The cost of college textbooks is a significant part of student expenses. The College Board estimates that an average college student spends anywhere from $1070 to $1760 on books and supplies. However, you can save money by buying used textbooks or renting them online. Some schools are even providing a textbook rental option on campus.

7 Free Tools to Buy, Sell, and Rent College TextbooksOf course, there will be courses you take, where you have to buy an expensive required textbook. I would only do it as a last resort, though,  if you can’t find a used book for sale. There is one more hint I want to share with you. Ask your professor, if you can work with an older edition of an expensive textbook. Often, you will find that older editions are much cheaper. If it is not crucial for your success in the class, why would you want to overpay?

Luckily, there are apps that allow college students to partially offset textbooks spendings. Using these popular apps, you can find bargain-priced textbooks, sell your own used textbooks, or rent textbooks for one semester and return them when you are done with them. Renting textbooks is a very cost-efficient option. In The New York Times article, Jeff Cohen, chief executive of, an online price comparison service, is quoted saying, “If you’re short on cash, renting is usually the cheapest option upfront. But the type of course you are taking also matters. If you are taking a multi-semester course like physics, which is typically taught over at least two semesters, it may be cheaper to buy the book. Also, if it’s a book that is closely related to your intended career, you may want to own a copy for future reference.”

Consider different options, and choose the one that works best for you. Read this article in Money magazine on how to save up to 70% on college textbooks.

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1. eCampus

eCampus helps students to save up to 90% on textbook rentals, used and new textbooks, and etextbooks. You can also sell your used textbooks through eCampus. They have a rewards loyalty program that assigns points for each transaction. Often, you can find coupon codes and discounts on their website. eCampus has been specializing in textbooks rentals for the quarter or semester. When you are done with a book, just send it back in the same box with the return label they sent you, and you are all set!

2. CampusBooks

CampusBooks allows you to compare textbook prices and find the best deals when buying and the highest price when selling textbooks. It has a built-in bar code scanning option and uses GPS technology to display local results.

3. is an eBay store that helps you buy and sell textbooks, movies, music, and games. There are no listing charges. You can scan a barcode of an item you are looking for, and will find the cheapest active listing available.


BigWords is another app and a website to search for textbook deals across various online stores. They claim to have 35-45% cheaper textbooks than other online stores and up to 90% cheaper than retail stores.

5. Cash4Books

Cash4Books is a user-friendly service to sell your used books. Just scan a book’s barcode and get an instant price quote. The next step is to get a free shipping label from Cash4Books and have your books shipped to them for free. You might have a few books collecting dust on your shelf right now!

6. Chegg

Chegg is a one-stop solution for buying cheaper textbooks, renting, or selling your used textbooks. You can get instant access to eTextbooks and read them on your iPad or phone.

7. BuyBackTextbooks

BuyBackTextbooks app and website compares prices at all online stores to see who will pay the most for your book. All you need to do is scan the barcode of a book you want to sell, review the prices, and choose the buyer. Most buy back stores will pay for the shipping. It’s as easy as throwing your books in a box, taping the prepaid label you received in the mail to the box, and then sitting back, and waiting for your money to come in. By the way, you can use BuyBackTextbooks to sell your other books as well.

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