Most college experiences are fun but buying textbooks is NOT one of them. Textbooks can be one of the biggest financial stressors for parents and students. This is especially frustrating because they are usually being used for a short period of time, rendering your investment useless.
There are pros and cons to both renting and buying textbooks. If this is a book you may need to reference later down the road, you may be better off buying. If it’s a frequently updated subject or a core subject you may never hear about again, renting is probably your best bet. You can also compare your cost of renting vs. owning a textbook at sites like, www.bigwords.com or www.campusbooks.com .
While there are many horror stories, the internet can be a beautiful place. Check out some of the websites below for places to rent or buy this year’s textbooks on the cheap:
- Chegg : Great site for buying, renting and selling your textbooks at up to 90% savings. They also give you access to eBooks which are becoming increasingly popular. As for shipping and handling, Chegg takes care of it all.
- CheapestTextbooks.com : Offers opportunities to buy used books and a selling venue to sell them back when you’re finished. The savings can be up to 95% and they also give tips on how to find the best deal on their website such as recommending an older edition.
- Half.com : This site, as a partner of eBay, automatically links to your eBay account if you have one. You can filter the condition of the book you’re looking for and allows you to purchase textbooks as well as other book genres.
- Amazon: Amazon is known for books and it has become more college-friendly by offering used textbooks and steep discounts on the new and electronic books. When students are finished with their textbooks, they can be switched out for an Amazon gift card. Another Amazon Student account perk is free two-day shipping on any of your future Amazon purchases.
- AbeBooks: A resource for students to get access to a wide selection of academic textbooks, and other types, at a deep discount. They also have a buyback program that allows you to get cold hard cash for your books.
- Book Finder.com : This site, like the others, provides a great platform for students to save on the purchase of textbooks. The differentiator here is that they cater to international students in ways that allow them to refine their search based on destination and currency. The site can also be viewed in a variety of other languages.
Even though these sites are great money-saving tools, make sure not to overlook shipping and handling costs or minimum purchase requirements. Don’t forget that it never hurts to search for promo codes prior to checking out as well. Researching textbook prices can be a daunting task but if you do your homework (pun intended), you can end up saving hundreds of dollars this school year!