Back to School: Save on Textbooks

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booksThe school year is fast approaching and college students will soon have to think about buying their textbooks. Bookstores on campuses nationwide gouge prices for their textbooks, including used textbooks. Amazon or eBay are always options to purchase your books but when you’re on campus in the first couple weeks of school, it is simply more convenient to walk to the bookstore and pick up your books when you’re on campus. However, if you have a plan, you can save some serious cash. So as a student or even a parent, what should you do?

  • E-mail your professors to get the ISBNS (individual code assigned to each book) for the books.
  • Search Amazon and eBay but make sure you’re looking for the right editions. The earlier you do this, the better chance you’re going to have at getting a deal. Otherwise, the demand will be higher than the supply, even on sites like Amazon or eBay.
  • Contact friends that have previously taken one or more of your classes and offer to trade or purchase their books.  Some schools even offer book swaps.  Find out whether your school offers such a program.
  • See if the book is available digitally.  Some schools have access to digital libraries where students can access certain books online for free.  A site called CourseSmart provides students with a database of digital textbooks to help pinpoint which of your textbooks can be accessed digitally.

In addition to Amazon and eBay, a site called Chegg allows you to rent textbooks! They offer 2 day shipping and have even given back to the environment by planting over 5 million trees through their partnership with the American Forest global ReLeaf Foundation.

Taking these steps can help you save some money and prevent you from paying through the roof at your campus book store.  When the school year is over, you can go ahead and sell your books to the bookstore or you could get a chunk of your money back. I always sell my books through Amazon and I have been happy with the experience.  Now, Amazon even lets you trade-in your books for a gift card.  Navigate over to Amazon to see how it works.  Books can often be a large expense in your college experience.  If you take the extra steps to purchase them wisely, you can take your savings and put it toward your student loans or your savings.  Every little bit counts!

Written by: Teddy Worcester