Money Saving Tips When Buying Textbooks For School

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Buying books each semester use to make me nervous!  I loved the excitement of new classes, but hated the price tag at the checkout of our campus bookstore.  It seemed that I had to budget to spend anywhere form $400-$600 per semester, just on Textbooks!  That was years ago, and I am sure the prices have risen, especially for the bigger universities.  Here are a few tips to shave down the price when purchasing new books!


  • Shop Early and Buy Used

Be sure to get an early start when looking for what you need.  This will ensure that you scoop up your books at the best possible price before anyone else gets to them.  This will also give you time to look for a book that may be hard to find.  You don’t want to be left at the last minute searching, only to have to pay the highest price, just because you were pressed for time.  Also you will stand a better chance of finding good used books.  When I was in college I use to hit the campus book store as early as possible because the used books that were cheaper were always taken first.  The only downfall here is that used books tend to have been “highlighted” by their previous owner.  My tip for this is to use a different color highlighter when you read through your important chapters.


  • Try Ebooks

Grab a digital version of your textbooks!  They are not only cheaper but you will not have the hassle of carrying around heavy books.  Access them on your laptop, tablet, kindle or ipad!  Check out,, CourseSmart Or Amazon Kindle Etextbooks, for your Ebooks!



  • Find Your Book’s ISBN Numbers

Most times when you get the list of books that you will be needing, there will be an ISBN number listed so that you can find the EXACT book much easier.



  • Check For Older Editions

As with anything, the older versions will not cost as much as the newer.  Whether it is used or not, check to see if there are any previous editions to help lower your expenses.





  • Buy Online

Books online can be found at a cheaper price than those in store because of a larger selection and more competition with other book selling companies.  Do a “Google Search”  with the ISBN number of a selected book, and search in Google’s shopping tab.  This will give you a good price comparison and you will be able to sift through your choices quicker.




  • Share Books Within Your Major

Check with others in your major, look for postings or post a question on a social media website linked to your school, such as facebook, instagram or twitter.  You may be able to share or trade with a friend or fellow student whom has had or has the same class as you.  Also consider splitting the cost of a book with a classmate.




  • Rent Books Online 

Consider renting your books.  You will be charged based on how long you may need the book.  For example a book rental for only one month will be cheaper than three months.  Check out BookRenter Or Rent eTextbooks from Amazon.





  • Find Books For FREE

Sites Like BookBoon and OpenCulture offer “open textbooks” where you can find eBooks or PDF versions of the books you need that are written in a more straightforward manner.  This makes them shorter and to the point of the lessons, much like “cliff notes”.  You may also want to consider the University Library.  Most campus libraries will have an inventory of classroom textbooks.  Look to see if the ones you need are available.  Free Books!



  • Keep Your Reciepts

In some cases you can use your school expenses for books as a tax write off for the year.  Be sure to save all of your receipts!





  • Sell Your Books When Done!

I use to love selling my books at the end of the semester!  Some of my classmates didn’t want to take the time to stand in line and check to see if their books were worth anything.  I use to say, “I don’t mind standing in line for money!”  Nowadays you can sell them online as well.  Look into getting a return on your investment.  It will not usually be close to what you paid for the book, but anything is worth it.



  • Check through these Sites to help you, sell, rent, buy or trade your textbooks!

Buy, Rent Or Sell + Free Shipping $25.00+

Buy, Rent Or Sell

Buy, Rent, Sell Or Trade