40 Ways To Save Money On Textbooks

November 26th, 2008 Posted in Life|Money Smart Tips

Ways To Save Money On TextbooksMoney Saving Tips For Students

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Recently, I have noticed a lot of students are visiting ADJ. I can’t mention names from the U.S. (because there are simply too many to name), but these Canadian institutions have highest concentration visiting ADJ: University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, York University, and Seneca College. I guess ADJ’s simple language and easy-style articles are able to appeal to students. I thank you all for visiting this site and today’s article has been specially written for you, whether you are a 20-year-old or 50-year-old student.

Buying textbooks is something every student goes through in their school career. An average textbook costs about $100 and each year you will be spending nearly $1000 on books. The objective of today’s article is to show you how you can cut your textbook costs considerably by taking some simple steps. I will discuss this in two parts. In part one, I will show you what you can do to save money on textbooks. In part two, I will mention some websites that can save you money.

Save Money On Textbooks – Part 1

Borrow From Someone Else

Find someone who already completed the course and borrow their book. One thing you need to be aware of – make sure your borrowed book still applies to the course. Publishers often change editions so old books no longer do the job. That’s how they make money.

Buy Used

Buying used books is a great idea to save money but you need to find someone who is selling what you are looking to buy. You can check your school notice boards, newspaper ads, and online ads to find used books. I will be giving you some sites to find used books online in part two.

Photo Copy Those Pages You Need

Get a book from someone and copy those pages you need. Before doing this, make sure it does not violate any legal terms and conditions.

Trade books

Trade books with someone who has the books you need. This is simply giving someone the books he needs and taking from him/her the books you need.

Sell Books

Don’t forget to sell your books once you are done with them. Your friends will likely want to buy from you if you give them a good price.

Avoid Campus Bookstore

Avoid campus bookstore unless they have books on sale. Usually items are always overpriced at campus bookstores.

Group Buy

Take courses with your friends, divide the book’s cost by how many of you are taking the course and each contributes to buy the required textbook. Make agreements beforehand stating how long each of you should keep the book during the term. During the exam, do group studies so all of you can use the book. Once you complete your term, sell the book and divide the money equally.

Use the Library

It may not be always possible to obtain a copy from the library; however, make sure to check the library before buying. The library has limits on how long you can keep a book. Taking a course with friends helps to keep books within your circle – another advantage of registering for courses with friends. Also, if your library has the book on reserve, you can go there and read it.

Campus website

You can buy and sell used books on your campus website. Since you will be dealing with other students, you will find good bargains and hard-to-find books because both buyers and sellers are dealing with the same institutions.

Save Money On Textbooks – Part 2

Websites That Save You Money On Textbooks

Here is a list of websites that will save you money. Keep this list handy by saving this page on your favourite online bookmark.

Buy Textbooks Online

Check these sites to buy online. Always compare many sites before buying. You will find great bargains if you spend a little time researching different sites.

Amazon.com – The biggest online retailer. Remember, Amazon also displays items from other merchants. Usually these items are a lot cheaper than Amazon’s own. So don’t place your order after checking Amazon’s own listings only.

CollegeBooksDirect.com – You may be able to find books for less than Amazon

TextbooksNow.com – You may be able to find books for less than Amazon

Comparison Online Sites

BigWords.com – Pulls new and used books prices from sites. You can compare them on one screen.

CheapestTextBooks.com – specialized in academic books.

Half.com – eBay owns Half.com. It is possible that you many find items here for less than Amazon.

BooksPrice.com – Easy to use price comparison site.

CampusBooks.com – Buy, sell, and compare textbooks.

ValoreBooks.com – Student’s textbook marketplace.

AbeBooks.com – Find old, new, rare, and out of print books

Alibris.com – Find old, new, rare, out of print, and international version books

BestBookBuys.com – Compare new and used books. International versions can be 80% to 90% cheaper than U.S. versions.

BuyUsedTextbooks.com – Specialized in academic books.

CampusBookSwap.com – Buy and sell used books.

Pdxbooks.com – compare, buy, and sell textbooks.

TextBookX.com – Buy and sell new and used books. Also, you can buy and sell through your Facebook profile.

Rent Textbooks Online

It is possible to rent books these days. You will be paying one third or less than book’s original price for a semester

BookRenter.com – Five convenient rental periods and free return shipping.

CampusBookRentals.com – Rent your textbooks.

Chegg.com – Rent a book and Chegg will plant a tree.

Legally Download Textbooks Online –

FreeloadPress.com – Download your textbook free.

Project Gutenberg – Download free eBooks and audio books. This site was made by volunteers. They gathered materials from the public domain and put together on this site. 

Textbookrevolution.org – Get your free books from a site run by students.

Electronic Textbooks

These sites offer to share, subscribe, and print (some limitations apply) electronic textbooks or eTextbooks online.

CafeScribe.com – Share, subscribe, and search notes and textbooks. You need to have MyScribe reader and it’s free.

CourseSmart.com – You can save up to 50%. Buy and access eTextbook instantly.

iChapters.com – You can buy single chapters or audio books. Site offers free shipping.

Springer.com – Specialized in scientific, technological and medical books, journals, and reference works.


CollegeswapShop.com – Buy and sell directly to students. Site gives you the capability to search and find someone at your school of choice. You can also search for roommates, housing, music, furniture etc.

The Internet Public Library – Not only students but anyone can take advantage of this huge Internet Library. I highly recommend it.

Open Course Ware Consortium – 200 educational institutions from around the world are sharing digital publication of educational materials. I highly recommend it.

Bonus Tip

ADJ has lots of money saving articles. These articles are primarily located under Personal Finance or Smart Tips categories. Reading and applying these articles will save you money. Also, I’ll be writing more on this topic in the future, so keep checking back. Don’t forget to bookmark this site for later use.

Internet is opening the door to a new world of endless possibilities and opportunities. Students, educators, and anyone who wants to broaden knowledge can do so without spending bundles of money these days. Until recently, textbook publishers were able to charge ridiculous prices for textbooks because we did not have any options. However, those days are gone. Equipped with powerful information, it is possible to acquire knowledge these days without paying a fortune.

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  1. 14 Responses to “40 Ways To Save Money On Textbooks”

  2. By NT on Dec 5, 2008

    Other than old edition books and used textbooks another approach is to buy International Edition textbooks. They are usually printed on paperback and sometimes black and white print but the savings are up to 75%. The site I like best is http://www.WholesaleCollegeTextbooks.com but there are a few others that carry selection of textbooks. It may take up to 2 weeks to get delivery so please make sure you have time.

  3. By Brandon on Dec 12, 2008

    When selling your textbooks back, you should consider looking them up on BookScouter.com. This website searches prices from over 30 different book-buying websites to make sure you get the most when selling your books back

  4. By Bob on Feb 1, 2009

    Also be careful of shipping, Media Mail is cheap but can take up to 4 weeks! I use Cheap-Textbooks.com

  5. By Frances on Sep 4, 2009

    You can also check out http://www.DealOz.com , DealOz compares 200 bookstore prices and free discount coupons too. Their coupons are valid and have saved over $500 on my textbooks.

  6. By Sean Johnson on Mar 6, 2010

    eCampus.com offers new cheap and easy ways to get your textbooks. They have rentals and eBooks that are usually about 50% of the cost of your schools bookstore. They also have new, used and a marketplace to connect you with other student that want to sell and buy books.

    Check it out at http://www.eCampus.com

    Use this coupon code for 5% off of your full order: GOLDFISH

  7. By MJ on Apr 7, 2010

    I love using Chegg to rent texts because I save $$ and they ship fast. Use code CC123047 for a discount every time you order or $5 back when selling Chegg your used texts. Put the code in and hit the “apply” button. The code does not expire so it can be used with every order. Feel free to share the code with friends.

  8. By Connie on May 28, 2010

    My favorite place to buy textbooks is http://www.mycollegetextbooks.com

    It’s easy to use and a lot of times, you can find international edition books which are a lot cheaper.

  9. By Compare textbook prices on Sep 22, 2010

    I suggest to create a group when buying textbook.less spending of money.

    rent textbooks

  10. By Aaron on Oct 29, 2010

    Great Post. I wanted to also suggest http://www.textbookspy.com as a great place to compare prices and save on textbooks. I saved my kids a ton of money last semester.

  11. By Diane on Feb 24, 2011

    I can suggest http://www.thecollegetextbooks.net to buy or sell your textbooks by using their cool price comparison

  12. By John Coleman on May 18, 2011

    The best way to save money when buying textbooks, is to compare prices amongst online retailers.

  13. By LivingAsMe on Sep 27, 2011

    Great post! I am a student at the University of Ottawa; when it comes to finding textbooks for University, I have had the most success using http://www.locazu.com – it is free to use and connects you with everything you need to survive university. You make a ‘Wishlist’ of the books you need, and then you receive notification when someone in your area posts them for sale – it’s fast and easy to use! Buying used books saves students a lot of money!

  14. By jim p on Jul 1, 2015

    I am super cheap so I look all over to find cheap prices on everything including textbooks. For me the best place continues to be http://www.savemoneyontextbooks.com as this little gem always gives me biggest selection with lowest prices.. just try them

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