Textbook Talk: 8 Tips to Save Money on Textbooks in College


Are you looking for textbooks to use for your studies?

As a college student, you know how essential your textbooks are to your classes. They allow you to keep up with your courses and lectures while providing some insight on what the more complicated terms in your course are. However, you’ll also know that they’re always expensive no matter what.

There are a lot of reasons for the soaring prices of any college textbook. Time and time again, it’s caused around 65% of students to skip buying them altogether. What’s great is that you need not spend so much on textbooks anymore.

With the right know-how, you can spend less on textbooks and save money in college. Below are eight ways you can do so. Read on and save every penny that you can to help you in your studies.

1. Avoid the Campus Bookstore

Avoiding the bookstore on your campus is the first thing you should know to do if you want to save money in college. Universities will always stock their shelves with the books they’ll tell their students to buy in any given course. If they’ll recommend something, it’s best to provide the books themselves, after all.

The appeal of buying from the campus bookstore is convenience. You won’t need to go out to shop around for books since you know they’ll have it in stock. However, convenience literally comes with a high price tag in this case.

Go explore your options outside the campus if you’re looking to cut your spending. Only buy something from the university bookstore if they have a special edition of something that you can’t find outside. Again, this should only be an option if it’s essential for your studies.

2. Check Out Older Editions of the Books You Need

Another way to save up on cash is to look for the older editions of the books listed on your syllabus. These often have a lower price since colleges put a priority on selling the newer ones, instead. In most cases, you need not worry about the differences between each edition.

Most changes are aesthetic, giving the new editions a nicer look, and more comprehensive content. Speaking of content, there are only small changes made to correct statistics in most cases. You’ll only need to ask your professors if the content is accurate and correct what’s on the book if need be.

The only major problem you’ll have is with the page number of the older books. The content you’ll need to look up during a lecture may be on a different page altogether. It’s best that you hunt down topics and place bookmarks wherever necessary with older edition textbooks. 

3. Visit the Library

The public library can be your haven while you’re studying at college. You can browse their selection to see if they have the textbook you need in stock. You can then borrow them for extended periods of time. 

This is the best place for those looking for books for their liberal arts classes. There’s a high chance that you’ll find the books you’ll need here, be it fiction or non-fiction. With such a large selection, the proper textbook citation will help you find the ones you need quickly.

You can also order books ahead of time from the library. This is useful when dealing with the newer editions your classes need you to get. In time, they’ll have it in stock for you to use.

What’s great is that you can even study in the library for some peace and quiet. This is great when you have a disruptive roommate to deal with.

4. Look For Book Rentals

Textbook rental is among the best options for you when you’re being frugal in college. There are tons of places to rent from, like the campus library, and you don’t have to make a full commitment to the book. 

However, there are some guidelines you need to know. For one, you need to make sure no major damage goes to the book. Otherwise, you won’t be able to return it, and you’ll need to pay the full price by the end of the semester.

5. Share With Your Peers

Sharing is always a viable option that you can do with different people. Your roommate and classmates may be willing to share textbooks with you, allowing you to cut the costs of college life. This works best when you’re schedules are staggered, allowing you to use the book without conflict.

You can also offer to split the cost of the textbook. This way, you’ll at least be more comfortable taking the book when you need to use it.

6. Use Electronic Alternatives

Ebooks are growing in popularity nowadays thanks to how easy they are to access. They’ve also proved to be helpful in higher education, promoting its viability in certain courses.

All you need for this option to be viable is a good ebook reader. You can download these for free online, or you can opt for premium ones. Premium options have features that offer convenience when browsing through your ebook.

7. Settle For Used Textbooks

Settling for used textbooks is also something you can consider. Since they’re secondhand, they’re cheaper and will allow you to carry one with your studies unimpeded. Most of them are even in great condition, only having minor folds or creases.

You may even find textbooks with notes left by the previous owner. These may prove useful and help you get ahead of your studies. The only drawback is that there may be ones with signs of vandalism, but it’s nothing you won’t be able to handle.

8. Sell Textbooks to the University

If anything, you can always sell textbooks to the university. Any recent textbook that you don’t need can fetch quite the price in the university bookstore. You can then use the money for the next set of books you’ll need for next semester.

If you can’t find a good price in the campus bookstore, you can look for textbook brokers, instead. They’ll buy your books for a good price and you may even find useful textbooks from them for sale.

Save Money on Each College Textbook Today

College textbooks need not be so expensive. Learn what you can do to cut costs and save money on each textbook purchase. Use the tips above and make your college life easier today!

Do you want to compare the prices of textbooks available to rent in your area? Check out our service and see rental price listings today! 

Renting Textbooks: What to Know at the End of the Semester

renting textbooks

There’s no need to sugar coat it. College is expensive. Between the cost of gas, dorm rooms, classes, supplies, and textbooks, it adds up quickly. 

Although many of these costs are necessary, there are a few ways to save. College is an experience like no other, and you should spend your time there learning, having fun, and discovering yourself. The last thing you want to do is worry about finances. 

Renting textbooks is one way you can save money during your entire college career. Why spend lots of money buying textbooks you’ll only use for one course and never pick up again? When you find good places to rent textbooks, you find ways to save.

Once the semester is over, however, what are the next steps to take? If you’re unsure about how the rental process works, then you’ll want to continue reading below. Here’s everything you need to know about returning textbooks. 

You’ll Have a Return Date

Because most colleges begin and end their semesters around the same dates, textbook rental companies can determine when semesters begin and end. They then use this information to determine your return date. The return date is usually soon after the end of the semester. 

Semester rentals aren’t the only option you have though. You can also choose to rent your textbooks for 60 or 90 days. Once you receive the textbook, your return date should be given to you in form of a receipt, email, or another method. Hold onto this date and write it down on your calendar, planner, or put it in your phone as a reminder. 

It’s important to return your textbooks by this date. If you forget to return them by this date or lose the book, then there are some fees attached. As long as you keep your book safe and remember your return date, you’ll have no issues at the end of the semester.

A Good Cleaning Is Beneficial

Textbook rentals are rented out each semester by different students. It’s important for you to keep your textbook rental in good condition to ensure the next student is able to get full use out of it just as you did. A good cleaning before you return your textbooks is beneficial.

Cleaning them regularly will keep them in great condition. If you placed a cover over the book, then be sure to remove the cover and wipe down the book occasionally. Dust it off first and then use a damp tissue to wipe it clean. 

A clean textbook will show the rental company that you’ve taken good care of it, which helps you avoid any fees. 

The Book Will Be Examined

Do keep in mind that the book will be examined upon return. This is a must because the condition of the textbook determines the rental price. If you return the book in worse condition than when you first rented it, then you could be charged a small fee since the company will then need to lower the rental price for the next student. 

Renting textbooks saves you lots of money in college, but remember, the books aren’t yours. This means you’ll need to refrain from highlighting, bending pages, and writing in the book. Instead, you can use a sheet of notebook paper to make your notes on and bookmarks to save pages. 

You Don’t Need to Sell It

When purchasing textbooks vs selling them, many students try to get some of their money back by selling the book at the end of the semester. Although this can be a good option for those who must buy their books, don’t choose to buy over to rent because you want to get money back. In most cases, you won’t get as much money back as you paid for them.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some textbooks are only used for one semester and then new editions are released. You never know when a new edition might become available, which professors then use over the old ones. When this happens, you could have a difficult time selling your used textbooks. 

If the textbook has a code inside it for online access, then you won’t be able to sell it to another student unless their professor states the code isn’t needed. For these reasons, selling textbooks can become stressful. Luckily, when you rent, you won’t have to worry about selling them. 

Print a Label and Ship for Free

To return your textbooks, you can physically visit the site where you rented them from. You also have the option to print out a shipping label and ship the textbooks back to the store for free! If you decide to ship the textbooks back, then do be sure to communicate with the company about when to ship them back, since it will take some time before the company receives them. 

Shipping them back is convenient because it saves you time and gas money!

Contact the Company for Questions

If you have any questions about return dates, fees, and textbook conditions, then never hesitate to contact the company. If you’re unable to return the textbooks by the return date, then communicate this with the company. For example, if you need the textbooks longer than expected because of a final exam date, then you may be able to work something out as long as you let them know. 

There are also a few other options for renting textbooks, so be sure to ask about cheap eBooks as well!

Renting Textbooks Has Never Been Easier

With this guide handy, renting textbooks and returning them has never been easier. Keep all of this beneficial information in mind when it comes time to rent or return your textbooks. Renting your textbooks is simple, and you can avoid waiting in long college bookstore lines and spending all your hard-earned cash.

For a list of cheap textbooks ready to rent, or to complete a search for a textbook you need, click here to get started now!