Paying for college is getting increasingly expensive. When you think you’re done paying for room and board, you still have school supplies to worry about!
However, if there’s one thing you can do to save a ton of cash, it’s buying used textbooks. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a book you’ll likely only ever use once?
Check out this ultimate guide for the best places to buy used textbooks.
Save up to 90% on used textbooks with BIGWORDS! This site helps you compare the prices for all online textbook stores at once, so you can find the best and most affordable option for you and your family.
Basically, it calculates every option you have in terms of deals from different sellers (plus shipping and handling), so you can see which sellers to buy from and how to save the most money.
You can also use BIGWORDS to sell your textbooks when you’re done with them at the end of the year. There are tons of ways you can use this helpful site! Check it out here.
AllBookstores is another great used textbook price comparison site. Here, you can compare prices from more than 3,000 online bookstores and sellers. You can buy new or used textbooks, and renting a book is also an option.
This also isn’t a website strictly for textbooks; you can find anything from fiction to cookbooks for all your reading needs. Of course, at the end of the semester, you can use AllBookstores to sell them back! Check it out here.
At eCampus, there are loads of ways for you to make the most out of your textbooks! For starters, shipping is free with orders over $35, and you can even customize your orders for how long you want to rent out your textbooks.
Plus, you can highlight up to a third of your rented textbook, and you can write in it — as long as it’s not excessive.
While eCampus is mainly for temporarily renting textbooks, you have the option to purchase if that’s what you want! Check it out here.
With BetterWorldBooks, you’re guaranteed a satisfactory experience when it comes to buying the textbooks you need.
In case you don’t have your book’s information, the site makes it really easy to find anything you’re looking for. You can find dozens of categories in the search bar, ranging from architecture books to travel books, and you can even buy CDs!
They have standard free shipping, along with all sorts of rewards systems and gift certificates to make getting used textbooks in the future even easier. Check it out here.
Study cheaper with Campus Book Rentals! This site has helped over 1 million students save money on used textbooks and make education more affordable.
You have the option to rent a new or used textbook, and the site also has a support team you can call at any time to get the best value out of your books. If you’re done with a textbook, Campus Book Rentals will help you sell it too! Check it out here.
Cengage works a little differently from these other booksellers. Of course, they have the traditional option of renting used textbooks for a certain period of time, but in my opinion, they also offer something more interesting.
For just $69.99 a semester (which is basically the price of one textbook), you get access to 14,000 digital textbooks, study guides, and test prep sheets through their program Cengage Unlimited eTextbook.
Online textbooks plus supplementary materials sound like a good deal to me! Check it out here.
For 25 years, AbeBooks has been helping college students save big on used textbooks. A good part of their textbook selection comes from independent booksellers, and many are even local bookstores in your area!
AbeBooks also boasts some of the cheapest prices on the market. Some used copies have even sold for $1 plus shipping!
AbeBooks even has some art, collectible, and even rare editions of textbooks, if that’s of interest to you.
I’m totally down to buy a cool edition of a textbook I need while also supporting a local independent bookseller! Check it out here.
BookFinder wants to help you have the most affordable education possible, and the first step is saving up to hundreds of dollars on textbooks. The site has up to 150 million books for sale, including new, used, rare, and out-of-print editions.
You can find books from booksellers in over 50 countries, as well as books written in English, French, German, Italian, and Dutch.
I’d recommend BookFinder if you plan on studying abroad anytime soon; they clearly cater to international audiences! Check it out here.
You can also find some great deals for used textbooks on Amazon! Their philosophy is that by saving big on textbooks, you have money left for the real-life lessons that matter.
The site is super organized, so you can find what you need more easily (categories range from computers and internet to engineering), and you can even find some test preps and study guides!
Plus, if you have younger siblings or know some school-aged children, Amazon also offers some K-12 practice worksheets.
You can also get the textbooks as a Kindle option, and if you join Prime Student, you get free 2-day shipping! Check it out here.
It’s no surprise that the biggest booksellers in America also have you covered if you need used textbooks. The site has millions of textbooks to choose from, with some even selling for as low as 70% off.
Barnes & Noble also guarantees high-quality books with no stains or missing pages, and this even applies to their available study guides and workbooks. You have the option of buying new or used textbooks, and you can sell your own! Check it out here.
Chegg is one of the most established used booksellers on the internet, so you’re bound to find what you need.
Save up to 90% on Chegg’s enormous inventory of used textbooks. You also get free shipping if you spend $45 or more!
Another great thing about Chegg is all the other benefits the site offers to help further your education. They have study materials, tutors, and even an internship-finding center! Check it out here.
Half Price Books has hundreds of millions of books, music, movies, and anything else you’re looking to save money on buying!
The site has a large network of independent booksellers (yay for small businesses!) that are ready to offer you competitive and affordable deals on the materials you need.
Half Price Books has some in-person locations, but it’s totally easy to find books on their online marketplace too.
Every single used textbook comes with detailed information about the book’s condition, so rest assured you’re getting your money’s worth! Check it out here.
Make the most out of buying your used textbooks by using Alibris! The site has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and affordable shipping.
At Alibris, you buy your books from independent sellers worldwide who must maintain a strict code of service to continue collaborating with the site.
With over 170 million available books on the site, you’re bound to find what you need at a reasonable price! Check it out here.
eBayWho doesn’t love finding a good deal on eBay? At eBay, you know exactly where your money is going as well as the quality of your products. There are millions of options available, and eBay has tons of different deals every day to help you save!
Plus, the site is extremely well organized; you can find tabs for just about anything, including publication year, condition, price, and buying format. Check it out here.
BookScouter is designed so you can do the least amount of work possible. It makes shopping for your used textbooks a stress-free endeavor.
With just one click, you’ll be connected to tons of online companies with the book you need so you can find the best deal.
They’ve also got you covered when it comes to selling your textbooks when the time comes. With their high standards for both the books they sell and the books they take, you know you’ll get your money’s worth with this reliable site! Check it out here.
Thrift Books is so great, it’s been helping me save forever! It has its own site, but Thrift Books also sells through Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks, and other bookselling websites.
They have all kinds of deals and rewards if you create an account, and you can even buy music and video games!
You also get free shipping on any order over $10. That’s a steal! Check it out here.
Powell’s Books has been in business since 1971. They’ve been helping people save for 50 years now! They have tons of used textbooks, and their prices are seriously affordable.
The website is super easy to navigate, and Powell’s Books customer service will make sure you have the best possible experience. Check it out here.
Book Depository is a fantastic international bookseller. They offer millions of books with free worldwide shipping — no minimum spending fee required!
Along with English, Book Depository has books written in French, German, Polish, Italian, Finnish, and Spanish.
And if you’re looking for other books to read, you can check out their Bargain Shop for all of the latest deals! Check it out here.
Goodwill Books is another great and affordable selection of used textbooks. The site doesn’t have a textbook option over $25!
Goodwill Books has booksellers all over the country, and every purchase goes to providing free job services and career development support to the community. It’s always a good idea to shop at Goodwill and help somebody out! Check it out here.
Book Outlet is such a great resource for buying books! Shipping is free after a $35 purchase, and they have deals up to 90% off.
Book Outlet doesn’t have a single textbook that costs above $20, and every book is guaranteed to come in good condition.
You can also look on their website to find all the records of Book Outlet’s book donations. I always feel good knowing I’m supporting an ethical business! Check it out here.
Hopefully, this list gives you an idea of where to get started to find some great deals on used textbooks.
Final Thoughts on Used Textbooks
College bookstores usually drastically inflate their prices, and it really doesn’t make a difference whether or not somebody owned your textbook before. You’re still getting a good education!
Besides, it’s pretty easy to sell your textbooks once you don’t need them anymore, so you’ll likely be getting money back at the end of the semester. Used textbooks have so many financial benefits, you’ll be learning and saving all year long!
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