Tips For Saving Money On Textbooks

Books for college students are far too expensive. We spend so much of the little bit of funds that we have on books, that it makes it tough to pay for rent.

The last time I wrote about student textbooks I received an interesting comment from a reader:

“Textbooks are difficult, because they’re the bread and butter of student expenses. You definitely need the course textbook – don’t skimp! It’s ok to buy the 5th ed. (usually) if your prof asks for the 6th, but you don’t want to go without the textbook. And don’t wait too long to buy it, either. After the first two weeks you will be too far behind.”

I’ve covered the topic of saving money on textbooks in the past but I wanted to share a few more tips on the subject. There’s so much ground to cover when it comes to cheap college textbooks and trying to save money.

Below are a few more ways you can find affordable books for college students:

Books for college students are seasonal.

You must remember that college textbooks are seasonal and that action needs to be taken promptly. After the first few weeks of the new college semester, most college students will have already sold/purchased any required textbooks.

I urge all of you readers to put your textbook ads (online & offline) up as soon as you read this! You don’t even have to finish reading the rest of the article. Get off, put your ad up or look for the textbook you need, and then come back to tell me how it went.

Consider purchasing used textbooks online.

Books for college students are available online.

Cheap textbooks are hard to come by. Buying used always helps. Buying online always helps.

Why not buy used textbooks online?

Always check the ISBN on the textbook.

Just because the textbook has a similar author or title it doesn’t mean that it’s the right book for your course. Write down the ISBN number on the textbook from your course syllabus to ensure you don’t waste money on a totally different textbook. This happened in the past to one my friends.

Buy an older edition of the textbook.

This can be a minor risk sometimes when the professor chooses to religiously follow the textbook. In the past I’ve had no issues with using an older edition of the textbook. The ony differences are that there are different problem sets, page numbers, and examples. Because you know Enron is not the greatest example in 2009.

Please share any money saving tips on new textbooks that I may have missed. I just hope that you don’t use your student credit card to buy textbooks that you can’t afford.

Good luck with your college textbooks!

This was a guest post from Meagen Ellis of

1 thought on “Tips For Saving Money On Textbooks”

  1. Nice set of tips on saving money for college textbooks. I would like to suggest one additional tip, use a textbook price comparison service. Do site, not even Amazon is the cheapest all the time. Used textbooks and rental textbook prices change daily as supply and demand change. Using a textbook price comparison service will report the cheapest source today.

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