Textbooks are expensive. Or so I thought, up until now. Then I discovered a few tips for getting the most out of the textbook buying market. You too can keep the bill under $100 if you follow these tips…
Amazon is so under-utilized and incorrectly used. Sure, Amazon’s a deal to begin with. But if you consider buying used on Amazon, then textbook buying doesn’t seem that bad at all.First, consider the basic Amazon product page.
See this little box?
That’s almost an $80 price difference! And from my experience, textbooks are in as usable condition as they are at the book store, if not better. My latest purchase was rough around the edges as its worst offense, but came with the optional data disks that the book store wont even consider selling with a used book.
Amazon also has three very good deals available to students right now:
- Sign up for an Amazon account at Amazon.com/students and get a free 6 month Prime account that includes 2 day shipping on almost everything on the website.
- Kindle Textbook Rental – Similar to Chegg, but tailored towards the e-reader market
- Enter in code: ETXTBOOK to get $10 Kindle e-textbooks (More details here)
Their online resources are invaluable for test prep. All of the books from 4LTR Press (used extensively in University of Iowa business classes) can be obtained easily for under $100. E-book form is even less, and you could probably get someone to sell you the code they get with a new book purchase if you were both cheap/savvy enough to consider it as an option.Cengage currently has a promotion going for $10 off any $80 purchase using code: SP12T1
- Iowa Book Exchange
Iowa Book Exchange is another genius idea that is under-utilized. Basically, two brothers who are majoring in Engineering developed a website that allows students to buy and sell textbooks, at prices that are a little less than what the book store pays for buy back (so, dirt cheap!). Students agree to meet somewhere (be safe!) and make the exchange, free of charge. The best part is that I used to work with the younger brother And if you’re wondering, I have used the service, and was extremely satisfied with my transaction. I got my Management book for $30 (as opposed to like $70 new)
Chegg allows you to rent books instead of buying them. I have not personally used Chegg, but my mom has, and so has one of my old roommates – I’ve heard no complains so far! And often times it’s much cheaper than the bookstore if the first few options don’t turn up acceptable results.Chegg currently has a promotion going on for 10% off any textbook rental using code: 11712806
- The book store?
Meh. If all else fails and you need your books quick, there’s always the local book store.University of Iowa has:
In general, e-books tend to be cheaper than hard copies. They’re also much more convenient (if you can get over the fact that you don’t have a physical copy to hold) to carry around, or log into from any computer or connected device.
- The library
What could be cheaper than the library? If you’re the type of person who doesn’t read every chapter, this might be the option for you. Besides, why spend hundreds of dollars on books you’re never going to crack open? Most professors put a few copies on Course Reserve.
- Buy older editions, in lower quality
My final tip to you is to always buy the older edition, *with professor approval.* Most professors acknowledge the fact that there is no noticeable different between the current and last edition. Older editions will save you a bunch of money. Another option for the thrifty textbook buyer is to purchase slightly lower quality books.