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Finding Textbooks: Online Retailers

A resource to help students explore their options when finding, renting, and buying textbooks.

Compare the Prices!

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Farrington, Robert. “The Best Places To Buy College Textbooks Online.” The College Investor, 5 Mar. 2019,

Bracetti, Alex. “The 5 Best Online Textbook StoresChegg.” Complex, Complex, 6 Oct. 2017,

“Textbook Resources: Online Retailers.” LibGuides,

Links to Retailers


Amazon is an online shopping site with a variety materials. This retailer also provides ways to purchase or rent used or new textbooks in a variety of formats. Membership for Amazon Prime is offered at a reduced price for students and includes all prime benefits.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is the largest bookseller in America, offering a wide selection of materials across the genres. For students, B&N sells and rents new and used textbooks, and often buys them back too.


Chegg allows students to purchase or rent new or used books. The rental policy is flexible and can be extended. Chegg Study also provides many textbook solutions and Q&A from subject experts.

Textbook Rentals

 Textbook Rentals allows students to compare textbook rental prices among different retailers. These comparisons are also divided by loan periods (such as semester long, session long, quarter long, etc.). If available, it will also provide a list of retailers where purchasing the textbook (new or used) is cheaper than renting it. 

Campus Books

Campus Books allows students to compare textbook prices between different retailers, provides detailed recommendations on whether to rent or buy a textbook, and includes available coupons that can be applied to the final price.  


Valore books allows students to compare textbook prices from over 15,000 book sellers. Students have the option to rent or buy textbooks in various formats, and are guaranteed a 30-day return policy. Return shipping is free for rentals.

Abe Books

AbeBooks provides used and new books, rare books, fine art, and collectibles cheap and rare books, fine art and collectibles. New and used textbooks are also offered with many international editions and free shipping.


Powell's is an independent bookseller which provides affordable new and used books (including textbooks). Books can be sold back in store or online.

Vital Source

Vital Source provides a wide collection of eTextbooks which are accessible online. These can be viewed on any device and include annotation features such as multi-colored highlighters and comment boxes.

Campus Textbook Rentals

Campus Book Rentals provides affordable textbook options for students from over 2 million sources. Students have the option of new or used textbooks with flexible rental policies and annotation abilities.


Alibris provides easy access to new and used textbooks for a low price. Additionally, they promote coupons and promotions to decrease the price further and guides for campus and school life.

Big Words 

Big Words allows students to compare textbook prices from many big retailers. It also searches the web for the best discounts and promo codes to apply to textbooks.


Bookly provides students with an easy searching tool to find cheap textbooks. The search tool includes a filter to find the book that best fits each students needs. Books can also be sold back at a later date.

Browser Extensions

One way to search for textbooks is by adding a browser extension. These extensions detect when a bookseller website is visited and provide a side-by-side view of other offers by retailers. Most are available for multiple browsers, but Occupy the Bookstore is only available on Chrome.

Occupy the Bookstore

This simple Chrome extension helps customers save hundreds on textbooks. It shows the online prices and student listings right alongside the bookstore offers.

Textbooks Please!

This online extension searches over 40 online retailers and compares the prices side-by-side so that students can find the best deal for them.

Lowest Priced Book

This extension alerts users while they browse for books when a cheaper option is available.

Tips for Purchasing/Renting Textbooks

  1. Search via ISBN number to get the correct edition for your course.
  2. Be sure to factor in shipping costs.
  3. Write down the the return date for rentals so you don't forget.
  4. Double check which materials will need an access code.
  5. If you plan to resell, ensure that the book stays in good condition.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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