What are tips for getting cheap textbooks?

Looking for ideas on how to save money on your textbooks? Here are some helpful tips!

  • Buy or rent used books!
    • Buying a used book is assuredly cheaper than buying a new book. And aside from regular wear and tear from being used by other students, there are no content differences between a new book and a used book.
    • Renting a used book is even cheaper than buying a used book. When you rent a textbook, you pay a discounted price for the book you need for just the amount of time you need it. There’s nothing worse than buying a book at a high price then trying to sell it afterwards and it isn’t even worth a quarter of the purchasing price. Make sure you gather the right information.
  • Check with your professor if you can purchase or rent an older edition.
    • Sometimes newer editions are almost identical to is predecessor.
    • Almost always, older editions are cheaper than the newer one!
  • Avoid on-campus bookstores!
    • Universities usually contract large companies to set up an on campus bookstore (that pretty much only cares about making more and more profit). Because of this, used book options are usually limited since new books are more profitable.
    • Small independently owned bookstores are in the business to help college students find more affordable options. Independent textbook stores usually sell and rent out used books because it’s the cheapest option available for students.
  • See if you need the bundle or just the book.
    • Sometimes professors will list an ISBN on their syllabus that isn’t quite what you need, because it is for a bundle of materials like access codes or study guides.
    • Individual books have different ISBNs from packages. Do you really need the access code or lab manual? Check with your professor first before purchasing bundles that have unnecessary items.
    • Finding the correct ISBN is the easiest way to find a better deal on your books!