30 Places to Buy, Sell and Trade Books Online

Published Sep 05, 2008

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Shopping at the local bookstore is becoming increasingly expensive. If you're a voracious reader--or a college student--the smartest thing you can do is develop a go-to list of websites where you can buy, sell and trade books online. This article will get you started by providing you with a list of the 30 best places to buy, sell and trade books and textbooks on the Web.


Buy Books

The following websites are great places to buy inexpensive books online. In most cases, both new and used books are available. Sites that are marked with an asterisk allow users to buy and sell books.

  • AbeBooks* - There are nearly 14,000 sellers selling 110 million books on AbeBooks. Abe booksellers guarantee the condition of the books purchased and ship directly to the buyer. Buyers also benefit from a 30 day money back guarantee.
  • Alibris* - Book buyers have access to more than 60 million new, used and out of print books and textbooks at Alibris. Free shipping or discounted shipping is available on most titles.
  • Amazon.com* - You have to be living under a rock to not know about Amazon.com. It had to be put on the list though. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to buy inexpensive books online.
  • Biblio* - More than 5,500 booksellers sell used, rare and out of print books and textbooks through Biblio. The site has excellent customer service, amazing prices and a solid reputation. The company also donates a portion of their profits to literacy causes.
  • BookFinder - You can't buy books on BookFinder, but you can compare prices on more than 150 million books for sale through 150,000 booksellers. The site's search engine allows users to look for new books, used books, rare books, textbooks and out-of-print books.
  • Buy.com - Buy.com's online bookstore is a great place to find new books at a low price. The site offers free shipping and 10 percent off Amazon pricing on more than 900,000 titles.
  • Campus Books* - This site offers more than 8 million new and used textbooks at up to 95 percent off the cover price. The average student saves 61 percent. Campus Books also provides a free comparison service so you can be confident you are getting the best price.
  • Cheap Books - Cheap Books is a lot like BookFinder. You can't buy books, but you can see which vendor is offering the lowest price on the books you want. Cheap Books also provides links to coupons to save you extra money.
  • Half.com* - This ebay site has millions of new and used books for sale. Buyers can compare prices and shipping costs before making a commitment. They can also check out feedback ratings to see which Half.com sellers are reputable and which aren't.
  • Powells* - Powells is the largest independent bookseller in the world. They offer a wide selection of new books, used books, rare books and textbooks at fair prices.

Sell Books

If you want to make some quick cash from your used books, you'll definitely want to check out these websites. Each site offers a fair price for used books, free shipping and guaranteed payment.

  • Blue Rectangle - Blue Rectangle has an excellent book buyback program. Sellers simply enter an ISBN number, agree on a price and ship the book or textbook to Blue Rectangle. The site provides a postage-paid mailing label, which means shipping is free for the seller.
  • Book Scouter - You can't sell books on Book Scouter, but you can find out which book buyer will give you the best price. Book Scouter searches all available sites to see what they are willing to pay for the book you enter into their search engine. The service is absolutely free; no registration required. (Best suited to textbook sellers.)
  • BookByte - Widely considered to be one of the best places to sell books online, BookByte sends payment within five days of receiving your books. The site pays for all shipping costs and offers instant quotes on popular books and textbooks.
  • BooksIntoCash - This site is designed specifically for people who want to sell used textbooks. BooksIntoCash offers no obligation price quotes, fast payment and free shipping.
  • Cash 4 Books - This website buys all sorts of books, providing they are in good shape. Cash 4 Books covers all shipping costs and provides fast payment via PayPal or check. Sellers can get instant price quotes and may even be able to get this site to match the price of another seller marketplace.
  • CKY Books - CKY pays cash for both new and used books. The site buys nonfiction, current fiction and textbooks. Shipping is free and pick-up is available for people who live near one of CKY's branch offices.
  • eCampus - eCampus is different than some of the other sites on this list because they will buy used books that have writing in the margins, highlighting and other marking. Perks include free shipping and guaranteed buyback prices on books and textbooks.
  • Jitter Book - Jitter Book is a high volume site, which means they pay slightly more than other buyback sites. Right now, all they buy is textbooks. Jitter Books offers all of the usual amenities and they provide $50 in bonus cash every day to the person who sells them the most textbooks.
  • SellBackBooks - If super-fast payment is what you're looking for, SellBackBooks is the way to go. This site offers a direct deposit option for sellers who want to get rid of their used textbooks. Like the other sites on this list, SellBackBooks pays for all shipping costs.
  • Textbook Buyer - This site has specialized in buying used textbooks for nearly a decade. Textbook Buyer has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and other respected publications and has a good reputation for fair prices, free shipping and fast payment. The site also pays out special prices for new textbooks.

Trade Books

Sometimes, the best way to share your love of reading is to trade your books for someone else's. Trading books is also a good way for college students to save money on textbooks each semester. The following sites have no cost exchange services that you can sign up for.

  • Book Mooch - This site gives you points for every book you give away to someone else. You can then use your points to buy books from other people. Users need to give away at least one book for every three they receive.
  • Bookins - You can get any book or DVD for $4.49 using Bookins' trade service. The site allows you to print free postage to send your items and guarantees the quality of what you will receive in return.
  • Monster Trade - Monster Trade is an online student marketplace that encourages users to trade books, electronics and other school supplies. Users can select the school they attend to find swappers in their area.

number of books to make the trade. The average cost to ship 12 paperbacks is $4.80.

  • OurSwaps - People can trade all kinds of things on OurSwaps, including books. Users can combine cash offers with products if necessary.
  • Paperback Swap - More than 2 million books are available at Paperback Swap, which means you are almost guaranteed to find what you are looking for. Users get two free book credits for the first ten books that they list on the site to trade.
  • Swaptree - Swaptree (now known as swap.com) users can list books, CDs, DVDs and other items they have to trade. Then, using Swaptree's algorithms, see everything that they can get in trade for their items. The service costs nothing, but you do have to pay for what you ship out. (Usually less than $2.50 if you use media mail.)
  • Text Swap - This free textbook exchange service allows students around the world to trade textbooks online. There are a number of universities that participate nationwide, including Columbia University, the University of California and Utah University.
  • Title Trader - This free service lets users trade books, movies and music. Registered members of Title Trader get credits every time they send out an item.
  • What's On My Bookshelf - This site connects both people and books. Users can find other people who have similar reading interests and trade books using a simple point system.

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