7 Ways to Save Money on Textbooks

Going to college is already expensive enough. Between tuition, housing, food, and school supplies, the prices quickly add up. When classes require textbooks that cost upwards of $100, it can feel overwhelming. The last thing you need is something else to stress about, so here are some ways to save on textbooks so that you can use your money for other items:

1. Buy used books at your campus bookstore

If you’re going to buy books from your school’s bookstore, check to see if there are any used copies available. You can save a ton of money when you buy used and since you’re buying it in person, you can choose a copy that looks best. You’ll save money and the environment!

2. Check out Amazon Prime

Amazon has a huge library and probably has every book you need. Students can become Prime members at a discounted rate, and you’ll discounts on books (and anything else you want to buy) and free two-day shipping.

Many books on Amazon come in e-book versions and you can also buy used or rent to save extra money. But beware -- if you buy used books online, they might not be in the best shape and you won’t be able to see it until it’s shipped to you.

3. Rent from Chegg or other rental services

Chegg is a great resource for renting books. You can save up to 90% on books, plus there’s free shipping on orders over $50. Barnes & Noble and www.ecampus.com also offer book rental services, so there are plenty of options to find even the rarest books.

4. Buy from Abebooks

Abebooks is one of my favorite ways for getting cheap books. I’ve bought books from here that were still way cheaper than renting. I once got three super rare books for a total of less than $5! Plus, many of the sellers are small bookstores, so your money goes to supporting local businesses.

But be careful—sometimes shipping can take a long time, so don’t wait until the last minute. Also, the books are not always in great shape.

5. Check out social media pages

Many colleges have Facebook pages for buying and selling books (and anything else you might want). NYU has a page called Free & For Sale with over 17,000 members. Also, a lot of times students will post in Facebook groups that they’re selling their books. Be sure to stay up-to-date by joining any relevant groups. People typically sell their books at great prices, plus you don’t have to worry about paying for shipping!

6. Look for digital versions

If you have a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader, try to see if any of the books you need are available in digital versions. Even if you don’t have an e-reader, you can read it on your computer or phone, and a lot of times digital versions are cheaper than print versions.

7. Check your local libraries

If you know you’re only going to need a book for a short period, try checking it out from your local library! Even if the closest branch doesn’t have a copy, they might be able to get it on loan from another branch so that you can read it and pay absolutely nothing!

Images: 1 / 2 / 34 / 5