How to Save Money on Textbooks
There’s no doubt about it: textbooks are expensive. While some can be found for $50 or less, most textbooks cost over $100, and depending on how many classes you choose to take, you could easily spend over $500 on textbooks each semester.
Even though there’s really no way to avoid purchasing required textbooks, you can still save some money by implementing a few smart shopping strategies. Here are a few tactics you can use to get the best value on your textbooks every semester.
1. Check your student email for special offers from the campus bookstore.
If you decide to buy your books from your school’s bookstore, monitor your inbox for a few weeks prior to the start of the semester.
Campus bookstores will often send coupons or sale alerts to students by email, and taking advantage of these offers is a smart and easy way to save money.
Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, though. Make yourself aware of exclusions and other limits before you purchase your books so that you aren’t caught off guard.
2. Compare prices.
Oftentimes it’s difficult to judge whether a book is overpriced if you only check the prices at one store. In this situation, price comparisons can be very valuable.
If you know the ISBN, title and author of your book, type that information into a web browser and see what you can find. If this leads to no results, search for the book on Amazon and a few other book selling websites, and compare your results to find the best value.
3. Rent, if possible.
Once you’ve found the store or website with the best prices, you can save even more money by renting your books instead of buying them.
While sometimes the difference between renting and buying a book is small, other times it can mean a savings of nearly $100, and if you have to purchase multiple textbooks, the savings can add up quickly.
If you rent your books from a bookstore, simply bring your books back to the store when the semester is over. If you order from an online business, you will need to ship them back to the company’s warehouse by a certain deadline.
4. Consider e-books.
If the price of your textbooks still seems daunting to you, you can often save more money by buying or renting digital version of your books, if available.
In addition to saving money, there is another obvious benefit to purchasing electronic books: convenience. If you have your textbooks downloaded to your mobile device, you will be less likely to forget to bring them to class. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about lugging heavy books around campus all day.
With these tips in mind, you can save money and stress less about textbook costs. Happy saving!