8 Ways to Save Money on College Textbooks by Robert Berger

Below is a great article how to save money buying cheap college textbooks.  Using our textbook search engine will help find the cheaptest prices with Roberts methods!

8 Ways to Save Money on College Textbooks

Robert Berger

College students spend an average of $655 per year on textbooks, according to the National Association of College Stores. Even though this figure is down from two and four years ago – from $667 and $702, respectively – it’s still a lot of money, especially for broke college students.

Depending on your major, your average book expense may be much more or much less than $655. Hefty textbooks used in math and science classes, for instance, tend to be more expensive than novels needed for literature classes. Still, no matter your course of study, you can apply some of these basic tips to save on college textbooks.

1. Steer clear of the bookstore. This is the No. 1 one way to spend less money on textbooks. Shopping at the college bookstore for textbooks is akin to picking up all your groceries at the corner gas station. Convenience, in both cases, means higher prices. You may need to pick up some specialized materials in your bookstore, like packets printed out by a professor for a specific class, but most of the time you can – and should – shop elsewhere for your books.

2. Buy used. College students have been buying used textbooks for years, and they shouldn’t stop now. Buying used books can save you a fortune, and often, the books are in good condition. You may be tempted to just pick up used books from your bookstore, but you can often find better prices online.

The easiest way to shop for used books online is to use ISBN numbers. These numbers are specific, so you’ll get the exact book and edition your class is using. Websites such as Amazon, eBay and book.ly are great places to shop around. MyNextCollege.com also offers a free search tool that compares prices from dozens of online stores.

3. Share. One option that works for some courses is simply to share. Split the cost with a roommate or close friend taking the same class, and share the book. As long as you can arrange study schedules so that you both get the book as often as you need it, this can work out well. Some professors are adamant that students have their books available during class, while others use the texts as supplemental reading and focus class time on lectures. Figuring out a professor’s style before you decide to share textbooks may be a good idea.

4. Check the library. While your school library may not have a copy of every single textbook, it’s likely to have copies of some of them – especially fiction and non-fiction books for liberal arts classes. The key to using the library is to ensure you can get the books when you need them. Ordering books ahead of time or using the interlibrary loan system can help. But you might want to keep some backup cash in case you can’t get the book at the library and need to buy a copy.

5. Rent books. Renting books is becoming a more popular option and can be a good way to save. Rentals are especially popular for the most expensive books, like math and science texts. If you want to rent books, you will likely have to deal with your campus bookstore, but this is one case that makes sense to do so.

First, you need to make sure you understand the terms of the rental. You may need to take extra care of rental books so you don’t lose money when you return them. And take time to see how much a used version of the book would sell for, as it might make more sense financially to buy the book and then resell it later. Finally, be aware that renting is not always the cheapest option, particularly when you factor in the resale value of a textbook you buy.

6. Opt for ebooks. Many textbooks are now available in ebook format, and you can buy or rent them in this cheaper format as long as you have an e-reader. If you’re taking classes that require historical texts, fiction, biographies, poetry and essays, you’ll likely find those texts in ebook format. One key to success with ebooks is to make sure you can easily navigate the book. Sometimes it’s more difficult to find a particular page using an ebook, which can be frustrating when participating in a seminar that involves jumping around by page number.

7. Consider buying the older edition. The California Student Public Interest Research Group published a study in 2004 that found new editions cost 58 percent more than older editions. Newer editions are often not that different from previous editions – they just sometimes look nicer and have different page numbers. You will want to compare old and new editions to ensure there aren’t any major differences between them, and you’ll be prepared to hunt down information during lectures, since your page numbers will probably be different.

8. Decide which you’ll use long-term. Once in a blue moon, it’s a good idea to buy a brand new textbook, even if you have to pay full price. This isn’t normally the case for introductory classes, as you’ll likely never use those books again. But once you get into the upper-level courses for your major, those textbooks could come in handy during your future career. Think carefully about which books you might use over the long term, and consider purchasing just those books new. That way, you’ll get a book without several students’ worth of wear and tear.

Cheap Textbooks for College

With the semester well under way at colleges and universities across  the  country  its   time to think about the future. Not way off into the future, but the next few months. Cause’ the future is expensive! BTW, if money is not tight then your either lucky or have parents with the means.

So, how to deal with the lack of funds and the want for fun? We have some of the answers with at www.CollegeTextbooks.net  that will scour for the best college books for cheap. All you have to do is ask the professor where to get cheap college textbooks by searching by either by ISBN, title or author.

You’ll find great deals on new textbooks, used textbooks and rental college books. We are even starting to see the e-textbooks.

Tip: make sure you have an acceptable edition.  Most times you won’t need to latest so a used college textbooks might be just the trick to save you cash on your college books.

Good luck this semester and come back in December!




Buying Used Textbooks

Great information from an expert in the Eastern Echo on June 28th


Students are getting ready to head to bookstores to purchase their fall textbooks.

Here are a few options they might want to consider.

Eastern Michigan University professor James Pinson recommends purchasing earlier editions of textbooks to save money.

“I find myself talking to students the first day about any acceptable, cheaper alternatives to texts I require or recommend,” Pinson said.

Emanuel said she would purchase earlier editions of textbooks depending on the subject.

“I’d definitely buy an older edition if the price was right and if the professor okayed it,” Emanuel said.

Students might want to talk with their professors to find out what editions of textbooks are acceptable for the courses they are taking.

Pinson also encourages students to purchase used copies of textbooks.

“There’s nothing wrong with buying used textbooks and I think many students prefer them,” he said.

If students purchase used copies of earlier textbook editions, they could save approximately 98 percent.

For example, a used copy of “Working With Words: A Handbook for Media Writers and Editors (6th edition)” can be purchased for $1 on eBay.

Pinson offers a few words of advice to the increasing amount of students choosing to rent and purchase used copies of textbooks.

“I’d just say compare what percentage you typically get selling back a book at the end of the semester, versus just paying the rental price and returning the book for nothing,” Pinson said. “I’d recommend that students wait until the first day of class before buying books to see whether they really need to spend as much money as they might think.”


So bottom line, don’t discount buying used textbooks, they can save you a bundle.

Yours Truly,


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