Here are 7 textbook buying tips to save you money every semester:
1. Never buy a new textbook. You can save a $100 per book just by buying a used textbook. If you don’t like writing and highlighting in your books, don’t worry! Every website that sells used textbooks has a description of the condition of the book. You can find used textbooks without writing or highlights. I promise!
2. Don’t buy your textbook until after the first day of class. This simple rule can save you money because there have been several times where my instructor told us we only need one specific book for our class instead of the 2 or 3 that were recommended.
3. Buy textbooks online. Never buy textbooks from your college bookstore. They are over priced and mostly consist of new textbooks. There are several price comparison websites that will search 30 or more online bookstores (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chegg, etc.) in a matter of seconds. You will get price quotes for your textbook ranked from lowest to highest prices. Most of these sites will include prices for new textbooks, used textbooks, rentals, etextbooks and international editions. And shipping rates are very affordable, sometimes free.
4. Use coupon codes. When you use a price comparison website and you find the book you want to purchase, use Google and type in a query for the store and a coupon code. For example, if you found a textbook on Barnes & Noble that you want to purchase, go to Google and type in “barnes & noble coupon code 2011.” You will be amazed at how valid coupon codes you can find using this method. And how much money you can save.
5. Rent textbooks. Many students are now renting textbooks. You simply pay a rental fee to have the textbook for a certain time frame and return the book when you’re done. Usually, the company even pays for shipping the book back.
6. Buy international editions. This can save you a ton of money by buying an international edition of a textbook. Normally, these textbooks are exact copies of the U.S. versions except they will have a different cover. Sometimes, they will use the metric system over our system of measurements. But for most subjects this doesn’t matter.
7. Repeat the above tips at the beginning of every semester. You can save $1,000s in four years by applying these steps.
I’ve been buying/selling products online as a business for about a year. I also own UsedTextbookPrices.com as an opportunity to offer students a way to find cheaper textbooks quickly. Our slogan is “15 seconds could save you 50% or more on textbook prices.” The site is run by students, for students!