Cheap College Textbooks: Ways to Save Big January 11th, 2013
There are all sorts of ways to save money while you are in college. One of the easiest ways to alter you spend is by snagging college textbooks on the cheap.
My College Guide has tips to help you save big bucks this semester on your college textbooks. Read on for ways you can spend less on your school books this year!
Cheap College Textbooks
Used College Textbooks – This one is so common-sense we almost didn’t include it. You really don’t need a brand new textbook. Pick up a used book and save big! Most of the time, you can flip through a college coursebook and make sure that, even though it’s used, it is in good condition! Watch out for loads of highlighted or doodle-covered pages. If it looks really used, keep hunting!
Rent College Textbooks – Renting your college textbooks is a great way to keep your school costs down. There are all sorts of textbook providers that offer this option, including some companies you already know. Prices can vary greatly, as can availability, so plan ahead as best you can. Look for any hidden costs, and make sure that you remember to actually return your book when you are done with it.
Search Engines — Put Google, Bing, or Yahoo to work for you! Type in the name of the book you need (the ISBN is really helpful to have here) and see what you can find. The “shopping” option on many search engines can help you easily find the best price. All you’ll need to do is narrow down what the price includes and how soon you can get it! Make sure you take shipping costs into consideration.
Have Tablet, Need eTextbook – While you can use an eBook on a laptop, chances are you aren’t lugging that around to your classes. But if you have a tablet? Well, you’ve just considerably lightened up the load–and the price you’ll pay for a book! Many textbooks are now offered in eBook format. It may take some getting used to but it’s much easier on your wallet.
College Textbook Options
It might be temping to take the easy way out by heading to the college bookstore to buy all the books you’ll need for your college classes, but by planning ahead and doing a bit of research, you can save a whole lot of money.
What are some of your favorite money-saving tips when it comes to college textbooks? Please share them in the comments section below!
Image Credit: Flickr, Nomadic Lass.
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Save $ On Textbooks and Homework Help When You Search With Bing! October 17th, 2011
We’re excited to kick off a new way for you to earn Chegg & Cramster gift cards – just by using Bing, the decision engine from Microsoft that helps you find information more quickly on the web.
Starting today, all Bing Rewards members can redeem credits for Chegg & Cramster gift cards for off textbook rentals or homework help. Not a member? No worries. Just cli [...]
5 Ways to Save on Textbooks December 23rd, 2010
Did you know that the average student spends 0 every year on textbooks alone (and many students spend way more!)? If you ask me, there are much better things to spend that kind of money on, which is why I threw together this list of five ways to save on your textbook costs for next semester, with some help from our sister site the Pay for College Blog which has several posts about saving on textbooks (among other things!). Check it out if you’re looking to learn more about paying for your college education without breaking the bank.
And now, onward to textbook savings…
5. Think Resale
I know what you’re thinking–I haven’t even bought the books yet, why am I thinking of selling them?
Most students think of textbooks as a “sunk cost”–money you spend and never get back. But one of the best ways to save your cash is to sell your books at the end of each quarter or semester, and put the funds back towards buying your next round of books.
I recommend selling your books online, where you can usually get more than the campus store will offer you for your used text. That said, if you don’t see yourself making the effort to list and ship, take advantage of buy-backs at your school bookstore. Any return is better than none.
4. Talk to Other Students
First, if you can, talk to students who took the class before you and find out whether the class focuses more on the text, on lectures, or equally on both. Some profs suggest buying the textbook for use as a supplement to their lectures, but rarely test on it–you may not need to buy the book at all.
Second, talk to your classmates and see if anyone is up for book-sharing. You could split the cost and have joint custody–just make sure you have a backup plan for those high-study weeks before tests.
3. Rent or Borrow
Renting textbooks has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, and now you have more options than ever. While (in most cases) you won’t be able to highlight or write notes in the margin, you will most likely spend less to rent a book than to buy one. Try sites like Rent-a-Text.com, BookRenter.com, CampusBookRentals.com, and Chegg.com which all claim to save 50 to 90% of the cost of buying the text brand new.
Also, many school libraries keep copies of required texts on hand. You might be able to check out the book for the whole semester, or you may be required to stay in the library to use it.
2. Buy (Not-From-the-Bookstore) Used
The on-campus bookstore may be convenient, but it is definitely not the way to save money. Their used book selection may be cheaper than their new copies, but chances are you can find a better deal if you look around a little more. Try Half.com or Amazon.com for great deals on used books online, check out used bookstores near campus, or talk to students who took the class last year.
1. Buy an Earlier Edition
If you ask me, the the best ways to save BIG on textbooks is to buy a previous edition of your textbook. While the new editions are selling at full price, you can sometimes get a previous edition for half that–or maybe even less. You may have to borrow a friend’s updated copy on occasion or deal with slightly differing page numbers, but in most cases the cash-saving benefit makes that little extra work way worthwhile!
Note: Always check with your professor before buying a previous edition. Most profs are understanding about the need to save money, but for some classes–particularly advanced science courses–you may NEED the most recent version.