Do you have a room full of books?

Avid bookworms, students and ex-students have an opportunity to earn income selling their books.

There are books that should ALWAYS be on our shelves for reading over and over or for loaning to those special people. But let’s face it, generally our shelves hold more books than we’ll ever re-read. Rather than give them away or get 25 cents in a garage sale, here are some places you can earn a buck for your books!

1. Book Scouter

Perhaps the most well-known of the used book buyers is BookScouter. They come highly recommended due to their ease of use for buyers and sellers.

They have an ISBN-based appraisal engine like some of the other options on this list, but what makes them special is they cross-check against dozens of other buyback sites. They’ve done the research and point you to the place where you can get your best bang for your book. They send you a prepaid shipping label, and you take care of the rest.

BookScouter makes their money by affiliation, not off the seller. Meaning, they make their money by directing business to sites, so you don’t need to worry about them trying to make a cut off of you.

2. Sell Back Your Book

This is a website that will buy your books as well as paying for your shipping. They’re pretty straightforward: just enter your ISBN and away you go! Pays out via check or Paypal, with each pay cycle occurring every few days.

3. eCampus

eCampus is a bit unique here due in part to its university-focused business model. While there are other used textbook buyers, this one is unique because it accepts ‘marked’ books as well, which means that you can sell those books that you took the highlighter to!

This expands their market and allows more people to sell books than is otherwise possible. Not to mention the thoughts that come to mind of “The Half-Blood Prince!”

4. Powell’s Books

In stark contrast to eCampus, Powell’s Books is a service that is very picky about the condition of the books that they buy. First, you put your ISBN into the text field and check whether or not they want the book. If they do, then the book will need to be in near-perfect condition. No word on whether or not you are eligible for free shipping, though the general consensus is that you’ll make the most money selling books in good condition this way.

5. SellBackBooks

Not to be confused with “Sell Back Your Book” mentioned above, this is a site with a similar name and a similar function. Whereas some sites ask you to wait for a buyer to agree to purchase your book, this one is purchased direct-from-seller and will allow you to send you books off as soon as you can print your prepaid shipping label. Payment is sent straight to your bank account. Like many of the other sites on the list, they will allow you to search by ISBN.


KnetBooks provides a solid buy back and discount selling books service. If you’re in need of textbook rentals, they offer those as well.

7. Bookbyte

Bookbyte offers sales and rental services like KnetBooks. Somewhat similar to Powell’s Books in that they have a strict criteria for the condition that they will accept books in. If you do turn in a book in good condition, they pay well.

8. CKY Books

CKY Books buy direct from you, which means instant sales. They handle all shipping costs, and they accept just about any type of book. You choose how you get paid: by check or by PayPal.

9. Textbook Buyer

Textbook Buyer is a service that buys and sells old textbooks, and have been in business for at least a decade. While you’ll see a lot of talk of prompt payout, good prices, and prepaid shipping on this list, it at least means something that these guys have managed to keep their business going for over 10 years with their methods. A good choice for those of us who particularly like businesses with a good reputation.

10. Paperback Swap

Paperback Swap allows you to swap paperbacks with other users. You’ll need to purchase a membership if you want to regularly swap out books. It’s a “sender pays” system. So when you mail out a book, you pay, but when someone mails one to you, they pay. There is a ‘swap-out credit’ system, which basically means that once you ship a book to someone, you receive a credit that allows you to request a book from someone else.

*This information is part of an article on Money Pantry written by Satrap