20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks

By Lynn Truong on 6 September 2013 (Updated 8 July 2014) 1 comment

When I went to college, I bought my textbooks at the college bookstore and sold them back to the same bookstore. These days, though, there are tons of places to buy or even rent textbooks. You don't need to spend a fortune on them. (See also: Score Free (or Almost Free) College Textbooks)

1. Amazon Student

Amazon offers new, used, rentals, and eTextbooks, and you get up to 70% back when you sell your books back. Sign up for Amazon Student to get Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students. (See also: Big List of Student Discounts)

2. Chegg

With Chegg, you don't just get an online store to rent or buy textbooks at up to 80% off, you get a community that will help you with your schedule, homework, and more. Get 24/7 online study help, see reviews and ratings on courses from other students, and then sell your textbooks back when you're done with them. 

3. CourseSmart

CourseSmart offers eTextbooks and eResources, which can save you up to 60% off the price of print textbooks. Save even more with their subscription packs.

4. CampusBookRentals

CampusBookRentals allows you to find textbooks for rent. Shipping is free both ways, and you can even write and highlight in them. You can decide to keep the book — you'd pay the difference between the purchase and rental price. Lastly, you can sign up to rent out your own copy of a book and make money!

5. eCampus

eCampus gives you the option to rent, buy, or sell textbooks. They also have a rewards program that allows you to earn points for purchasing, renting, selling, and sharing on social media. These points can be redeemed for dollars off your next order.

6. BookRenter

Rent or buy textbooks at BookRenter, where shipping for rentals is free both ways (they also have RapidReturn drop-off locations).

7. CengageBrain

CengageBrain offers eBooks, single eChapters, study tools, and homework solutions in addition to textbooks for rent or purchase. Students can also get FREE 7 day eBook access to their purchases while the print versions are being shipped. (See also: Extra Income Opportunity: Online Tutoring)

8. Bookbyte

Rent, buy, or sell textbooks at Bookbyte. They also offer a 10% cash rebate on the return of all textbook rentals.

9. Textbookx

Textbookx not only offers new and used textbooks for sale or rent, they also offer bestselling books like "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "The Great Gatsby."

10. TextbookStop

At TextbookStop, you can rent new or used textbooks or buy used textbooks. You can also sell your used textbooks. They have drop-off locations, too, where you can pick up or drop off your rentals, as well as sell your own textbooks.

11. Textbooks

At Textbooks, you can buy, rent, or sell used textbooks (they'll give you a free shipping label). They also offer eTextbooks. Get textbooks at up to 90% off, and they have a generous 30-day no hassle return policy.

12. BookFinder

At BookFinder, search through their database of over 100,000 booksellers and 60+ websites worldwide for the best price on any textbooks on your shopping list.

13. Alibris

Alibris offers a wide selection of textbooks for sale and rental (as well as rare popular and rare books, music, and movies). Save up to 80% off list price. They offer new, used, and international edition textbooks. Return rentals for free.

14. AbeBooks

AbeBooks offer new and used textbooks, and they have recently introduced a rental service. Get free shipping on textbooks!

15. TextbookRush

Buy new or used, or find rentals at TextbookRush. In addition to buying directly from they, they offer a marketplace where you can find other sellers for the books you need.

16. CampusBooks

CampusBooks allows you to compare prices on textbooks for sale or rent on various sites. You can also compare prices on various sites for offers on textbooks you want to sell.

17. Bigwords

Bigwords go further than your average price-comparison search engine. Enter in all the books you need, and they will compare every combination of items at every store, take into consideration shipping and all promotions to show you the best possible price, including any applicable coupons.

18. Direct Textbook

Direct Textbook is a search engine that will show you all the available offerings (whether rental, used, or new) on any book you need. They also search libraries and offer a price alert to keep you updated on any special deals.

19. ValoreBooks

ValoreBooks is a marketplace where students can buy or rent cheap textbooks from over 18,000 verified sellers and rental providers who compete to provide the absolute lowest prices. In addition to textbooks, you can also sell back iPhones, iPads, DVDs/CDs, and video games.

20. Blue Rocket Books

Blue Rocket Books is a search engine that displays offers from other sites for any book you need, whether buying new, buying used, or renting. They also buy back books directly.

What's your favorite discount textbook resource?

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These are all great places, I personally prefer Amazon marketplace for my textbooks.