One of the biggest expenses (with tuition excluded, of course) is textbooks. But there are ways to save money on your college textbooks. This guide will show you practical ways to do that. But before we begin, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t buy all your textbooks before you begin your classes. That’s because you may change your course during the trial period. You can find some bookstores that may allow you to return your books for a full refund. But it’s not a guarantee, so you shouldn’t bet on it.
- If you must purchase a book, it’s always better to buy used textbooks online. But if you have a new college book, maintain the excellent condition of the book. That way, you can sell your textbooks back at a higher price.
That said, let’s find out how you can save money on your college books.
5 Best Ways To Find Affordable College Books
1. Buy Used Textbooks Online
Nowadays, you can find numerous sites that offer affordable used textbooks to buy, like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Cheap Textbooks. However, you should not buy your books at your college bookstore. And that’s because convenience means higher prices.
The only time to consider your campus bookstore is when you have to choose some specific materials. When you buy the books, you can always sell them back on great sites like BookDeal.com. Such websites offer you numerous buyback vendors willing to buy your books at higher prices.
Now, be careful when purchasing your books because there are numerous scam sites out there. So, make sure you review the textbook sites before you proceed.
2. Purchase E-Textbooks
Digital textbooks are prevalent nowadays, and it’s become more convenient. And it’s relatively affordable for students to buy. So, it’s far cheaper compared to traditional books, although savings are not always substantial.
You can read e-textbooks on an e-reader, tablet, or laptop. Aside from the reduced cost, they are more portable. You can compare e-textbook prices at well-known sites such as Apple Books, eBooks.com, Amazon, etc.
3. Share Textbooks With Your Classmates
Sharing textbooks is another option that works for some courses. What you do is split the cost of a book with your close friend or roommate taking the same class. Then you develop a schedule on how to share the book.
If the schedule works out well, it can significantly benefit both of you. One more thing to consider is your professors. Some require that you have your books available during class. On the other hand, other professors use texts as supplemental reading and use class time for lectures.
So, you need to figure out your instructor’s style before you make the decision to share textbooks with your colleague. It might not be the best idea in some situations.
4. Rent Textbooks
Renting textbooks is increasing in popularity, especially for the most expensive books such as science and math texts. If you want to rent books, dealing with your college bookstore might be a good idea.
First, you need to understand the terms of the rental before you begin. Second, you may need to keep the rental textbooks in good condition to avoid losing money when you return them.
Also, find out how much the used version of the college book sells for. Sometimes, it may be a good idea to buy the book and resell them after you’re done with the book. Some sites allow you to ship your textbooks for free to save money on that too.
Finally, keep in mind that renting isn’t always the cheapest and best route to take, especially when you consider the resale value.
5. Check Your School’s Library
Your college may not have all the books, but they’ll likely have some copies of them, mainly nonfiction and fiction books for liberal arts classes. So, what you need to concern yourself with is how to get the books when you need them.
You can order the books ahead of time or use the interlibrary loan system. But it’s best if you have some backup cash. That way, if you don’t get the copy, you can purchase the book, especially when you have to take an exam.
The best way to save money on your college books is to buy used books on sites like Amazon, Book Scouter, etc. Then, sell them back on websites like BookDeal.com and get the highest offers. But you have to keep the books in good condition.
But the points outlined in this guide can help you save money. So go through them and pick the ones that work best for your situation.