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Best Places to Buy Used Teacher Textbooks

written by: Natasha Stiller • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 1/5/2012

As teachers, we are always searching for some textbook or teacher resource. Listed are a variety of sites where you can buy used teacher textbooks, as well as other student editions and classroom texts. I've outlined a variety of locations offline and online to search for your needs.

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    As an educator, it is often valuable to have textbooks to use when planning lessons and for use when designing curriculum. Locating textbooks can often be difficult, but with certain online and offline options available, you can locate a variety of used textbooks for personal or classroom use.

    As a lover of books, I have always sought out purchasing used books, and as an educator, I have found resources for used textbooks successfully. However, some texts are just impossible to locate through libraries or to borrow through book exchanges. So, the question of where to buy used teacher textbooks can be answered through online sources as well as local thrift stores or resale stores. These stores generally carry older versions of texts, but these texts can be used as supplementary materials or are great for building lessons or obtaining lesson ideas.

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    Best Offline Locations

    While there are many online locations to access textbooks, check out your local thrift stores and local resale bookstores too. They often have an influx of books and you can leave your contact information and a description of what you are looking for, so that the store owner or manager can contact you in case something comes in that may interest you. Many times, you will receive excellent customer service from individuals looking to help you find what you are searching for. The personal touch is always welcoming. More often than not, these shops are owned by families who work in their own stores, so they want to help out as much as they can.

    Teacher consignment shops are also a great resource to locate used textbooks. The owners/operators can also help you locate texts if you leave information with them for the specific books you need. They often maintain relationships with sellers from schools or teachers.

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    Best Online Locations

    Sources through eBay’s half.com and Amazon are great as well, since there are a variety of options for resellers and buyers alike. On both of these sites, you can put books on a wish list and get notifications for when new sellers post books you are looking for. This is especially helpful and can cut down on search time when you are seeking something in particular. You can often find great deals through these sources as people post their own prices.

    In addition, with the resale features of major book sites, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders, you can often find used texts through these resources. Barnes and Noble provides a feature where you can rent texts, which is becoming a trend for teachers as well as college students.

    Here are some more options for obtaining used teacher textbooks online:

    Abebooks is one of my favorite resources to search for textbooks since they have had reliable service and have the largest variety of texts that I have seen. You can search through texts based on subject, ISBN, date, and author’s name. This site sells a wide-range of books, from fiction to new and used textbooks. There is rarely a time when I can't find a book being sold through the site, and it is generally due to the publication date of the book, being either too new for resale, or just an older out of date publication. They have fast shipping services and through subscription with their site, you will often get additional discounts.

    The Back Pack is a smaller site, but often has unique texts as well as complete teacher sets, which can come in handy, especially if you’re looking for something that you could possibly utilize in your own classroom. The Back Pack has newer selections than other textbook sites. Many sets include additional resources that can help to aid in classroom instruction on a variety of subjects or topics such as art, language arts, and vocabulary.

    Direct Textbooks is another site that offers a wide variety of textbooks. I enjoy their search options, since you can search for subject-specific texts (science texts for example) and limit your search for specific grade levels. This is helpful if you do not have an ISBN number for books, but are searching for specific subjects. This is a great site when searching for newer texts as well.

    EcoEncore is a newer site that is promoting the reuse of books and other educational material, versus throwing texts away. They sell through Amazon stores, which you can access through the EcoEncore website. Their selection varies depending on what texts have been recycled, but this is a great place to search for specific needs. When searching the site myself , I have found on occasion, specific texts that are out of publication.

    Nationwide text is a great site to search for specific texts that you may want to implement in your classroom. The search options on their site ask what you’re looking for with specific search options, as well as how many books you need, and when it is needed by. They accept school purchase orders as well as credit cards for payment and they assist you in finding deals up to 75% off the publisher’s price. This company helps take the search out of your hands and is a great resource when you need classroom sets and new textbook editions.

    Valore Books provides student and teacher edition texts. This site has numerous texts that you can purchase or rent. The site has a variety of sellers that post their books, which allows for competitive pricing since you can likely find several book copies for what you are looking for. The search options for textbooks on this site are the most comprehensive and broken down. You can locate books within a specific subject, including art, photography, and even religious studies. This allows for a more comprehensive search and provides you with a variety of choices.

    Another great source for seeking used teacher textbooks is through Open Source Texts. Information can be found through the various open source texts' features. This option isn’t meant to replace existing textbooks, but is helpful when researching and looking up specific content.

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    When wondering where to buy used teacher textbooks, you have an array of available choices. Search them all for the best price and for immediate availability. Using used textbooks for teacher instruction and planning can be beneficial, so it is worth the time to explore the above options.

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    References

    (See website links above.)

    Author's own experience.