The start of August means that for most students a new class schedule is just around the corner. And for those who want to avoid paying bookstore prices for their textbooks, it also means it’s time to start doing your homework. So to help you save the most money that you can on textbooks, we’ve compiled some of the best tips and sites for getting cheap textbooks.
Finalize your classes To avoid paying a premium to get last-minute textbooks, register for and finalize your class schedule as soon as possible. Once you have your classes, you can begin making a list of the books you’ll need and start cashing in on options that will become less available the longer you wait.
Check the library It makes sense to start with the options that require no payment at all. So before you do anything, check your school’s library to see if they have the book you’ll need available for check-out or on reserve. If you aren’t near a campus library, check your local library. If they don’t have it you can ask about getting a copy shipped there at no cost to you.
Check the internet If your local library system doesn’t carry your book, the virtual library – the internet – may. Do some quick searches for tablet versions and PDFs of your books that may have been uploaded by professors or schools. At the very least, there may be cheaper ebooks available to download.
Consider sharing If you know you’re going to be taking a class with a friend, or that he/she will be taking the course soon after you, consider splitting the cost of the book and taking turns using it, or studying together.
Ask about earlier editions When cheaper options for certain books are running thin, ask your professor about using an earlier edition. Chances are, the newest edition of the book has only changed slightly from the last so that you could get away with purchasing an older edition of the book and following along just fine.
Rent More and more every year students are turning to book rentals as a cheap textbook option. Renting is substantially cheaper than buying, and at the end of the year it’s one less book you have to worry about selling back to some third party. Make sure, though, that the book you rent is not something you’ll need for future classes in your area of study.
Buy used If your only option is to buy the current edition of a required book, buying used is your best option. Used books are available through many sites such as half.com, amazon.com, and chegg.com, and you can even compare prices by shopping through Google Books.
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