Ways to Save on Textbooks

Borrow them from the Library
Your whole class might not be able to do this, but if you don’t want to pay for the book and are only using it for a couple weeks. Check it out from the library and take notes on it as you read.

Buy them with a friend and split the cost
Due to small class sizes at Bethany, chances are you’re in class with a friend, roommate, or someone you know! If you feel comfortable, go in together when you buy your books and share them. Make sure that you’re upfront about how you’ll split the cost of the books and about when you plan to read them.

Do your research
Use price comparison websites like “Text Surf” or “Cheapest Textbooks“. These websites will list retailers and their prices allowing you to seek out the cheapest one.

Buy used and then sell
If you’re trying to break even with your text book purchases, buy used books and then sell them back. Amazon is convenient way to sell books back—it does require paying attention to your Amazon account and heading to the post office to ship the books to another customer, but the payout would be close to what you paid for the initial book. Check out Lifehacker’s suggestions on How to get the most money when selling your textbooks (http://lifehacker.com/5710901/how-to-get-the-most-money-when-selling-your-textbooks) and MoneyPantry’s 15 Best places to sell back books online http://moneypantry.com/best-places-to-sell-books-online-for-cash/).

Note: It’s more profitable to sell the book yourself than “Trade-In” with Amazon. Remember freshman year of college when you purchased an $80 textbook from the bookstore and were able to return it for $10? It probably left you feeling sad and naïve. Yeah, “trading-in” with Amazon is the same feeling.

Ebooks tend to be about 1/3 less than the Amazon price for a book. There’s no additional shipping cost and you have the book instantly. There is no buy-back or re-sell option with this method.

Tip: Did you know that a six month trial of Amazon Prime is free to students? With Amazon Prime, you can get free two-day shipping on orders that qualify. For some books this is worth it: Sellers charge an additional $3.99 for shipping, which can be the difference between the lowest book and the Amazon price (with free shipping). For some, it makes more sense to buy the cheaper book and still pay $4 shipping.