Where To Buy Sell And Rent College Textbooks
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Whether you need traditional or digital textbooks, you can buy or rent them from multiple sources.
Most students still buy their books from the campus store. According to 2017-18 data from the National Association of College Stores, 4 in 5 students reported purchasing course materials from the campus store 41% reported buying from Amazon 8% from another student 8% from a publisher website and 6% from the online retailer Chegg.
Textbooks, like supplies and other college expenses, are considered part of your cost of attendance. That means you can use your student loans to pay for them. But before you dip into your loans or your college budget, find the cheapest option.
Jump Into The R/scholar Subreddit
Did you know theres an entire community of netizens dedicated to helping you find the textbooks you need? Ther/scholar subreddit is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and request books and journal articles. This community is run and maintained by volunteers who have made it their mission to make academic material more accessible.
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Why Textbooks Cost What They Do
Conversations about college affordability tend to focus on tuition, and with good reason the cost of attending college in the US increased 63 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared to tuition, which can cost out-of-state students at public universities as much as $26,000 per year or upward of $40,000 at some private colleges, the amount of money students spend on things like textbooks can seem negligible.
But the price of textbooks has similarly skyrocketed over the past decade: Textbook costs increased 88 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the BLS report. The College Board suggests that students set aside $1,200 each year for books and other course materials, which can be an exorbitant amount of money for students who come from low-income backgrounds.
Some professors dont assign textbooks at all, instead opting to fill their syllabi with a combination of journal articles and other texts, some of which cost money, some of which dont. Thanks to the advent of textbooks that come bundled with online access codes a single-use password that gives students access to supplementary materials and, in some cases, homework other professors can rely on one textbook for almost everything.
Where To Buy Cheap Textbooks
In a publishing company CEOs perfect dream world, youd walk into your university bookstore and buy a brand new copy of every textbook you need each semester. And, of course, youd buy the latest edition as well.
Luckily we dont live in that dream world, and youve got a good number of options for buying your books. At a glance:
- New books
- Electronic versions
- Electronic rentals
For any given textbook, the lowest-priced option could be any one of these. Maybe your textbook is kinda old, and you can find it used on Amazon for $0.01. Or maybe its one of those horrible books that come with an access code, forcing you to buy it new.
Either way, there are a ton of different places online where you can find your books so dont just rely on your campus bookstore. Heres a good-sized list:
These tools are basically just like Kayak for textbooks: they aggregate book prices from all the major sellers, give you options for buying new/used, renting, or getting e-book versions, and even calculate shipping rates.
When youre comparing the prices of different stores and book formats, however, keep two very important facts in mind:
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Total Textbook Price Comparison
CampusBooks.com not only finds you the lowest prices for new and used books, we also compare prices on rentals, eBooks, and international editions, and we include taxes, shipping, and coupons so you get the lowest possible price on any book in any format.
50+ bookstores and hundreds of reputable sellers in a single search
Over 8 million books available: every book in print, every edition
Every format: new and used, textbook rentals, eBooks, and international editions
Library inventory: search your local library for free textbooks
Buy Vs. Rent Tool: patent-pending super bot tells you if its cheaper to buy or rent your textbook
Filters: customize your results by format, condition, and rental term
Why To Choose E
- Easy Portability: The first big opportunity that you will witness when you opt for online textbooks is the hassle-free movement that it allows you. While with hard copies, many times you get to use books that weigh heavy and occupy huge volumes. However, while you use electronic versions of the same like a laptop device or an e-book reader like Kindle, this almost becomes seamless provided the light weightness of the device.
- Ease of Accessibility: While using a soft copy of a textbook with the layout you often have the instant benefit of getting of sniffing particulars in seconds that may take good amount of time when done in hard copy of textbooks. Plus, you can have access to multiple books at one time without facing problems.
- Cost Effective: Finding the right college textbooks that is pocket friendly is always a basic need for students. This need has been successfully filled by online textbooks.
- Access to Multiple Options: There is a multi-dimensional variety of options as to how you want access to online textbooks. You can buy them or even go for a rent.
- Vast Array of Textbooks: The internet gives you open access to a vast array of textbooks at a one-stop destination. Thus, possibility is another important aspect that online textbooks render to.
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How To Find Cheap College Textbooks
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This Story Is Part Of A Group Of Stories Called
Hannah, a senior at a private university in New York City, cant think of a single semester when she bought all the books she needed for her classes. Even when I was studying abroad, she said, there was no way for me to get through the semester without dropping $500-plus on textbooks, which I couldnt afford.
So she didnt buy them. That semester, Hannah, who asked that her name be withheld due to privacy reasons, found most of the books she needed on Scribd, an e-book subscription service. I used my free trial to do pretty much all my work for the semester and to take screenshots of things so I could access everything once the trial ended, she said. If she couldnt find them there, then she would do without.
Hannahs tuition and housing is covered by scholarships, but she has to use student loans to pay for her health insurance she pays for other necessities, including textbooks, out of pocket. In other words, her generous financial aid package isnt enough to cover the essentials. Her situation is far from unusual: A 2014 report by the Public Interest Research Groups found that two-thirds of surveyed students had skipped buying or renting some of their required course materials because they couldnt afford them.
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Avoid The Campus Bookstore
This is money saving 101. Your campus bookstore is likely to be the most expensive place to source your college books from. These bookstores push up the price as they know you dont just want to buy their books you need to buy them. And of course, having a store right there in the middle of campus where you can buy every book you need is super convenient, but its likely to cost you way more than necessary.
If you dont have access to a magic money tree, then I would recommend avoiding buying any books at your campus bookstore unless it is your absolute last resort.
That being said, I do recommend going in to check the prices of the books you need so that you have an idea of what kind of deals you are getting elsewhere.
So, once youve headed down to the campus bookstore to a. gasp, and b. jot down some prices, and youre ready to start shopping at an alternate location.
Why Do Textbooks Cost So Much
Textbooks aren’t cheap. The cost of school books for a full year of college and university can be over $1,200.00, whether you attend a community college or an expensive ivy league university.
The main reason for the high cost of textbooks is specialization.
Another reason, is that some professors want their students to purchase their own research books, which are usually under contract through a publisher in much lower numbers than what may be found at a mainstream bookstore. And further, limited edition printings required by some courses, may cost more because the press run is smaller than what is normally done by large publishers.
Also, some universities, although diverse in their programs, have set curricula every few years, and have set a listing of special titles students must purchase for each class. And within these set curricula are several text listings that stay in the reading list for one to ten years at a time… continue reading
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How To Find Older Version Of Textbooks
This seems to be a common issue for a lot of students. When textbooks are updated, it seems like the older versions just disappear. But sometimes, for whatever reason, you may need the older version.
The good news is that there are ways to find them. An done of the best pl aces to start your search is, yes, on Reddit, specifically this thread. Its basically a directory of resources for finding new and older versions of college books.
What makes it great is that while a user took his time to do this for free, other users keep adding to the list in the comment section. So make sure to read the comments.
Why Buy Cheap Textbooks From Us
We’re proud to offer a selection of the most popular textbooks, study guides, workbooks, and novels. More importantly, we believe in the value of books as learning tools that should be affordable for everyone. Stop spending a fortune on campus and let us help you find what you need at a price you’ll love.
For proof we’re the best place for cheap textbooks online, consider what sets us apart:
- Affordable prices
- Free shipping on any purchase over $35
- Same-day shipping on orders placed before 2 p.m. EST
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
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We Search 1000s Of College Textbook Sellers
We all know that college is expensive. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the cost of college textbooks have risen the highest of all the college costs. At CheapestTextbooks.com, we are trying to help you buck that trend. There are a lot of college textbook sellers on the internet and we do our best to find them. The competition to get your business is fierce and we take advantage of that. Our search is quite comprehensive. We extensively search the internet to help you find the cheapest price for your college textbooks. Whether it’s an individual seller on a marketplace site or a large store trying to compete for your business, we search them all. This gives you more choices and a much better chance to get your college textbooks at a price that is cheap. Do a couple searches on our site, the variety of sellers will amaze you.
A Growing Trend For Students Who Want An E
College students want an easier way to get all the information they need in a hassle-free, readable format. At TextbookRush, we offer the perfect solution in the form of e-books for sale. Choose from our selection of more than 600,000 e-book textbooks and download them in the library, in your dorm room, at the coffee shop or just about any place where you want to study for your classes. The information in the e-book download is exactly the same as in the hardcover textbook. The only difference is that you are reading it in a digital format from a computer, tablet or smartphone screen.
Check out some of the advantages of obtaining your textbooks as e-books for sale:
- Save up to 60 percent when purchasing e-books
- Have the textbook available anywhere on or off campus
- Have the option to buy or rent the e-book
- Read the e-book online or offline
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Get Cheap Textbooks On Amazon
is a great place to find cheap college textbooks. On Amazon, you can save up to 90% on rental, new, used and digital textbooks.
Buying textbooks used can save you a lot of money.
On Amazon, you can save up to 90% on used textbooks.
Also, renting your textbooks, rather than buying them is a good way to save a ton of money.
You can save up to 90% on textbook rentals on Amazon.
And, you can also save up to 49% on new textbooks, and up to 60% off print list price when you by eTextbooks.
Return University Books To The Shop
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Alright, so this sounds like a pretty cheeky thing to do and we guess it is, but needs must, right?
If you’ve bought a book and hardly cracked the spine, you can always take it back and ask for a refund if it’s in tip-top condition . Someone else will buy it if it’s in good condition, so don’t feel too guilty about it!
In fact, Blackwell’s even has a scheme for buying back your uni textbooks, and you could get 40% of the book price in-store credit or 33% in cash.
However, they’re quite strict about what they accept. Books must be in pristine condition and be the latest edition.
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Review Retailers For New Books
If your professor assigned a newly published book, buying used is probably not an option. But many retailers sell new books for much less than a campus bookstore.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble often carry textbooks with lower prices and sometimes offer coupons and promotional codes as well.
If you have to buy new, check out BigWords, Bookfinder.com, CheapestTextbooks.com or SlugBooks.com before you purchase. These sites compare prices from major online booksellers, so you can find the best deal available.
Options To Buy Sell And Rent Textbooks Online
You have plenty of options when it comes to places to buy, sell and rent your textbooks, but buying online is the easiest way to compare prices. Search by title, by author or with the codes that identify specific book editions, known as ISBNs. When buying online, factor in shipping, handling and taxes to the total cost. These sites are good places to start.AbeBooks.com users can save from 50% to 90% on textbooks, many of which have free shipping. The site’s Textbook Buyback feature allows students to sell their books for cash.
No matter where you get your books, compare multiple stores and online marketplaces to get the lowest prices.
About the author:Anna Helhoski is a writer and NerdWallet’s authority on student loans. Her work has appeared in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. Read more
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