selling books online
Selling books online can be a steady source of income as a student. Source: Ahmad Al-Basha/AFP

Selling books online is a good way for students to earn some extra cash. All you need is a smartphone or a laptop and internet.

Whether it’s last year’s textbooks or a collection of fiction books you’ve kept for sentimental value, there’s a chance they can find another home. 

Though e-books are slowly phasing out printed books, a report by Forbes shows that US publishers sold 825.7 million print books in 2021, up 8.9% over the previous year.

This figure shows that people have been reading more throughout the pandemic when they were cooped up in their homes. 

Here are a few more interesting facts by Pew Research Centre about American readers: women read more than men, younger people read more than older people, more educated people read more than less educated people.

Keep this in mind when you’re selling books online — target the right customers and you’re set to give your books and textbooks a second life and earn money in return. 

Earn money by selling books online with these websites:

selling books online

Instead of lugging them home, selling books online lets you earn money and create more space in your suitcases. Source: Francois Guillot/AFP


The first one on the list and the more obvious option for selling books online is Amazon. While it’s among the more accessible websites, there’s a catch: you have to pay to be an Amazon seller.

As a seller, you can choose between two plans —  “Individual” or “Professional” — which have different fees and benefits.

The Individual plan is for sellers who don’t plan to exceed 40 items per month while the Professional plan is for those who want to sell more, even creating their own online store through Amazon

You can choose to ship the books yourself (Fulfilment By Merchant – FBM), or you can pay Amazon to send them for you (Fulfillment by Amazon – FBA).

Amazon has guidelines that you must follow if you choose to ship the books yourself.


Bookdeal is a site dedicated to selling textbooks and is a more straightforward way to selling books online.

Similar to Amazon, you would still have to create an account but it comes at zero cost to you.

What’s unique about Bookdeal is their guidelines used to determine book conditions, selling guides, and packaging guides.

Shipping is free for all orders, but if you choose not to use their shipping label or use a different carrier, you’re responsible for the shipping.

You’ll be paid via PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle within five days after the book has been sold or received.

Unlike other websites for selling books online, acts as an easy one-stop website that can give you over 30 quotes for your books.

What’s more, it can also search dozens of other book buyback sites to find the best deal for you.

All you have to do is enter your book’s ISBN (The International Standard Book Number) and Bookscouter will give you a list of all of the sites that are willing to buy them. That means you get to pick the highest bid or offer to sell your book to.

Do you have textbooks you no longer need? is another site worth checking out for selling books online.

Like Bookdeal, it is a direct way to unload last year’s textbooks that you’ll likely never reference again.

Once you accept a buyback quote, that price will remain in effect for 30 days and you’ll be sent a UPS label for free shipping.

Payouts come in the form of a check or PayPal deposit within one to four weeks of your book being received.