Wouldn’t it be nice if professors taught us from their experiences rather than from textbooks?
Every semester brings along a new set of textbooks that students are responsible for buying. And because the process of finding good deals can be strenuous, most students end up paying more for books than they have to.
I understand the struggle, which is why I have done this research for you.
This article shares the best places online for you to get cheap college textbooks. It will also let you know what to look for when searching for books, and how to use these resources to find the best deals
What You Need To Know
Before we get into the list of resources for getting cheap college textbooks, you need to understand that every site will be different.
Just because you don’t find the book you are looking for on one site doesn’t mean you will not find it on the next one.
The same thing applies to prices. If you think you can find your book cheaper somewhere else, don’t hesitate to check another link.
Also, you will need to know your options. You don’t have to buy every book if you don’t plan on using the book beyond the semester you use it.
Here are the options that you have when buying textbooks:
Buy a New Hard Copy
This is the traditional way of buying books for classes. You pay for a book in full. After which, it is yours to keep. With this option, you can either get a new or used book (depending on your budget)
Rent a Hard Copy
Another traditional way of getting your books. You pay to borrow the book (usually for a semester). You need to make sure that you return the book before the date which will be declared late.
Buy an eBook
Buying an ebook lets you own your book electronically. In some cases, you can have it on multiple devices.
Buy Access to an eBook For a Limited Time.
Buying access to an ebook for a limited time is pretty much like renting an ebook. Because you are buying the book electronically, you won’t have to worry about getting the book back to the owner. You lose access when your time is up.
Websites that offer limited access ebooks will usually give you access to the book for between 90-365 days – depending on the book.
I find that renting my books is the best way to go. If you do buy a textbook, when you try to sell it back, you will find out it lost its value the second you bought it. Meaning you will most likely end up having to sell your book for much less than you paid for it
The only time I would advise purchasing a book is if you know you will be using it long term, or if you know, the book will hold its value and resell for most of what you paid for it.
Unless you plan on keeping your textbooks beyond their classes, renting will save you money. You can rent a book for significantly less money than if you bought it. In the end, you’ll have to return the book, but that doesn’t matter if you weren’t planning to use it after the class.
Important: If you rent a physical version of a book, remember to return the book on time so you don’t get bombarded by late fees!
Where To Get Your College Textbooks (For Cheap!)
Everyone’s favorite online retail store. You can pretty much get anything from Amazon and college textbooks are no exception. Just like everything else on the site, the books on Amazon are very well priced, especially with an Amazon Prime subscription.
Textbooks.com was created to make it possible for students to get their books fast and at a discounted price. What is great about this site is that it offers 50% cashback on bought books. That means that at the end of the semester you are guaranteed to get 50% back of what you spent on the book.
Chegg is an online store that offers all kinds of services to college students. One such service is their book store program. What sets them apart from other sites on this list is that they also offer homework help, study help, tutoring, a math solver and many other things. You can get the books at great prices, and the other services will help make college slightly easier.
To get access to the other services they offer for students, you will need to sign up for a membership. But the membership services have nothing to do with the book store program.
You might have seen this one around your campus. eCampus’ bookstore program is the official book store for over 150 regional colleges. That doesn’t stop them from having a collection of cheap college textbooks. They made the Internet Retailer Top 500 List from 2007-2016.
AbeBooks is an online marketplace where you can get books from trusted independent sellers from around the world. They offer millions of new, used and rare books (yes, including those hard to find 1st editions and signed copies). Which means that if you’re looking for cheap college textbooks for classes, or if you love reading and collecting books, then you are likely to find what you’re looking for from AbeBooks at a great price!
Be sure to sort by “relevance” when searching for a book. You will save yourself from confusion.
If you are in a giving mood, you can buy your books with Better World Books. This site is on a mission to make sure that knowledge is shared and that no book goes to waste. They recycle used books, and for every book you buy, they will give a book to a child that needs it.
I’ll end off this list with some sites that pretty much do all of the work for you by looking up the best deals. Just search for the books you are looking for, and they’ll give you the prices offered by different stores.
They put the power in your hands by letting you chose the price you are most comfortable with
I added 3 of these sites because each of them gives you different links to books
Best Way To Use This List
Use this list to start looking for your school books and get the best prices possible. The last thing you would want is to buy a book only to find out somebody else paid much less for the same book.
Take your time and be patient looking at prices. If you don’t want to go through the first six sites provided individually, then look at the last three that do the work for you.
Be a smart shopper! Compare those prices, and get the best deal!