Saving Money on College Textbooks

savingAs education prices continue to rise students are trying more now than ever to save money. After paying for tuition the last thing a student wants to do is pay another $1500 for books. School bookstores tend to overcharge a lot for textbooks. Fortunately, for students, they have a few options out there for them to save money on textbooks.

Purchase used books

In some instances, students can purchase used books. The used textbooks can be significantly less. A student should check with their professors and see if a used textbook will suffice. Some professors will allow it while others won’t.

Buy online

Another way that students can save money on their college books is by purchasing them online. I was able to save quite a bit of money by purchasing books online when I was in college. There are several sites out there where you can check for books such as Amazon or Half.com which is a subsidiary or eBay.

Ask your professors

Earlier I stated that you can ask your professor if it’s possible to use an earlier edition of the textbooks. You should also check to see if you will even need the books. There were a couple instances where our professors told us we wouldn’t even be using a textbook. That was good to know because that particular book would have been almost $100.

Rent 

There are some bookstores that will allow you to rent your books. From what I’ve heard renting textbooks is cheaper than buying them as well. I have to admit that I don’t know much about renting textbooks. When I was in college we didn’t have that option available. From what I’ve read Barnes and Nobles has a pretty good book rental program. Feel free to check it out here.

Share 

The final way that you can save money on textbooks is to share a book with a friend. If you have a friend that is taking the course during another time you can ask them if you could share a book with them. Some people will take you up on that offer especially if you offer to pay half of the price.

How did you save money on your textbooks in college?




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  1. The only option available to me was to buy used which I did. There were exceptions, where I was forced to buy new but I never had a professor not use a text book. Glad there are other options out there now. I remember the whole book thing as being very costly!
    Jacqeline Gum recently posted…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

  2. I saved using Used textbooks whenever possible. I sold back only a couple of books ever. It’s a rip off because the bookstore gives you less than half. I suggest posting an ad on the student bulletin board in the dorm and on the elevators advertising your book for less than the bookstore price. I kept over 95% of all of my textbooks. I thought I could use them for reference later in my career, but I’m not working in either career field I received my B.A. or M.A. T. Ugh! I’m soul searching for my purpose in life and a career field in which I will be financially, personally, and professionally satisfied. I loaned a couple books out to people I knew, but they never returned them back to me. I guess they resold them for themselves. Lessons learned!

    • Posting the books on a bulletin board was a great idea. I kept a few of my marketing books as well. I’ve yet to open them since I graduated from college.

  3. I learned pretty quickly in college and undergrad that buying new textbooks was a total scam. First, the “new” edition is usually some slight grammatical changes along with swapping some chapters around. Professors rarely know what’s new anymore than you do—unless they wrote the book. If they did, they’ll usually tell you whether it’s important or not. Buying used through Amazon or other booksellers is a great way to cut down the costs. Even in law school I usually spent $50–100 or less per semester on books. There are search engines, like this one, that will look for used books across a huge swath of sellers.
    Mortimer recently posted…The Complete Guide to Biking to School and Work with 3 KidsMy Profile

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