Textbooks are expensive. My MBA accounting textbook for this semester was $245 new. That is crazy! In my four years of undergrad and now my first year of my MBA, I have learned a few ways to save hundreds on textbooks. First thing you should do is check your syllabus to see if the textbook is mandatory. If it is not mandatory you might want to wait until the class starts to see if you actually need it or ask others who have taken the class. My four tips for saving hundreds on textbooks are:
1. Rent From Chegg
I saved so much money by renting textbooks from Chegg. The books are always in great condition and they are so much cheaper than buying or renting them from your university bookstore. I saved probably $1,000 on textbooks during my 4 years at my university.
The website is super easy to use. I even have a widget on my sidebar where you can type in the ISBN or textbook name you are looking for and it will take you right to what chegg has available and how much it is to rent it. You can also click here and go straight to their website!
When you rent textbooks from Chegg I recommend keeping the box they come in. After your semester or when the books are due you can print a free label and all you need to do is put the books back in the box, attach the label, and drop it off. It is super easy to return the textbooks.
Chegg also will buy back books so if you have books you want to sell you can look there. They also send goodies in your box when you rent or buy from them which is always a fun surprise. They have added new features such as study prep and tutors if you are needing more than just textbooks. It can be your one stop shop!
2. Check Facebook Groups
I wish I realized this earlier. There are so many Facebook groups for each university or even each city if you are taking online classes. For my school at the end of each semester, there are so many people selling textbooks for an extremely cheap price. If you know you must take a class soon or even the following semester this is the perfect opportunity to buy it. Some people sell textbooks for $5 just to make even a little money at the end of the semester. Since these groups are specific to your school it is easier to find the exact textbook you are looking for since the teachers are the same.
I plan on trying to sell mine on Amazon after this semester and if that doesn’t work I am going to try to sell them in the Facebook groups. There are usually Facebook groups for specific majors or specific graduation years so you can post it in multiple groups. If you try to sell right after finals or at the very beginning of the semester usually there are a ton of people needing textbooks.
3. Buy or Rent on Amazon
I LOVE Amazon. I am probably one of their top customers because I use Amazon Prime for everything. Amazon has a great selection of textbooks and so many options to buy them used. Some textbooks you can find on Amazon for less than $1. My textbook for my Quantitative Statistics class was on Amazon used for less than $1. They also have a great trade in program that you can trade in your books for Amazon gift cards. You can also rent textbooks on Amazon now. Another great advantage of using Amazon is they sell the e-textbooks for textbooks that have that option if you don’t want to buy or rent the hard copy.
If you are a student you should sign up for Amazon Prime student (click here) It is FREE for 6 months and after that it is 50% off. You can cancel any time so I definitely recommend signing up at least for 6 months. With Amazon Prime you get free 2 day shipping (which includes textbooks), unlimited photo storage, free movies & tv shows, and more. You just need to use your school email account to sign up. They also will send you a reminder when your 6-month free membership is almost up so you can decide to cancel it if you don’t want to pay for it.
4. Share with Friends
If a textbook is super expensive and you cannot find it used, then I recommend sharing it with a friend. If you only need the book for homework problems or studying you can split the costs and share it. I would only do this if you see this friend often or you trust them to actually share it with you. It might be a little annoying but if the textbook is $300 it saves you a lot of money. You could sell it at the end of the semester and hopefully make some money back. If you are in a sorority or a campus organization, make sure to ask around. They might have the textbook you are looking for or know someone who is selling it. Also, if you know someone younger than you in the same major you can even sell your textbooks to them every semester and you have a recurring customer!
How do you cut costs on textbooks? Let me know!