Do you have used novels or textbooks taking up space in your home that need to be sold? Navigating today’s online marketplace can be tricky, especially for first-time sellers. Here’s what you need to know about the best websites to sell books in 2021.
If you want to sell books online, BookScouter is one of the best options for you. When it was first launched, its main purpose was to help sell textbooks for the best price, but now, with 30+ vendors integrated into the platform, it helps find the best offers for buying and selling used books, too.
BookScouter is unique from the other booksellers on this list because it helps connect you with vendors looking to buy the specific textbook you are selling. Instead of just posting a listing and waiting for someone to make a purchase, BookScouter searches its database of over 30 vendors for the best offers. You can actually compare the textbook buyback prices, making sure that you’ll get the most amount of money for your sale.
Not only have these buyers been vetted by BookScouter, but you can also check verified reviews and ratings on each vendor—which are publicly displayed—meaning that this avenue is safer for sellers, as it is not full of bogus reviews. Additionally, when selling to vendors listed on BookScouter, shipping is totally free, and all buying and selling decision-making processes take place on the website or in the app, both of which have simple and intuitive design and can be easily navigated by online bookseller veterans and beginners alike.
As an added benefit, BookScouter sponsors a $500 quarterly textbook scholarship for college students.
Though it has lost popularity due to its auction-based sales and the appearance of more popular reselling apps, eBay is still a solid option for those looking to sell used books online in 2021. However, eBay is not the best place to sell textbooks because auctions often lead to sellers being lowballed, resulting in a loss of profit.
That being said, if you are looking to sell rare books or books that can be considered collector’s items, choosing to list these items via eBay auctions can be very profitable, especially if these books are in high demand.
Your first 50 listings on eBay are free, but for any sales after that, you will be charged a small fee, which may be detrimental to profits depending on how much money your items sell for. Additionally, you have to pay for your own shipping.
For eBay newbies, the online website can be overwhelming, as it is a large marketplace that requires a bit of a learning curve. On the other hand, the eBay mobile app is a bit more straightforward.
Amazon has become the world’s online marketplace and is an absolute behemoth, which is both good and bad if you want to sell books online.
The only way to sell books via Amazon is to sell directly to buyers and make sales yourself. The Amazon textbook trade-in program that quickly became popular among students was shut down without notice or explanation in 2020. Now you have to create a seller account and add listings for your books, personally setting the price, rather than accepting whatever Amazon offers you. This option has the potential to be more lucrative than the first, as you have more control over your earnings. However, it is a bit more time-consuming, and the competition is steep—depending on the price and condition of your books, they may sell quickly or not at all—and you have to pay for your own shipping.
Due to the fact that Amazon is such a huge conglomerate, it is not the best avenue to sell used books in 2021. When selling directly to buyers on Amazon, you likely will have a tough time making a sale due to the sheer number of sellers on the site—many of whom are willing to sell the same books for a fraction of what you might charge.
Chegg used to be the best place to sell your old textbooks and make a profit. It featured fair prices and free shipping for the textbooks purchased. Unfortunately, not anymore. As of 2021, Chegg no longer purchases books; instead, it sends you to GoTextbooks as an alternative.
Even worse, GoTextbooks isn’t a good alternative to Chegg’s now-defunct textbook buying program, as the website has earned itself a number of negative reviews from unhappy customers. Definitely skip GoTextbooks on your search for the best website to sell used books you have at home.
Despite selling books for over ten years, AbeBooks is somewhat of a newcomer in the online book-selling scene in terms of popularity. Still, it has cemented itself as a great place to buy and sell books, including textbooks.
If the company name did not already give it away, AbeBooks is a website dedicated to buying and selling books, unlike larger reselling sites like eBay or Amazon. This is a bonus because customers are actively searching for your products: books!
You can’t sell directly to AbeBooks, so you will need to do the legwork yourself in order to make a sale. Additionally, AbeBooks largest focus is on works of fiction, nonfiction, and rare books. If you sell these kinds of items, AbeBooks is a great marketplace—but it is not the best website if you want to sell textbooks.
The website is a bit confusing but thorough, as it classifies books in many different ways, including condition, binding type, genre, and collection attributes. Unfortunately, AbeBooks does not have an app.
Still unsure of what website to use to sell your books? Compare and contrast the important information.
|Sell Directly to Site||No||No||No||No|
|Focus on Textbooks||Yes||No||No||No|
If you want to sell used books, you may be surprised that it’s not as easy as it seems. However, the good news is that there are plenty of websites to make things easier.
For fiction or nonfiction novels, your best bet is to use AbeBooks, though its lack of an app and free shipping is a big drawback.
For textbooks, BookScouter is by far the best website to use, as the website and mobile app are easily navigable, they offer free shipping for all sellers, and their direct-to-vendor connection ensures that you won’t have to wait around for a buyer and you will earn a profit on your book.