How to Save Money on Textbooks

A few years before the internet age, most students bought their textbooks at the university bookstore and paid a premium price. To save money on books, students can either purchase a used book from a fellow student who previously took the class, or at the university bookstore. The other option is to go to an outside bookstore and save a few dollars on both used and brand new textbooks. But then again, books from these stores normally run out and most students end up purchasing the books at the university bookstore.

Here’s some other tips on how you can save money on textbooks.

Purchase the book online.

Most universities post the title of the book online even before the classes start. What you can do is to go to the university bookstore and look at the ISBN number of the book. Then, you can go online and purchase the book there. There are a lot of online bookstore that sells brand new and used books such as,,,, and to name a few. It may take a couple of weeks to arrive so the earlier you find the ISBN, the earlier you can receive the books. Some of the books are paperbound and some of the books are made in another country such as Taiwan, Singapore or India. But it does not matter where it was made or how the book looks like as long as the contents are the same- the key is you’re saving money. Also, you can always turn around and sell the books to another student later on at almost the same price and your fellow student will still have a good deal since it is still cheaper than the one’s in the university bookstore.

Purchase an earlier version.

Most of the time, the contents of an earlier version does not differ much from the most recent one. The problems or case studies might be different but for the most part, the concepts that you need are the same.

Borrow Books from the Library.

Some libraries carry editions of the most recent books or an earlier version. You can go to your schools library and check to see if they have what you need. However, you might need do this immediately, since other students might be doing the same thing. Usually, the library only carry a few items on its shelves.

It’s amazing how cheap the price of the books are in another country compared to the ones here in the US. It’s the same books, same contents but the price of the book overseas is almost 70% cheaper!!

7 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Textbooks”

  1. The Internet is great but watch for the location your book is being shipped from. Media mail takes weeks to cross the country.
    I like the tool at Cheap Textbooks where I can connect to all the big textbook sellers by ISBN.

    Cheap Textbooks is different than textbook price comparison robots by giving 1 click access to your book at all the big textbook sellers “live” with the current inventory and pricing.
    No outdated data feeds or robot reports.

    Huge advantage for used textbook shopping.

  2. Pingback: | Carnival of Student Finance #5

  3. Pingback: | Carnival of Student Finance #5


    Sell them after the class has finished. I’ve been in a masters program for few years now and always shop around online for the best price, then sell them after the class. I always break even and sometimes make a small profit. Its not hard to recoup the cost of the book and your shipping costs.

  5. It is sure a great money saving technique to buy previous edition textbooks when considering college textbooks. Usually there is little difference in content between current and previous edition, but difference in pricing is huge.

Leave a Comment