I miss the good ole high school days when textbooks were free and given for the year then returned at the end. Buying textbooks started getting insane when companys decided to charge $150 for a book you’ll only use for one semester! Now you hear of people spending $400+ on books alone. Because I’m not rich, I really can’t afford to do that, so I’ve had to think a little bit outside the box to save my money.
Whoever thought of textbook rentals is a genius. 95% of the time, when I’m looking for a book, I’ve found that renting is cheaper. I’ve rented $100 books for $25 dollars before. Your best option is to go online to sites like Chegg, Amazon, or CollegeBookRenter because they usually have the cheapest rental prices. Speaking of renting online, this is a perfect segue for my next tip…
2. Never Buy From the School Store!
It’s right there, it’s convenient, and you don’t have to wait a week to get your books; so why not buy from the school? One reason: everything is overpriced! The other day I was at my school store trying to rent a French textbook, and not thinking about the price I just grabbed it and went to the register. When it was my turn the book was scanned and I almost fainted. It came out to be $106 to rent for one semester. The very same day I went on Amazon and found the same book for $26. Everything at the school store will always be more expensive. Even small things, like a binder cost $5 whereas you can get it somewhere else for $2.
3. Buy the Previous Edition (If You Can)
I say buy the previous edition of your book if you can because it depends on what your professor says. Some professors are extremely strict and require the newest edition. What bothers me though is the lack of noticeable changed information going from one edition to the next, but somehow it’s still $80 more than the old edition. The information in the textbook isn’t changed so much to the point where the previous is outdated. Before you get the old edition of the book, definitely check with your professor first.
4. Use an Online Version
Aside from renting the physical copy of a textbook you can also usually rent an online version, which is even cheaper! Better yet, you can buy individual chapters. Some professors don’t even use the entire book.
5. Avoid the “Bundle” Packs
Bundle packs are just another way for textbooks to say, “Hey I want more of your money!” There’s no need to get the online version, workbook, matching pencil, shampoo, conditioner and toothbrush. The textbook is enough! Beware though, some professors require things like the workbook — but my advice is to buy things like that separately.
Buying textbooks shouldn’t break your bank! In most situations it’ll come close to, that’s why you have to stay smart when it comes to purchasing them. Trust me if you do, your bank account will be much happier!