Where to Purchase Cheap College Textbooks

The cost of a college tuition itself should be enough motivation for college students to look for the best prices on their textbooks. Fortunately, there are many resources that can help you do so. Here are a few of the most popular resources that offer inexpensive college textbooks.

1. Amazon.com

Buying online is usually not encouraged, but with Amazon.com’s generally good reputation, you can shop with confidence. Since Amazon.com is quite popular, you will find a greater selection of used and new textbooks for sale, either directly from Amazon or its authorized resellers. You can also receive free shipping on your orders totaling more than $25. If you purchase used textbooks, you will have to pay the shipping and handling on each. But, most resellers on Amazon.com are reputable themselves. Even if someone has a highly rated “online store,” you should still make sure that your transaction is responsibly taken care of. Ask for references, if necessary.

2. Alibris.com

Though not as popular or widely-known as Amazon.com, Alibris.com is also a good place for buying used textbooks. You won’t find a really big selection here, but if you sign up to receive their e-mails or if you have ordered from one of the resellers at least once, you will receive coupons for your next purchases. The prices are comparable to Amazon.com, too.

3. At your college bookstore/library

If you want to buy new textbooks and don’t have time to wait, your next best solution is to visit your college bookstore. You may find a student discount (showing your school ID is sometimes necessary), or you can look for sales before the semester or school year starts.

Sometimes, you will find all of your textbook needs at your school’s library. However, this isn’t recommended because your books can be recalled if another student needs them.

4. From your friends/classmates

If you know that one of your friends has taken some of your classes before, ask him/her if you can borrow or buy his/her textbooks. You can also look at your college’s “marketplace” website (some colleges have these; if not, you can look at campus ads), where many students from around campus are always selling textbooks and other miscellany.

Sometimes, the best deal that you will find is online. Although you may have to wait a few days or a couple of weeks for your books to arrive, if you have the time and the patience to wait that long, you should try your hand at purchasing your textbooks, used, online.