Anyone who has attended, or is in the process of attending, a university or college knows just how expensive textbooks can be. Textbooks can literally cost a small fortune. Most students don’t have the time, ability, resources, etc. available to hold a traditional job, and many of them are simply not that great yet at saving money. As a result, these students are not prepared to pay out of pocket for large expenses like textbooks. All this combined can be a difficult “concoction" for many students to take, especially considering the lack of options available for discounted textbooks in the past. Turning a cold shoulder on class required textbooks is simply not an option for studious individuals. Besides, nearly all teachers require them, and enforce this requirement in some way – usually in a manner detrimental towards grades. Also, homework and study guides commonly come from, or refer to, specific textbook pages.
Further, because most college students do not have much money to their name, a growing trend of students looking for cheap textbooks online has emerged. The lesson many of these students looking for cheap textbooks learn is that doing a little research goes a long way in regards to finding textbooks for less money than what they might normally pay. This is good news for previously unhappy textbook consumers enrolled in school and dreading next semester’s round of textbook purchases. Textbooks for less money or in some cases much less money are now a reality. There are several ways to cut down on school-related costs and one of them is to shop intelligently for inexpensive textbooks using the methods described in this article and in greater length on our website. Now-a-days, looking for cheap textbooks online is a wise economic choice for college students.
There are a multitude of websites that specialize in selling discount items, but only a handful of major players that focus specifically on discount textbooks. Both types of venues can yield positive mindsets from students with their attractive prices. Our Method pages go over the majority of these companies in the textbook industry, and what they offer.
Most public marketplace type websites (e.g. eBay) consist of students selling their old textbooks, meaning that the textbooks are obviously used. Just remember this and evaluate the condition of your potential purchases with the seller. Used outlets are not the only source of cheap textbooks students should acknowledge. Smart sources for discounted textbooks include, but are not limited to, free tools like textbook price comparison engines; eTextbook suppliers; and textbook rental services.
Comparing the prices from different textbook websites can be cumbersome, and there are many websites that aim at providing users with a large sample pool of prices offered around the internet. Be weary relying on just one textbook price comparison website as they all have there own pros and cons. Generally, the more research you do the better chances you’ll have at finding an incredibly cheap version of a textbook. Unfortunately, there are no “one stop shop" solutions for finding the cheapest prices on textbooks, just vendors toting they are such a place. Usually this isn’t the case do to the fact that these textbook stores are typically limited in the types and conditions of textbooks they offer or advertise. You can find an extensive list of price comparison websites specifically tailored towards textbook customers on Method #10.
On Method #9 you’ll find an overview of the most reputable eTextbook suppliers. These kind of textbook stores can be helpful in allowing you to purchase a cheaper, digital version of your textbook.
One way to save money on your textbooks is to rent them, instead of buying them. Deciding if you want a new or used textbook or if you want to rent your textbook(s) can be a difficult decision if you have never rented your textbooks before. Renting is almost always cheaper than buying brand new textbooks, but you will have to return the books at the end of the semester. So if there are any books you want to keep, or write extensively within, renting may not be the best option for you. There are many different providers of textbook rental programs.
For a list of reputable textbook rental services, visit Method #7.
For an introduction on the basics of renting textbooks, click here.
Avid college bookstore frequenters who might be slightly concerned and apprehensive about purchasing or renting textbooks online, consider this: textbooks that are for sale online (either new or used) are the same textbooks available at your school’s bookstore, and often times you can save 50% or even more in some cases off the retail price by using an online storefront. Although students taking this route typically have to wait a short period of time for their purchases to arrive, the savings make it well worth the wait for most.
If you’ve never used any of the websites discussed on this page or elsewhere on our website before, don’t fret. Your discount textbooks are just minutes away as the process is very simple and nearly identical across textbook suppliers’ websites. Simply search for the name, author, or ISBN of the textbook you are looking for. Try to be as specific and accurate as possible, in order to be sure that you are receiving the correct version and edition of your textbook. Purchasing, renting, or downloading your textbooks is almost as simply as purchasing any other online product.
This article touches upon buying eTextbooks, which are often cheaper than physical textbooks. But did you know that there are thousands of free eTextbooks that you can download in seconds all across the internet? We’ve put them into an organized list, to view them just click here.