Where to Buy Textbooks

Buy Textbooks

It’s no secret that college textbook costs makeup a significant amount of money every quarter – the maximum I’ve paid was about $500 per quarter for all new textbooks. Well, that was dumb, but that was also the first quarter of my freshman year in college, so no judging please. Since then I’ve rented, borrowed, bought and sold over 30 books, so here are some good websites I’ve used to do that.

Format Variety

2. New Textbooks: buying books new deliciously shiny textbook is always nice, but also expensive. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it if you’re buying a custom-made book, but I’ve always been able to find used copies for more generic textbooks.

3. Used Textbooks: the textbook can be lightly (or heavily!) used by someone before you, but that means that it costs much cheaper now. I’ve owned used textbooks and saved tons of money, but found that there’s no guarantee as to what you’ll get, how much writing will be in it, and which pages will be all highlighted. Risky, but if you’re trying to save money – perfect!

4. Renting Textbooks: similar to purchasing a used textbook, but much, much cheaper. Rentals can cost up to $40 dollars a quarter, but most of mine have cost me about $19. Really nice, but again, no guarantees that every single line won’t be highlighted already.

5. eBooks: alternatives to paper copies, these will save you a ton of space in you bag. Most of the time you’d be able to download these on your tablet or reading device (like a Kindle) and take it anywhere with you. Highlight by tapping on the words and add notes between the lines. Everything is great about these, except they cost about the same the new textbooks and you don’t get the advantage of writing in your own hand.

In terms of paper textbooks, I’ve found that using a looseleaf book is sooo much easier than a hardbound one. It comes with three holes to put into a binder, and you’d be able to pick out as many pages as you want and take them with you. I’m sticking to these in the future.

Now, the Websites

1. Chegg

They mail you your purchased textbook in a box with a return label in the box. All you have to do is get through the quarter, put the books back in the same box and drop it off at the post office! Super easy.

2. Amazon

Amazon is very similar to Chegg in terms of purchases, rentals and eBooks. If you have Prime Membership, you’d be able to receive your orders within two days (by the way, if you are a University student, you can get Free Prime Membership!!). In addition to that, purchasing an eBook on Kindle may be easier, as you can get free trials and fast downloads.

3.  Half.com by Ebay

This is not the same as eBay, but the site is run by eBay. I’ve found all of my textbooks for next quarter on it, so give it a try!

4. Barnes and Noble

A bit on a higher end here, but very similar to Amazon. Delivery could be cheaper as you could order the textbooks to the closest store. Haven’t quite used it myself, but will definitely look into it!

5. BookScouter

Made specifically for college and high school students. You can buy books from various vendors through book scouter, much like Amazon.

5. Facebook groups

If you are in college, there most likely is a “Textbook Exchange” group, where people post their used textbooks or seek to purchase some. Ask around and/or look it up, this can save you so much money!

Where do you purchase your textbooks? Share in the comments!