How to Save Big on Textbooks

How to Save Big on Textbooks

When I first started school a few years ago I bought all of my textbooks from the bookstore. If only knew how much money I could have saved in that first year. I wish someone would have given me some tips on ways to get them cheaper. Now I will never buy my books from the bookstore unless there is absolutely no other option.


  • If the book is really high priced look to see how much the edition written right before it is priced at. Fun fact the books usually never change all that much. They are usually the same chapters, and the same problems. This is one I will always ask my professors. If there is an assignment from the book and I have a later edition I usually just skim over a classmates problems to make sure they match. Seriously though we are talking over $100 savings.
  • Always ask people in your classes if they have already taken the classes you are going to take. There is a very high chance that if they have they still have the book. I have a group in the Business school I am in and we just swap books with each other for whatever classes we need them for. Most of the time they won’t even charge you they will just let you borrow it.
  • I never buy my textbook before the actual class starts unless there is a syllabus posted with the exact books I need and I am 100% sure I am taking the class. If you buy the book and end up dropping the class, there is a high chance it can’t be returned and if you paid to get it shipped you will have to pay to send it back.
  • Like I said the bookstore is my last resort, but if you do have to buy from the bookstore check to see if there is a discount for using your student ID. At my school if you pay with your student card you get 5% off and there is a machine in the store to add money to your account using your debit card.
  • Check to see if your school library has the books on reserve. This means they have a copy in the library that you can check out for a few hours. You can’t take it home but it gives you a few hours to do your work in a quite environment.

Places to buy: 

  1. Chegg: My favorite place to get my textbooks. Most of the time I just rent from Chegg because even with buying and selling back the book it is sometimes still cheaper to rent. They usually have free shipping during those prime textbook buying seasons, but if it’s not a prime time it’s usually free shipping with a $50 purchase. Not only do they ship it but they pay for you to send it back also.
  2. Amazon This is my next go to place. If I am wanting to buy the textbook over renting it, I will stick with Amazon. They usually always have the lowest prices.
  3. Valore Books: It’s another site where you can buy or rent. Buying books from here usually isn’t the cheapest, but I have definitely found some really low prices for rentals.
  4. Half: This is Ebay’s textbook site and they usually have some extremely cheap ones to buy.
  5. KSL or Craigslist: I usually check this last to see if there is anyone locally that is selling the books I am looking for.

The best deal always depends on the textbook and how many people are selling their specific books online. Check every possible site before you buy from the bookstore though. The bookstore charges over triple and that money adds up. I would love to know your favorite sites or if you have any tips!


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