So, it’s the start of a brand new semester. Your professors have given you your syllabus and it;s confirmed, you’re going to spend $200 on a textbook for a class you aren’t interested in. Turns out, it’s not unreasonable for some four-year college students to spend close to $500 a year on textbooks.
In this article, we are going to share with you every single strategy to save money on textbooks. Let’s get started!
Textbook costs rose 67% from 2008 to 2020, which is putting a serious strain on students and parents’ wallets. Buying textbooks in college is inevitable. Unfortunately, they cost a lot of money. Some students pay as much as $250 up to $1,500 per semester just for textbooks alone and that can really add up through the years.
TIP 1 – Get a list of the textbooks you’ll need.
Before your classes even begin, get a list of every single textbook that you’re going to need for the semester. A lot of universities in their bookstores have the course number. You can go to a lot of bookstores and they will have all the textbooks there that you’ll need for that course. Write down either the name of the textbook and the author or just simply write down the ISBN on the back.
On one hand, some universities put the information online and will tell you in advance what textbooks you’ll need.
TIP 2 – Compare textbook prices from other outlets.
Once you have that information, you can compare prices through other outlets. If you take the time to shop around, you can save hundreds of dollars per semester just by being a smart shopper.
First of all, you want to check all the online sources and write down the price for each different online website. That way, you would know who has the cheapest price when you need to buy them. Online sources tend to have the best prices and deals.
Be sure to research thoroughly, jot down or add it to your shopping cart so that you can go back and buy it once you’ve made your decision. Use textbooks comparison tools by entering the ISBN in the search bar or enter the author’s name or find the proper edition.
TIP 3 – Check your local bookstores.
There might be a bookstore that sells used books in your area. They can offer cheap prices too. For a lot of classes, this won’t be helpful, but for some classes, such as literature classes or some history classes, the local bookstores may in fact have the book that you’re looking for.
Tip 4 – Buy your textbooks early.
Because whether you buy them in the bookstore or online, if you wait until the last minute or if you wait until the first day of classes, the smart shoppers are going to snag up those cheap deals and you’re going to be left paying an extra $50 or $100 more per textbook. So buy your books early. Try to get it at least 2 weeks to a month before classes begin if you can.
Tip 5 – Buy used textbooks
Usually, it’s no problem at all having a used textbook for class. The only problem you may run into is if some classes utilize a software program. You want to make sure you will be able to access that. But for the most part, used textbooks are enough and that can help you save a lot of money versus buying a new one.
Tip 6 – Buy older edition.
This is a trick that a lot of students know about. Mostly, textbook authors will have, for example, a 7th edition and then they’ll go in the next year and update a couple of statistics or include a more recent news story in the textbook but the main content really hasn’t changed.
So, if you go buy the 8th edition, it might cost $200 but if you buy the 7th edition which is basically the exact same material, you can sometimes buy that for $50 or less. If there’s an older edition you can use, that can help you save a lot.
Tip 7 – Rent textbooks
Renting is something relatively new. Back in the day, renting a book wasn’t even an option and you couldn’t rent anywhere. But today, most university bookstores will allow you to rent. There are several online stores that offer a renting program. They will ship the book to you and you ship it back to them at the end of the semester.
These are just some tips on how to save money. We know college textbooks are so expensive but we hope these tips work!