Archive for January 2, 2012

10 Ways for College Students to Save on Books

College textbooks are very expensive. I want to write some tips for those freshman on how to save on textbooks, in case you haven’t learned that from your classmates or roommates. Don’t be shocked that you might spend over $1000 on books if you bought them with the original prices. Follow the 10 tips in this article, I am sure you can at least save half of the cost.
1.Get the list of required books as soon as you can.

Summer break or winter break is a good time to get started. Don’t wait for the school starts. Check your school’s website, ask your professors, call the department, there are many ways you can find out.

2.Don’t go to your campus bookstore.

It is the most expensive bookstore, and they don’t give you any discount. You can find all your books somewhere else. I don’t see there is any reason you should go to the campus bookstore, unless you use it as a library.

3.Compare prices online.

Get the ISBN number, compare the book prices can’t be easier. There are plenty of websites can do so. All of them are pretty much the same. Just search book price comparison, you will find many good websites. Among them addall.com is my favorite. It has no or minimum advertiement, and has very simple user interface.

4.Buy books online.

Amazon used to be my favorite bookstore. But nowadays, Amazon didn’t provide competitive prices. Buy.com and Walmart.com always give me the lowest prices if available. Beside, Buy.com offers price gurantee, which means if you find a better price anywhere on the web, tell them and they will offer you the same price.

5.Use coupons.

There are online coupons for many bookstores, such as Half.com, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, etc. Write down the coupon code and use it during checkout to get the discount. I have to mention Barnes & Noble’s printable coupons, such as 40% off any one item. It will be delivered to your email account if you are their member, which is a very sweat deal to use at local stores.

6.Buy used books online.

This is the most cost-effective way to have your textbooks. Many bookstores also sell used books, the prices sometimes are 90% off the original prices. But a 50% off is a fair price.

7.Rent books online.

This is another cost-effective way to have your textbooks. For example, renting a book at Chegg is about 60% less than the listed price. Which means you are only paying around $40 for a book that would cost you around $100 to buy. Coupons are available for Chegg too. CampusBookRentals.com is another good rental site. If you are not sure where to rent, try textbookrentals.com to see which site offers the lowest price.

8.Go digital.

Try CourseSmart.com, which claims they have 90% of college textbooks available. Amazon and Barnes & Noble also provide eBooks. Prices are normal around 50% of printed version. But as a textbook, ebook is not as convenient as a conventional printed book in my opinion.

9.Get chapters you need.

Some professors only uses a few chapters of the textbook. You can photocopy them from your classmates. Or buy the chapters at cengagebrain.com for as low as $1.99 per chapter.

10.Borrow books.

If you can borrow, this is the ultimate money saving way to have your textbooks. Try borrow books from library or from your friends.