After tuition and living expenses, one of the biggest expenses is your text books for class. If you are a full-time student, this can be quite a lot of money to come up with at once. You may be a little sticker shocked as well. Over a hundred dollars for a book you will only use for one 4 month long class? Insanity! To help ease your wallet and you mind, so you can focus on the important part and reason you are at school, (to learn of course!), here are some ways to save money on college text books.
How to Save Money on College Text Books
Buy them used. Did you know you can get college text books used? There are many ways to go about this, but one common way is to check with your school's bookstore. Often, if you ask early enough in the semester, they will have some “buy back” books that were used last year by students in limited quantities for sale at a used price. This is often 40-50% off the cover price of a new book. Another way is to look online. Places like Amazon have used text books being sold by students who used them in past years.
Sites to Buy Used College Text Books
Never buy new at the college bookstore. While it is tempting to do so, especially if you are in the store for a used copy (and they are out), never buy your textbooks in the college bookstore new. There are far too many places you can get them for much cheaper. The college bookstore will charge the maximum price.
Get a classmate to go in on a book with you. If you have a roomie that is taking the same class as you, ask if you can split the cost and study together. Not only will you both be saving money, but you will have a built in study partner!
Consider renting. You can actually rent used and new textbooks from many places online. The great thing about most of these sites is you get textbooks for as long as you need them (the entire semester or a full year!) and often times, shipping is free. Some sites even let highlight and write notes in the margins just like if the book was yours!
Sites to Rent College Text Books
Check and see if there is an ebook option available. College students now have an advantage over students in the past. Many of the textbooks they use have an ebook version for far cheaper. Amazon even offers FREE Kindle versions of many books needed for classes. There is no better price than free!
Swap college text books. You can do this informally with friends or you can open an account with an online book swap site such as BookMooch.com. You can post the textbooks you no longer need and use the points you acquire to obtain the textbooks that you need.
Start your class and see if you will actually even need it. Many classes hardly even touch their textbooks so buying one is a waste of money in some cases. You can go to the library and check out the textbook during the times you may need it. If you are only finding that you only need it infrequently, this could work for the whole semester.
What are some tips you have for saving money on textbooks?