Too many college students’ biggest textbook worry is not how heavy lugging their books to class will be, but how much of an impact the books will have on their bank accounts. It’s no doubt one of the most frustrating parts of beginning each semester: that dreaded trip to the university bookstore to see how much that big, long list of books is going to cost you this time. However, there’s hope out there for all of us looking to save a little money this fall on one of the slightly-less-exciting school expenses. Check out Her Campus’s guide to fall textbook shopping guaranteed to save you time, and, of course, lots of moolah.
DO use your fellow students as resources when it comes to purchasing or getting rid of books.
This should be one of your first stops when comparing prices for fall books. Alice Chen, a recent grad of Emory University, explains: “I’d reach out to upperclassmen or other students who had taken the classes I was taking, because they usually sell them for prices cheaper than what’s offered in the bookstore. Likewise, selling books to other students is more profitable than selling books back to the bookstore — what you’d get 25 cents for at the bookstore could be $25 if you sell directly to another student!”
It’s basic economics: both students benefit in this scenario, so it’s one of your best options for saving crazy amounts of money. And, with a Facebook group set up for every class at your school, buying and selling textbooks is a breeze! Create a post in your group, ask around in your sorority house or on your sorority list-serv, check with fellow teammates or anyone else you can think of and see if they have the books you need. It never hurts to ask!
DON’T make the university bookstore your first stop.
Sure, the university bookstore probably approached you at orientation or accosted you with mailings and advertisements about how easy it is to get books from them or how they’ll bundle everything you need in a nice, neat package, but don’t fall for it! More often than not, bookstores located on your campus are the most expensive place to buy your textbooks.
The other problem with investing in one of the nice, pre-packaged deals many university-sponsored bookstores offer is that you’ll end up with all the books listed by the professor, even if some of these are merely optional texts, to trick you into buying more than you need. You may also end up with new textbooks if you go directly with one of these packages instead of rental or used versions of the same book, which are usually cheaper. If you wind up making any purchases from the bookstore, used is almost always the way to go.
It never hurts to look into university pricing and see if they offer cheaper ways to buy or borrow a book for the semester, but don’t make it your one and only stop when prepping for your semester.
DO think about buying or renting online.
One of the best places to find deals on textbooks is the web! There are a gazillion sites out there devoted to scoring deals for you and your fellow students. Try out one of these:
Prices for new or used textbooks at BetterWorld Books are often cheaper than the university bookstore, and you support a good cause as well! With a business model similar to that of TOMS shoes, BetterWorld Books donates a book to someone in need whenever you buy or rent a textbook through them. The best part about this site? Shipping is always free, no matter where in the world you’re located!
Chegg is another site that saves you money and helps a good cause at the same time. For every book you order through Chegg, the company plants a tree! Chegg specializes in renting books, but they also give you the option to purchase many of the books you rent and they have a good selection of e-books, giving you lots of options when it comes to selecting textbooks for the fall. If you decide to rent a book, Chegg gives you access to the online version (if it’s available) for you to use while you wait for the physical copy to arrive in the mail. The site also lets you return the physical copy at the end of the semester for free.
Neebo is your “Complete College Outfitter!” Not only can you buy, rent, and sell textbooks (both new and used) on this site, you can also stock up on anything and everything you need for school, such as notebooks, gear to show your school spirit, backpacks, and more all at the same time, in one place. Neebo rocks because they give you free shipping on any textbooks you rent and sell!
With over 10 million titles ready to go for the fall, Textbooks.com is an easy source for finding a wide variety of books for purchase or for rent. They also have online versions of many books, giving you plenty of choices when it comes to ordering your reading material for the semester.
With options to buy, sell, and rent textbooks for a variety of different classes, BookRenter is another way to save some money on books. They’ll also give you free shipping on any order over $49 and let you return any rentals for free.
Like the sites above, you can rent or buy your textbooks from Half.com. If you decide to rent, they’ll also pay for your shipping when you return the books at the end of the semester. Since the site is an extension of Ebay, it’s also super easy to sell any purchased books back at the end of the semester and get your cash back in only a few days after someone purchases them!
For more textbook tips, check out the complete article at HerCampus.com.
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