How to: Save money on College Textbooks

by hedy on August 16, 2010

As back to school, and more importantly, back-to-campus, looms ever closer those of you shopping for college textbooks may be looking for ways to save on college textbooks.  I’ve got five different ideas on how to go about doing this task.

1.  Look on campus. Even at the small liberal arts college which was my alma mater, there were postings up with flyers of people who had taken a given course and were willing to sell you their books at a better rate than the bookstore.  I’m enough of an old lady that Facebook was only available starting my junior year, but I bet that Facebook is now a source for these sales as well.

2.  Look online:  Without a doubt, this was the way to get books that was most effective when I was in college.  I used the site which is now known as DealOz, formerly Campusi to compare textbook prices, and from there I was able to shop online.  I found I bought the majority of my books at Amazon-not only could I buy used books from sellers, but I occasionally found that new copies of the books I was ordering were cheaper than used textbooks from my bookstore*. Given Amazon’s free Prime for Students, it is an even better deal now.  My next most used site was Half.com, and I occasionally used Barnes and Noble as well.

3.  Don’t Buy the Books: While this is never an option I used, at my college all books were on reserve so you could read them.

4.  As my major was in the humanities, the vast majority of books I purchased were not actual textbooks, but paperbacks.  If you are in the same boat, you might want to look into Paperback Swap.  I used Paperback Swap to unload some books after I graduated.

5.  While I know nothing about them, Chegg.com says that you can rent textbooks through them.
Credit: Free pictures from acobox.com
*This would enable me to sell the books online for a higher rate once the semester was over.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Aleksie August 17, 2010 at 9:29 am

I knew some people who would also check books out of the library at their schools using the inter-departmental loans. Depending on the school, you can easily keep the books out for about a semester.

Jarrahy Book September 13, 2010 at 1:08 am

Remember to buy a textbook used from bookbyte.com, and you will save time and money. Jarrahy Book

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