The Top 5 Sites To Find Your College Textbooks
Whatsapp Pinterest

As a college student, I would have to say that for me the most difficult part of financing higher education is tuition. Going to a private institution, and even a public institution, can be a very expensive life cost. Fortunately, there are scholarships and grants scattered all over the place just waiting for students to take advantage of.

With that taken care of, the second most difficult finance in college is textbooks. Textbooks can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per semester. For the average undergraduate college student that could amount to approximately $5,000 just for textbooks! As with tuition, there are great opportunities to save a lot of money on textbooks and my favorite methods live online.

These are my top 5 sites for buying, selling, trading, or renting college textbooks :


college-textbooks-online-half is a subsidiary of eBay which is basically eBay without the bidding aspect. It predominantly focuses on person-to-person or business-to-person sales of books/textbooks, movies, music, and games/game systems which makes it a perfect choice for those who are interested in selling an old textbook or buying one used on the cheap.

Textbook listings give all the necessary information about the text and sorts copies for sale by quality. They also make it a breeze to list a book simply by entering the ISBN number. charges a 15% commission to sellers and uses the eBay feedback system for user ratings so you can decide which sellers to trust.



Amazon is one of the biggest, most respected, and most trusted online merchants so it would make sense that it would be a great choice for buying and selling new and used textbooks. Amazon’s textbook section is very identical to They charge the same 15% commission for textbooks and pay shipping costs to the seller. However, it may be a bit more difficult than to sift through used books. This would be a great choice if you are familiar with and enjoy the Amazon shopping experience.



Chegg has a very interesting business model. They rent textbooks rather than sell. This makes getting a hold of textbooks much cheaper and you don’t have to deal with selling them or holding on to them after you are done with the book.

Chegg is the Netflix of textbooks. How it works is simple. You go to the site and select the textbooks you need. You pay the one-time rental price for each book and pay for them to ship it to you. You then keep the book until you are finished with it or you have the option to purchase the book later. When you are finished with the book, revisit the site and you can print out a shipping label for the books you want to send back and you ship them back to Chegg. It’s as easy as that!

4. Socialbib

[NO LONGER WORKS] Socialbib is perhaps the most interesting way to get the textbooks you need while getting rid of the ones you don’t. This site allows you to “trade” books with other “traders.” How this works is you create an account on the site. By default, you have one credit. Credits earn you free books. To gain credits you give away your old textbooks.

So you are essentially trading books for FREE although it isn’t the same person you are getting a book from as the one you are giving a book to but in the end it works out. It is a great idea for saving cash and is worth a try.


college-textbooks-online-rakuten (formerly is another great online-only retailer with a great discount textbook section. is similar to Amazon in that they sell just about everything from baby things to sports. They have highly competitive pricing and discounts and pretty much takes any form of payment including Google Checkout and Paypal.

Not only do they have great prices on products, they provide inexpensive shipping, and they even compare their prices to the prices of leading competitors so you know you’re getting a good deal.

Don’t forget you’ll need something to put all those books in. Check out the best backpacks for college students The Best Backpacks for College Students With Laptops The Best Backpacks for College Students With Laptops We know there's a lot of choices out there, so we've rounded up the seven best backpacks for college students with laptops. Read More .

How do you get your textbooks each semester? Let us know in the comments.

Explore more about: Education Technology, Reading, Save Money.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Mike
    March 29, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Always use It compares prices from every site so you can pick the cheapest.

  2. Meghan
    October 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    BIGWORDSSSSSSS my favvvve. It compares prices from all of the sites you listed!

    • Tayia Jeffrey
      November 20, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      When you received your books, were they in good condition?

  3. Tracy
    December 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm is the best place I found it is pretty new but works awesomely fine

  4. William
    January 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    One of the best places I have found to purchase textbooks is Uloop [Broken Link Removed] -- They connect students with other students so all transactions are local, which means you don't have to worry about shipping anything. Also, unlike Amazon & eBay they don't take a cut. This means books are cheaper (buyer) as well as more profitable (seller).

  5. steve
    October 19, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I also use - they are like the Craigslist for used textbooks.

  6. Kara
    August 13, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Try this website. People can rent from them too. Saves a lot of money!!!

  7. Samara
    July 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm
  8. Ryan
    July 10, 2009 at 7:05 pm classified ads is a wonderful site for buying and selling cheap items such as college textbooks. I was in need of cheap textbooks and while I was doing a search, I ran across I was definately impressed with the selection of items on the site. There are so many people that are selling their stuff on sites like these for cheaper prices because they just want to get rid of these textbooks and get some money to buy more books for the next semester. College students are in need of money and textbook flipping is a main source of income. I would highly recommend you guys to check out listamillion classified ads.

  9. shannon
    July 6, 2009 at 8:53 am is another great site for quick price comparison.

  10. Cheap Bob
    February 1, 2009 at 5:06 am

    When buying cheap textbooks online pick your shipping carefully, Media Mail is cheap but can take up to 4 weeks. I like

  11. green
    January 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I would suggest using
    Save Money, Save The Planet specializes in the recycling of textbooks, DVDs, CDs. Buying used textbooks not only saves you money, but cuts down on greenhouse gases caused by the manufacturing of new textbooks.
    With you're not only saving trees, you are saving some green.

  12. Curt
    December 31, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I like using to find my books they have fast comparisons and good prices.

    Other ways I've saved on buying textbooks - check out some of the student to student swap sites listed and on the web to cut out the middle man. Go to the library and see if they have a copy on reserve. Look for older versions of the textbook which are usually much cheaper and almost exactly the same. As another user textbooks can also save you money.

  13. Wes
    November 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    That is why I created An easy way to find college textbooks that other students have already completed courses for. Students are automatically matched with each other to trade textbooks for classes they have completed. Trade, Swap, sell, or buy college textbooks from other students. Search the book database, contact the student at your home campus, city, state, or nationwide about the book and save money.

  14. AttmayMB61489
    September 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Chegg sounded like a great idea. Not having to worry about selling textbooks at the end of the semester sounds great! The prices are pretty good, for the most part. I decided to rent two books (ones I know I didn't want to keep after the return date). One was here very quickly. The other one is floating out in Cheggville somewhere. It was "supposed" to be here five days ago, but the other was here two weeks ago (did I mention they were ordered on the same day?)!! I may try to use them ONE more semester, but if Chegg fails again, I cannot tolerate it! I need the books! I'll update when I know more.

  15. Bobby
    August 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    A good website to checkout for the best prices on college textbooks is Valore also has a page explaining all the options you have when buying your textbooks. Heres the link to that page:

  16. Ramone
    August 23, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    end of story

  17. GB
    August 23, 2008 at 7:40 am

    offers the most thorough price comparisons on the web and includes pricing from at least three of the sites mentiond in the post

  18. Brandon
    August 22, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Don't forget about comparing prices when you go to sell the books back. The campus bookstore typically offers you a lowball price. You can get twice as much, or more by selling it to the right place. Use to compare prices from all of the websites that buy used books.

  19. Marquitus
    August 21, 2008 at 9:48 pm
  20. Dave S.
    August 21, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I'm sorry, but is the best. I bought international textbooks (not illegal, by the way!) and saved literally hundreds of dollars each term. Where else can you get quality physics and engineering textbooks for 30 bucks?

  21. Megan
    August 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I used this semester, and it did exactly what I needed: quickly compared prices at lots of bookstores (including shipping), and presented coupon codes for the bookstores that had them. I also created a price alert because my Biology book was ridiculously expensive, so I'm hoping to snag it when the price drops (hopefully soon, classes start next week!).

  22. Paul
    August 21, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    I honestly Can't believe wasn't listed. I don't mean to be too supportive of the last commenter but until you use it, you have no idea what you are missing. It calculates the shipping into the price. You can rent books and buy international copies that have lower list prices! Huge heads up to Nick for missing this resource. Try every one of those resources and then see how they compare. I prrrooommmmiiissseeeee, it's the best way to cut corners on college spending.

    • Evan
      August 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm

      FOR REALZ!! no better one out there! is simply the best service for textbook buying no doubt!

  23. Evan Perry
    August 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I've allways used and i've found them to be the better of all of these sites, cause its a one stop shop place where i can get all my books at great prices! The reason they're the best is that they compare many items at once, and calculate the best combination of stores to buy at, including coupons and shipping. They also let you include or exclude international editions, and they let you choose the ship time and then calculate the lowest price using the right shipping type at every store.

  24. KS
    August 21, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I have always just gotten them through the state's library system. You can always check them out there! For free! I didn't pay for a book my entire senior year!

    • jc
      October 3, 2008 at 8:38 pm

      Hi KS, Can you provide more detail when you say the "state's library system". Is that the same as saying our local public library?? You said you checked them out for free but how long were you able to keep the book? I'm not certain what you mean or how to go about doing this the right way or the way that you did. Please explain! Thanks!

  25. Anonymous
    August 21, 2008 at 12:17 pm is the best I have found, automatically querying the top websites selling/renting textbooks and displaying their respective prices (as well as shipping charges) for easy comparison. The above are great, along with and, but why search several sites when one will do all of the legwork for you?