College text books are expensive! It is not unusual to have to spend upwards of $500 on text books in just one full-time semester. Fortunately, there are ways of reducing that bill, if you are willing to do some research and footwork. Here are some great tips for saving money on college text books:
Used books. Most college books stores allow you the option of purchasing your textbooks either new or used. There’s no reason not to buy used and save some money. Just be sure to shop early, because many times, the used books sell out before the new ones do.
eBooks. If you have an eReader like Nook or Kindle, then you should consider getting eBooks send straight to your device. Barnes & Noble has partnered with a number of college bookstores to offer eBooks that cost only a fraction of their paper-book counterparts.
Discount online booksellers. There are some great online booksellers where you may be able to find your textbooks for deeply discounted rates. Better yet, try an online seller that specializes in college text books, like textbookx.com, for the best selection and lowest prices.
Rental books. It is becoming more common these days for college books stores to offer book rentals, in addition to their new and used options. When you rent a book, you pay a fraction of what the book would cost to purchase, new or used, and you authorize the bookstore to debit your bank account for the remainder of the purchase price if you don’t bring the rental back by a certain date (after the semester ends, of course). You must be extra careful handling rented books, because they must be in good condition when you return them, if you don’t want to end up paying that extra fee.
Ask other students. Ask around, or post on college bulletin boards, to find other students who have taken the courses you are entering, and who are willing to lend you their books for a small fee. You may even get lucky enough to find students who will let you borrow their books for free.
Let’s face it: money is tight when you’re a college student, especially considering the fact that many of today’s college students must work odd or part-time jobs, while financially supporting a family. There are several routes you can take when it comes to saving money on your college text books. Try one, or a combination (or all!) of the tips on this list to trim your textbook bill down as much as possible. And don’t forget to sell your books back to the bookstore at the end of each semester!