Money, Textbooks

5 Ways to Save Money on Textbooks!

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It’s bad enough that you pay thousands of dollars a semester for tuition, fees, housing and more. But now you’ve got six books to buy! Last semester, I picked up some great tricks for buying my textbooks and still being able to afford to eat.

This semester I need six separate books. If I had bought them all new, it’d be around $700! Instead, I used the five tips below to score all six for a total of $128.04!

1. Rent

Renting is the way to go! In 99% of cases, renting is cheaper than buying. Occasionally, buying used books is cheaper. If you’re only using the book for a semester, why pay $300 for it? I rent all of my books from Amazon because I have free 2-day shipping from Amazon Prime.

Get Amazon Student Prime for only $49 a year! Free 2 day shipping, exclusive deals and more.

Other places to rent books from include:

Students in some states are also tax-exempt from textbooks purchases. Click here to find out if you’re eligible for tax exemption or a refund!

Please avoid renting or buying books from your bookstore. They WILL overcharge you and are the most expensive option! Some rental places allow you to highlight. Even if you cannot highlight or write, I recommend renting because you can use post-it notes and flags.

2. Buy Used

Sometimes you can’t rent a book so you may have to buy it. I recommend buying used instead of new unless you need a supplemental material like an access code (buying new is the only way to guarantee you’ll get the supplemental material).

NO ONE and I do mean NO ONE,  cares if you have a used book. I have a friend who buys her books new from the bookstore.. If you have money to throw around, cool! Not everyone does and I promise that almost everyone in your class will have rentals and used books.


3. Trade With Your Friends and Classmates

See if any of your friends or classmates have a textbook you need and vice versa. You may be able to get it for much cheaper or you might be able to trade a book for a book. Saves everyone money! My school has a Facebook group for my class (Freshman 2015) and people posted what books they had for sell at the end of the semester.

You could also put up a flyer around campus about trading/selling books.


4. Trade In Your Textbooks

I traded in one of my books to Amazon for a $44 gift card which I used to buy this semester’s books. If you did not rent some of your books, check to see if you can get a decent amount from amazon. To do this, search for the book on amazon. If it’s eligible for trade-in, it will say it on the product page. If not, use It will search textbook websites and show you trade-in prices.  


5. Sell Your Books

If you don’t like trade-in prices available, try selling your used textbooks on Ebay or Amazon. The bookstore will buy them, but it’s usually a rip-off.


What’s your favorite tip for saving money on textbooks? Let me know in the comments!


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