8 Resources to Save on Textbooks this Semester

Every college student is well aware of how much textbooks cost, even if some of them have absolutely no idea what’s going on in between the covers.

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you cut the cost of textbooks, sometimes in half!

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How to Save on Textbooks This Semester
It's time to stop paying $300 for a book that's not even part of your major.
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Chegg
Chegg is what I actually used when I was in college. You rent what you need at the beginning of the semester, and come the end, Chegg gives you a shipping label so you can return them. Chegg allows you to outright buy books, and if your classes change, there’s a 21-day window in which you can return your rentals. Additionally, you can sell books you already have and put the cash toward your next purchase.
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Bigwords
This is another awesome tool I used back in my college days. Bigwords aggregates all online sellers and shows you which one has the best deal. Simply search for the textbooks you need, and pick from a variety of retailers. It’s basically a marketplace for buying textbooks.
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half.com
This is now a subsidiary of eBay, but half.com offers great prices on textbooks, whether you want to rent or buy. Be aware that, much like eBay, individual sellers are offering their books for sale. Double-check the descriptions and seller feedback before you buy. Renting textbooks seems to be done through outside companies, so follow the same diligence when it comes to condition and feedback.
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eCampus
Besides being a cheap place to buy or rent textbooks, eCampus has its own “eWards” program. Signing up allows you to receive points based on actions you take, like referring a friend, following on Twitter, or making a purchase. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards.
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Campus library
Whether it’s your college library or a local library, it’s always worth it to check to see if you can borrow something for free. Libraries are also a good place to check for supplementary material you might need.
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Hit up a friend
Do you have any friends that took the classes you’re taking now, who own the textbooks you need? Offer to buy it from them at a reduced price, or see if they would be willing to lend it to you for free.You can also make friends in your classes and see if sharing a textbook is possible.
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Stack those gift cards
If you need to buy your textbooks, a good strategy might be to acquire Amazon gift cards to put toward your purchases. There are a few “cash back” sites like Swagbucks that allow you to earn gift cards to Amazon by taking surveys, watching videos, and performing online searches.
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Go old school
Lastly, you might want to look at past editions of textbooks, to see exactly how much has changed. Sometimes, publishers update an edition because of a few spelling errors. In that case, you should be okay getting a previous edition. There are many ways in which you can cut the cost of textbooks, you just need to get creative.
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Posted 08.12.2016 - 03:06 pm EST