Find The Cheapest Book Prices on Textbooks

Tips for students trying to find the cheapest book prices and not overpay.

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Buy Used Textbooks

Find Cheapest Book Price

No shocker here, 80% of textbooks sold each year are used but here are some important details to find the cheapest book price.

  • Make sure the book you are looking at is the correct version or release; use the ISBN to verify. Check out the campus bookstore; This will give you a starting baseline priceplus you can get the ISBN confirmed.
  • But; check with your professor if an older version is OK. It could be as much as ½ the price. Don’t go back more than one edition. Use the index to find the information in your previous edition when the instructors tell the students with the new (expensive) book what pages to read.
  • There is no suggested retail price on used textbooks so shop around. Used textbook inventories change quickly, use a real-time textbook price  comparison tool like to find cheapest book price from multiple sites..
  • Buying from individuals on marketplaces like Amazon Marketplace and may be cheapest but look at the location of the seller and shipping methods offered. Media Mail can take two weeks from coast to coast. Follow up after the purchase to make sure it has been shipped.
  • Check the bulletin boards at school for used book ads or buy used books from students in the classes ahead of you.

Rent Textbooks

  • If it is a new revision then there will be no inventory. Rental is you best bet in this case.
  • If up front spending is critical then renting uses the least up front money (but there is no sell back value at the end of the class)

New textbooks, highly specialized textbooks, and popular books like dictionaries, medical dictionaries and famous books.

  • Huge online bookstores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powells will have the best prices on books everyone buys.
  • Use a textbook price comparison robot  to find the lowest prices on new, used, rental, download and even international edition textbooks..
  • Check out if the site offers free shipping over a minimum purchase and group you book orders to qualify.

All Books

  • Order your books EARLY !
  • Verify the shipping method and “ship from” location. It can take 4-6 working days to arrive if shipped from you side of the continent and up to 14 days for media mail (cheapest but slowest) across the continent.
  • Consider the resale value as you use the book. Textbook care affects its condition and resale value.
  • Get you book on the market ASAP after finals. Don’t jump the gun and list too early; most services require you to ship the book within two days of its sale.
  • Get the best price by selling it yourself.  I have found the best demand (quickest sales) from Amazon but don’t overlook the convenience and speed of selling it to a online book seller like eCampus (a little cash in hand could be better than unsold inventory online)

Use a textbook buyback quote service to see what the online bookstores will pay for your book.

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