Tips That Will Help You Buy Used College Textbooks at Cheap Prices

Everyone wants to save money on textbook purchases. Some students are successful at this, while others end up overpaying by hundreds for their books. Below are some tips that will help you buy used college textbooks at cheap prices The money saved can be put toward tuition, room and board, or additional supplies for college.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

One of the smartest but most elemental tips that will help you buy used college textbooks at cheap prices is to have a list of all textbooks needed as early as possible. If textbooks can be ordered in June or July, the deals on them will be much better than when everyone is trying to buy books last-minute in late August or early September. Buying textbooks before everyone else ensures that all of the student’s textbooks will be available for purchase, and, more often then not, they’ll be much less expensive than when demand drives the price up during the later summer months.

Buying Used

Even if there are differing varieties on the quality of used options, always opt for the cheapest, and most used textbook available for purchase. This is one of those little-known tips that will help you buy used college textbooks at cheap prices. No matter if there is writing in the margins, highlighting on most of the text, or pages torn inside the book, it will only be used for a year at the most, so as long as its pages are primarily whole and legible it is still a bargain. In fact, students who previously used the book may have written informational notes or highlighted text that can be helpful.

Comparing the Options

When it comes to buying used textbooks, there are hundreds of companies who are competing for business, either online or through a brick-and-mortar storefront. Comparison websites like will compare these companies and their textbook prices, and as a result, can offer many of the best deals on used textbooks. Seller feedback, price of the book, shipping fees, and taxes are all taken into consideration, and compared side-by-side to get the cheapest book possible. No hours of research are needed, only a few minutes with a textbook comparison website is sufficient.


One of the most recent options for students are textbook rentals. These allow students to rent for periods of 60 days, a semester, or even a year, and pay in advance for the rental. The upside is that rented textbooks can save up students up to half of the cost of buying a used textbook. The downside is that no resale is allowed – the textbook belongs to the company, and must be returned to them. However, in the case of extremely expensive math or science textbooks, rental may well be the best option for some textbook needs.

Using these tips can help students pay the least possible amount when buying used textbooks either online or at a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, they can help a student avoid a cost of hundreds of dollars from buying textbooks directly from college bookstores or a bookstore-affiliated textbook company.