Textbook Buying & Returns

How to Purchase Your Books

To Shop Textbooks Online

Log in above and select "Login for Cornell Users." Then click Shop or Print Booklist. From there, you will be linked to the My Account page and you may click Begin Shopping to see your registered courses and textbooks. You can view prices for each title and the available formats (new, used, digital). You can compare prices from several other online book sellers directly on our website. Be a savvy shopper and use this handy price comparison tool to find the best course material options for you. Visit textbooks-by-schedule-instructions for detailed instructions.

Textbook Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):


Not necessarily. Check your online booklist to distinguish between titles that are required and those that are listed as optional. A careful review of the course syllabus can also help you determine the extent of the reading assigned or when a book will be used during the course. You can also ask your professor about how often the book will be used.


CornellCard. Use your CornellCard online which allows your NetID to function as a charge account. Bills for purchases made by CornellCard will be sent with your tuition statements. Other acceptable forms of payment are cash, credit card, and Cornell Store gift card.

The Cornell Store buys books from used book companies, publishers, and other vendors at the lowest prices we can find. We set retail prices that allow us enough margin to cover our costs associated with the labor, shipping and systems needed to offer the thousands of copies of books requested by faculty from hundreds of vendors. Affordability is the goal through the entire process. Instructors are requested to submit book information well in advance of each semester. During the submission process, instructors are provided an affordability score and given suggested alternative options that seek to minimize the cost to students.

We are continually working to find ways to help students manage their investment in course materials. Our efforts include: searching the market for low-priced used books, and passing those savings on to students through lower used prices; offering an online price comparison tool so students can compare textbook prices from The Cornell Store and other online merchants; offering tens of thousands of money-saving used books; expanding our selection of lower-priced eBooks; returning over $1 million to students each year through Textbook Buyback; educating faculty on cost-conscious textbook adoption strategies; helping faculty produce custom coursepacks that consolidate academic materials from multiple sources into one cost-effective product. By far, The Cornell Store’s Instant Access program is the biggest money saver for digital course materials. Courses that use digital course materials through the Instant Access Program offer those materials at the lowest possible price. To learn more about Instant Access, visit cornellstore.com/instant-access-program.

Many textbooks are kept in stock only until the middle of the current semester, except those that we know faculty will be using later in the semester. Although we can order any materials you may need, it's best to complete your purchases early in the semester.

Textbook Buyback

At the close of each term, students are encouraged to sell back any unwanted textbooks. Textbook buyback is currently available at our Main Campus store location during (store operating hours). In-person buyback is available to currently enrolled Cornell students with a valid Cornell ID.

Virtual buyback options are also available! The Cornell Store has partnered with leading buyback providers Nebraska Book Company and MBS Textbook Exchange to offer students the opportunity to sell unwanted textbooks online.

How to Sell Your Books: In-Person at The Cornell Store

Bring any unwanted textbooks you’d like to sell to the Cornell Store during store operating hours. Proceed to the lower level and all the way to the right and look for signs that say Buyback. A store associate with scan your textbooks and quote a value. If you accept, The Cornell Store will purchase back your textbook and offer you cash. Please note that textbook buybacks are final and cannot be reversed, so please be sure you wish to sell a book before you commit to the transaction.

How to Sell Your Books: Virtual Buyback Options

You may choose either or both options listed below. On either site, search your book ISBN(s) to start a quote. After receiving your quote, confirm you’d like to sell for those prices, and you will be provided with a free printable shipping label. Mail your buyback books and you will receive payment within the specified period of the vendor receiving your shipment. Please note that virtual buyback does require printing a shipping label.

How do I sell my books?

  • Choose a specified partner link above.
  • Enter the ISBN on titles you wish to sell (need help finding the ISBN? See our How do I find an ISBN? in the Frequently Asked Questions below). If the book is available to be sold, a pricing quote will populate.
  • Accept the quote or compare to an alternate quote
  • If you don’t already have an account, you must create one. It is imperative that you double check to ensure all payee and mailing information is entered correctly because that is where payment will be sent.
  • Upon submitting your transaction, print and enclose your packing list in the package. If you do not include the packing list with your books, you may not be credited for the buyback. If you are sending multiple packages, please place a copy of the packing list in each package. Also keep copies for yourself!
  • Complete the checkout process by printing the free shipping label provided and follow the instructions regarding mailing your package. Securely attach the label to the outside of the package. Make sure there is only one mailing label on the package you are using. Drop the package off at the nearest drop-off location.


Buyback Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


At the end of the term, students are encouraged to sell any unwanted textbooks. During a typical term, The Cornell Store offers semester end buyback in in the store. Due to the current circumstances, The Cornell Store is providing buyback options virtually for students to sell unwanted textbooks. These vendors will provide a quote, prepaid shipping label, and issue direct payment.

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique, commercial book identifier. ISBNs come in 10-digit and 13-digit formats. The 13-digit codes were introduced in 2007 and so most new books will have this 13-digit code that begins with the digits 978.

Typically, you should be able to find this number on the back cover of the book. If the ISBN barcode is covered, the ISBN may also be listed on the Catalog page in the front of the book. Below is an example of an ISBN (you do not need to include dashes):


Nebraska Book Company issues a label for US Postal Service (USPS), and payment is available by check mailed to the address you indicate. Pricing quote you receive is valid for 7 days.

MBS Textbook exchange issues a label UPS, and payment is available by check or direct deposit by PayPal. Pricing quote you receive is valid for 30 days.


No, please use the shipping label provided. This label has your specific transaction information embedded in the label and is the only way the receiving facility can match the textbooks as coming from you.


Your package with the provided shipping label can take 7-10 business to arrive at the receiving facility. After your book(s) is checked in, payment will be issued via your indicated payment method within 3-5 business days. Please ensure the payee and address information you enter is correct before submitting your buyback transaction. International customers, please note all price quotes and payments are in U.S. dollars.


No, our buyback partners will not accept the following: International editions, instructor editions or counterfeit books. International and instructor editions are clearly labeled as such. Counterfeit textbooks may be more difficult to identify, but if you the book looks odd to you compared to others you’ve seen, you may have a counterfeit book.

Additionally, buyback partners will not accept books with any of these conditions: excessive stains or water damage, mold, missing, torn or loose pages or covers, broken spine or damaged binding. Please be sure that if your textbook came with any supplements (e.g. cd) that those supplements are included with the buyback shipment.

NOTE: Sellers accept full responsibility for shipping damaged or unaccepted books. Please ensure you are shipping the same ISBNs as are listed on your packing list. Course packs do not have an ISBN and are not eligible for buyback. Textbook(s) identified as damaged or unacceptable upon receipt will yield no reimbursement and will not be returned to the seller.


Don’t worry! Our vendor partners will only issue payment for the book(s) they receive that are listed in the price quote. If you change your mind about a book(s) you want to keep, simply don’t include the book(s) in the package that you ship.


Our buyback partners will only issue payment for transactions received, so there is nothing you need to do to cancel your transaction if you haven’t yet shipped. If you have already shipped your textbooks, you cannot cancel and payment will be issued once the package is received.


If you have questions about buyback in general: textbooks@cornell.edu

If you have questions about a specific partner, please contact their customer service directly:

Nebraska Book Company 855-995-8853 or sellerhelp@nohasslesellback.com

MBS Textbook Exchange 844-603-9960 or contactus@mbsdirect.net


Still Need Help?

Please contact the customer care team at www.cornellstore.com/contact-us.