may not know this, but Barnes & Noble also has a textbook buyback program. The retail giant has been in the college textbook reselling market for a while and is trusted by sellers and buyers alike. The only catch is your books have to be worth at least $10 for B&N to take them on. Once you sell them, you will get cash but you can request to get store credit instead.

12. Blue Rectangle

With Blue Rectangle, selling is as easy as a few clicks and a drive to the post office. They handle everything for you and even include a free shipping label for your package. You can also check what reseller will give you the most lucrative offer, so you’re never missing out.

13. Comic Books Classifieds

Have dozens of comic books laying around? You could make good money selling them to comic book lovers. Comic Books Classifieds is the platform to use to rehome your collection. Post a listing and wait for offers to come in. The most sought-after titles are collector’s editions and issues in pristine condition. So make sure to include good pictures of your comics and a short description of their condition!

14. Amazon

Of course, Amazon has to be on this list. Not everyone knows that just about anyone can sell second-hand books and textbooks on the Amazon marketplace. It’s actually fairly easy. Plus, since so many college students go on Amazon to find cheaper deals for the textbooks they’ll need, your listing has a great chance of being viewed. The better the pictures you include, the more money you’re likely going to get from your books and textbooks!

15. Half Price Books

Half Price Books focuses on selling second-hand books for—you guessed it—a bargain price. They depend on people like you who have books and textbooks they don’t need anymore which are cluttering their shelves. While Half Price Books isn’t spread out over all 50 states, you can sell your items to them online. 

If you walk into one of their stores and they agree to buy your books, you’ll get cash on the spot. This is especially convenient if you don’t have (and don’t want to have) a PayPal account. You could also get store credit from your sale if that’s more your thing.

16. Powell’s Books

Lastly, we’re including Powell’s Books, an online and brick-and-mortar bookshop that’s been open since 1971. They sell books of all kinds, from novels to cookbooks and beyond. Although they’re based in Oregon, they work with resellers across the country. So if you have a book you want to sell, Powell’s is a great place to check out.

By entering the ISBN of the book on their page, you’ll see how much Powell’s is willing to give you for it. If you agree to the buyback price, ship your book to them (for free!) and you’ll get money in your PayPal account very soon. You can get store credit instead if you’d rather have a gift card.

Sell Your Used Books and Textbooks Locally

You don’t have to go online to sell textbooks and used books. You could sell them directly to students who will need them in your area. While this may be a little more time-consuming, you get to keep 100% of the buyback price. Plus, you don’t have to worry about standing in line at the post office.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is full of stuff users don’t want anymore. It’s one of the first places college students on a budget check to get their textbooks for cheaper. If you create a listing with the title and pictures of the old textbooks you want to sell, your chances of finding the right customer are pretty good. Plus, you don’t have to pay a fee to list your items on Facebook Marketplace, which means more money in your pocket.

Craigslist

Craigslist is another great reselling tool. List your textbooks and used books through the app or on the desktop website and wait. When a buyer types in the particular title of the book you’re selling, your listing will show up and they can contact you. Then, all you have to do is arrange payment terms and how you’re going to make the exchange. Easy, right?

Local Second-Hand Book Stores

You have nothing to lose by visiting a local second-hand bookstore and asking if they want to buy your old textbooks. Chances are they’ll consider it and make you an offer on the spot. You could walk away with hard cash in your hand. 

Your College Bookstore

If none of these platforms worked for you, walk into your college bookstore and ask how much they’ll give you for your books. College bookstores have a reputation for lowballing offers, so you should only go there after checking all the other resources listed in this article.

How to Sell Textbooks and Used Books for More Money: 5 Must-Follow Tips

Now you know what resellers will make you offers for your books. But how can you make sure you’re getting the most money possible from the deal? Here are five tips to help you make that extra cash you need.

1. Be Honest About Your Book’s Condition

Never lie about your book’s condition. If it’s annotated, has creases on the cover, is damaged by a sticker that won’t come off, or is an international edition, make sure to disclose that. If the reseller states on the FAQs they don’t handle anything but used textbooks in good condition, don’t try to sneak your beat-up copy past them. It’s not worth the trouble.

2. Upload Good Pictures to the Listing

If you’re creating a listing yourself, include good pictures of the book cover. Buyers are attracted to (and will pay better for) clean pictures taken in good lighting, so keep that in mind.

3. Use Tags and Categories to Your Advantage

Make sure you’re including the specific title of the textbook in the title or description. Also, include relevant tags and categories to your listings to ensure you get a better offer.

4. Always Check for Better Offers

Never agree to a buyback price before doing some price comparison. Some websites will lowball you so they can keep most of the margins—don’t let them! 

5. Ship Your Parcels Carefully!

When sending your used books and textbooks out, make sure to package them correctly. Don’t wrestle them into too-small shipping boxes, and make sure the shipping label is well pasted on and won’t come off during shipping. Also, be sure to drop off the parcel at the post office within the time limit your reseller gives you to avoid delays in the payment.

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