Guide: Where to Find Cheap College Textbooks Today

With the Internet economy booming, there are a plenty of places selling college textbooks online. However, there a still a few places to find lower prices offline trying to compete with Internet bookstores. Here are some great ways to save money, both online and offline, when looking for cheap college books to buy. First and foremost, knowing class schedules ahead of time and committing to them early can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

One Man’s Treasure…

Online classifieds are a great place to look for cheap college books to buy. Simply check in the “Sell” and “Trade” sections of the classifieds and look for your specific title. Sellers are usually more open to negotiating the price depending on shipping and distance.

Local Bookstores

Local bookstores are definitely a great place to look for textbooks, as they may be willing to discount prices for students or even negotiate offers. When buying from local bookstores, shipping fees are eliminated, saving you even more money.

Social Media

Social media is often overlooked by students as an easy way to find college books. Updating a status on a social media site such as Facebook with the title, edition and year of the book needed can spread the word to all your friends who can then share with others. Even on Twitter a simple tweet with your book name can get the word out to a lot of people at once.

Rent/Borrow

If you won’t need to use your textbook long-term, consider borrowing it from the library (on campus or local). Most libraries have an inter-library loan program or they have certain textbooks on reserve per the request of professors. There are even options to rent books online instead of purchasing, which offer students a choice to save even more money provided they keep the book in the condition it was received in. You can save up a considerable amount of money by renting books online on sites like Chegg.com

Online Textbook Stores

The amount of online textbook stores that have popped up over the years can be overwhelming at first glance. Here a few of the most highly recommended sites that offer new and used books for affordable prices.

– Bigwords.com — Has a comparison where you can search many big names in online bookstores for the lowest price, as well as a buy-back comparison feature.

– Half.com — sister site of Ebay for books, shows comparison of prices with shipping added.

– Amazon.com — new and used books; Amazon Prime membership for students.

– Chegg.com — Offers book rentals only; 30-day return policy with free shipping.

Abebooks — up to 75% off and a buy-back program.

Etextbooks

Some students prefer to do their reading on their computer or tablet. This is slowly becoming a normal trend today. For those individuals who don’t need to have a physical textbook to flip through and do some highlighting in, there are sites that provide the entire book in a digital form. Printing is very limited; however, the book will always be accessible online anywhere the student is. CourseSmart.com is a rare example of a database of etextbooks that can be highlighted electronically and provide an option for a limited amount of printed pages. For a busy college student with a tight budget, this option may fit perfectly. We found that textbook prices are even lower as you start doing more analysis.

Some Final Tips

Most times, an establishment that gives a good offer for book buy-backs is a good place to purchase books as well. This can be online or offline, so some research will have to be done to find the best deal. When buying items online, coupons can apply in the same way you would use them in real life, for example on grocery store items. Be sure to look out for promotional codes and coupon codes that can knock the price down when looking for cheap college books to buy. Here are a few to get started:

These sites have a specific section that lists discount codes specifically for textbooks and ebooks.

It’s a known fact that college can be expensive. Buying textbooks should not be since they are essential for success. Putting the above tips into practice can really help students stretch a dollar every semester!