Featured Friday: 5 Best Places to Buy Textbooks
There’s absolutely nothing more painful for a college student than handing over your debit card in the University bookstore. Every semester you think “Oh, only 5 books this time. Shouldn’t be too bad!” 300 dollars later and you’re wishing you hadn’t jinxed yourself. Seriously, why do our books have to cost so much? And then, when you spend the entire semester taking more time to keep your books in pristine condition than you do actually reading them with the hope in mind of selling them back before you leave, your $150 Psychology textbook is worth…. $20? And you take it because it’s better than bringing them all home to collect dust on your shelf, and eventually, under your bed and in your closet because you’ve run out room to store all these worthless textbooks that you barely used. Talk about frustrating!
Don’t give up hope just yet. You don’t have to change your major to something that requires novels instead of textbooks (much cheaper) or no textbooks at all (even better!) or sharing your books with some other kid in your class (never a good idea…) and you don’t have to break the bank to get all your required reading shopping done.
We promise, the solution is simple: basically, the Internet is your new best friend.
Ironic, since you’ll probably spend more time procrastinating on the Internet than you will actually reading the textbooks that you get online. Hmm.
Well, let’s pretend you actually plan to buy and use all of your books for their intended purposes and you’re not a huge procrastinator. What do you do? You go to one of these fabulous websites for buying cheap textbooks online. Here are our five favorites in no particular order (and just in time for the new semester!):
Chegg specializes in textbook rentals (although you can also buy them) and also offers digital options. Chegg boasts being the #1 company for textbook rentals and given the very low prices, more than reasonable prices and how convenient it is to buy, sell, and rent books with them, we can see why. Fun fact: Chegg got its name from the question, “Which came first, the chicken, or the egg?” (combine the two, and you get Chegg!) because the founders discovered that, like most college grads, you can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job. So, they know where you’re coming from, too. Always a plus.
AbeBooks has a huge selection of textbooks to chose from and offers free shipping and fantastic discounts, making them yet another great option for college students looking to save cash. Also, we love that they have a really interesting blog that encompasses their motto, “passion for books.” You can find all your textbooks for next-to-nothing and cool posts like “The top 100 most searched for out-of-print books.”
Amazon is pretty much a given on this list. With an almost ridiculously large selection of books and incredibly low prices sorted by condition, Amazon is a favorite of ours. Plus, it’s totally easy to sell your books on Amazon when you’re done – much better than trying to sell them to back to the bookstore, not to mention, you make more money that way even with the small commission Amazon takes out of your sales. They even give you a credit for shipping costs. Need we say more?
Alibris is another handy site where you can buy and sell textbooks securely and easily. Their description states that they’re “the premier online marketplace for independent sellers of new and used books, music, and movies, as well as rare and collectible titles. We connect people who love books, music, and movies to more than 100 million items from thousands of sellers worldwide.” They also offer free shipping for eligible books. And free shipping is always good.
Half by eBay
Half.com is another fabulous source for college textbooks. Think all the books you could possible need for class at low eBay prices (sounds great right? Right.) It’s also a great place, like the others, to sell your books. They write, “Sell your books, music, movies and games in easy steps. No listing charges!” Again – free services? Sounds good to a broke college student. And, it’s super simple to use. Because buying textbooks shouldn’t be equally as stressful as writing your term paper…
Also, bonus: these sites aren’t just for textbooks! You can buy books and other items for fun purposes too.
The best method we can offer for saving the most money on your books? Take the time to search them on all of these sites and compare. Buy from the least expensive options, and study away! (Well, maybe.)