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Top Spots To Buy Books For College Students

College. The best four years of your life…and quite possibly, the most expensive. And as any college kid (and their parents!) will tell you, it’s not just tuition that breaks the bank; stocking up on books for back to school can also cost big bucks. Check out some of these bookstores and online retailers and save some of that hard-earned dinero to pay off those loans. –Chelsea Karnash


CampusBooks 4 Less searches the major college bookstores for both new and used textbooks, as well as textbook rentals. You can search by ISBN number, author, title or keyword, and the website also features a “Deals” section where special offers, sales and promo codes are listed for numerous online retailers.

Because, seriously, what can’t you find on Amazon? The mega-retailer has a section of the website devoted entirely to textbooks (click on “Books” on the left side-bar for sub-categories), and then divided up into areas of study. And of course, you can also sell your books and get up to 70% back.

At, you can buy, rent or sell books, and shipping is free. Plus, if you decide to drop that super-hard neurophysiology class, you can also return your now unnecessary books, stress free. Of course, I’m not speaking from experience or anything…

With a seriously simple homepage and concrete instructions (“1. Post your Book. 2. Be Contacted by Students…” and so on), is a one-stop online shop for students looking to buy and sell books from each other. Although you now have to sign up for access, it’s free, and you can link through to your social media accounts.

Looking for a hard-to-find original copy or a book that’s out of print? This is your website! BookFinder compares prices on over 150 million books, including new and used, signed and original copies, rare books, international editions and generic textbooks.

This eBay-owned company has some great deals. Peruse their list of the 200 top-selling titles, and you’ll see exactly what percentage off the original cost you’ll get when you buy from the website.


Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Mon – Fri, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun, closed

The Penn Book Center offers a quiet, academic refuge from the official campus Barnes & Noble down the street. And although the Book Center is independently-owned, many Penn professors in the Humanities order their course books through this store, so you’ll find a relatively large selection of required reading towards the back. The Book Center also sells books by local authors, poetry and literature with an academic slant, and you can sell your old books and textbooks back for cash. Though you could surely find the same books for less on Amazon, the experience and the convenience factor (no waiting, no shipping costs) make this place a good choice for many people, particularly Penn students.

Zavelle Bookstore
1520 N Broad St
Philadelphia, Pa.
Mon – Thur, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Fri, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sat – Sun, CLOSED

Catering to Temple students, Zavelle’s can be hit or miss, but it’s still a great spot to check out before you resort to online retailers. And while many stores buy back books only when the semester starts or ends, Zavelle’s buys ’em back year round.

  • Detroit College Textbook Buyback |

    […] Top Spots To Buy Books For College Students « CBS Philly – Aug 07, 2013 · ONLINE RETAILERS: CampusBooks 4 Less searches the major college bookstores for both new and used textbooks, as well as textbook …… […]

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  • Sean Ravari

    I have found that the best way for students to save money on their textbooks is to buy and sell their textbooks to each other. (A.K.A Students buying textbooks from students, and students selling textbooks to other students in their same school.)

    The most popular website that I’ve found that offers students the ability to do this for free is

    – They are doing tremendously well, and have a LOT of students using it. Props to them. Two thumbs up.

  • A Great Website to Add to the list!

    And I would highly like to recommend adding to the list..

    It is probably one of the biggest sites out there for college students to buy and sell their textbooks to each other! And it is growing SUPER Fast.

    (They have practically been opening up to a new school every week)

    Hope you like my suggestion! :)

    • Sean

      Haha, we suggested the same website!

  • CampusBookHound

    With the economic downturn it is important for students to find ways to spend their money wisely in college. The average expense of textbooks can add up to around $1000 a year. Students have a better chance on saving money at College by buying and selling their textbooks from other fellow students. That’s where a new website,, comes in as an online marketplace for students to buy and sell textbooks locally. CampusBookHound allows students to search for the books they want to buy and place a free bid or submit an ad for the book that they want to sell for just $1 per book. Connecting students with a local marketplace to buy and sell textbooks empowers students to take back control of the textbook industry.
    Students may not be able to control the rising cost of college tuition but they can take the power of pricing away from the book publishers and bookstores that monopolize the market of textbooks sales.
    To learn more visit

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