How to Save Big on College Textbooks [9 Tips]

Thursday, 22 November 2018

How to Save Big on College Textbooks [9 Tips]

Posted by Rahul Gupta
Going back to college in January? One of the most biggest expenses, other than tuition, is the price of textbooks. According to the College Board, college students may spend between $1,200 to $1,300 for books and school supplies.
Save Big on College Textbooks
That's a lot of money if you don't have a full-time job. There are plenty of ways through which you can save money while getting the textbooks you need.

Compare the Price of Textbooks

Most college kids who are looking for textbooks start at their campus bookstore. This is not a good idea if you're looking for ways to save money on your textbooks. While the college bookstore is the easiest place to find all of your college textbooks, it's one of the highest priced places to buy them. Browse the store to get an idea of how much your textbooks cost.

Don't purchase them yet. Check out online stores that offer great deals such as free shipping. If you want to purchase new textbooks, comparison shop at various bookstores. You may find that prices on new books may vary depending on your geographic location. If you have a little time before your classes, you can figure out which store has the best deal.

Wait Until Your First Class to Buy Textbooks

Some college professors may work with students who can't afford to buy new textbooks. Some of them may be honest and say that you'll only look over a few sections of the book over the course. Or, they may offer free or low-cost supplementary options such as digital aids or workbooks.

While not having your textbooks on the first day may seem like a big deal, it really isn't. The first day is usually reserved for discussing the course expectations and syllabus. You can use that information to decide the other following options to buy, rent, or borrow textbooks for that class.

Buy Used Textbooks, When Possible

There are plenty of used college bookstores online and in your area. This market is enormous since students only plan to use them for a single semester. There are plenty of used bookstores within the range of a college campus. You can also buy used textbooks at online marketplaces and retailers, at places like Booksrun.

Purchase Digital Books or E-Books

Large number of publishers are offering their textbooks in digital formats. These formats may include PDF, EPUB, TXT, and AZW, just to name a few. Purchasing e-books are not only cheaper, but it can save you from having to carry all of your textbooks with you everywhere.

E-books may not always be an appropriate option if you love to highlight your pages or take notes. With today's growing technology, you can “high-light” pages and use virtual bookmarks so that you can reference certain passages or sections of a book.

Share Textbooks With a Friend

If you're taking a class with a friend, maybe you can share a textbook. Split the costs with your friend for the used or new book. This can be a tricky system to work out, especially if you need access to the textbook when you're doing homework or studying. Maybe your friend can become your study partner for most of that semester. If you're taking the same course on certain days, then textbook sharing can be a cost-effective option.

Purchase Older Editions, If Possible

Textbooks are expensive because they're always updated with the latest information. Even the newest textbooks include minor details. If you're in a course that provides the same content every year, you're not going to need the latest textbook. Used or out-of-date books are proven to be a cheaper alternative.

Be aware that facts and figures may not be the same. You have to be careful when you're writing papers or doing your homework. Older editions may not work for math and science classes if the professor heavily relies on using homework straight from the book, as the questions may change each edition.

Check Textbooks Out at the Library

Sometimes your campus library or local library may have copies of some of your textbooks. This is beneficial if you're in liberal arts or English major. If others in your course are also borrowing from the library, you may be placed on a waitlist. Your best option would be to look ahead on the syllabus, and reserve copies of the books at least two to three weeks ahead of time.

Rent Your Books Online

Rent your textbooks instead of wasting money on a one-time purchase. Online textbook rentals are increasing in popularity. They're another great option for saving money on textbooks. You can even rent an e-book version of your textbook, which is even cheaper. Be careful when renting physical textbooks, since they have to be in perfect condition when you return them, or you'll have to pay additional fees.

Sell Your Old Textbooks

There are plenty of online wholesalers and bookstores that will buy your used textbooks. Before you bring your textbooks to the college bookstore to get a fraction of what you paid, check out an online price comparison for your textbooks. You'll be able to sell your textbooks for the most money, which you can use to buy new or used textbooks. This should be used as a last-ditch option if all other options have failed.

When you need to save money on textbooks, it's important to consider all or some of your options. It may take some research on your part, but trying some of these tips may mean spending thousands less before the school year.


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