Best ways to save money on college textbooks

We are all aware prices of college textbooks are skyrocketing these days.  Each year, new versions are published and sold at a much higher price than that of the previous version. This has been one of the primary factors why the price of attending college has steadily increased year after year.  Nonetheless, you will be glad to know that there are still numerous alternative techniques that can help you save lots of cash. The following is a brief rundown on how to purchase these books at inexpensively to save on college expenses.

1) Acquire an Older Edition of your Textbook

Look at the kind of books you want for your classes and ask your professor if an older edition of the college textbook will do. If they say yes, you can go ahead and buy the older edition book and save.  An older edition does not likely have many differences as compared to the latest one. If you have fellow students or acquaintances who have already taken the course you might ask to borrow the books from them.

2) Compare Textbook Prices Online

Do not get the books directly from your college bookstores. You can often do far better by first getting their prices and then comparing online prices from textbook rental and textbook sellers on Amazon or Half.  In most instances, you are likely to get heavy discounts if you acquire your books online, as there are a lot of locations on Internet that sell college textbooks at a much more reasonable price as compared to the costs charged by the college bookstores.

3) Rent Textbooks

Another great alternative is to rent your textbooks instead of purchasing them. It is most likely the cheapest book and you know your costs exactly, provided you don’t damage, lose, or return the book late.  If you buy a book hoping to get a good buyback price it is possible to spend less than renting, but it is a gamble because textbook buyback prices are not guaranteed. The best thing about renting books is that once your course is complete, the books will not be sitting around.

4) Check your local and college library which might have your textbook

Be sure to check local libraries that might have a copy of your textbook or some of your reference books.  This strategy works only for those books that you use rarely because libraries often have limited stocks of a specific book and generally they only lend college textbooks for a short period of time.

5) Buy Used College Books

Check with your professor and unless you need some super secret decoder information, only available online, buy a used book.  Or ask your professor if several people can access and share the information so perhaps you and several friends can share the cost of accessing this information.  Plus, check online for this specific information, you can often buy access to this information separately, and coupled with buying a used book, save lots of money over buying a new textbook.  Publishers tend to create “bundles” that are very expensive, but not necessary for your class.  Do a little research and you can save.

What other methods have you used to save money on college textbooks?


  1. If greater parental involvement in education means that one of the parents can’t have a full time job and save money for college, so be it. Especially if you’re already middle-class! I’d much rather have a caring parent than an extra vacation. Well raised kids should be able to pay for college on their own, anyway.

  2. Cheap Textbooks says:

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  3. eve isk says:

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