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Liam Reyes
Liam Reyes

How To Buy Textbooks

These tools are basically just like Kayak for textbooks: they aggregate book prices from all the major sellers, give you options for buying new/used, renting, or getting e-book versions, and even calculate shipping rates.

how to buy textbooks

Now, while you should probably go to class, you can take inspiration from these students when it comes to textbooks. Find a friend or a group in your class and decide to share one book. My girlfriend and I did this for a religion class one year, and it worked out well (and by that, I mean she read the book and I never cracked it open).

Sell your textbooks:Before you go to the college bookstore and get only a fraction of what you paid, check's buyback price comparison to sell your textbooks for the most money.You can even sell novels, cookbooks and other types of books; our partners buy up to 1 million titles.

In 2014, research(Opens in a new window) found that students with iPads were split 50-50 on whether they liked their tablet or paper books better. A further study(Opens in a new window) by the University of Washington showed a quarter of students who got free e-textbooks still bought the paper versions.

But e-textbooks have their benefits. College textbook costs rose 87.5 percent between 2006 and 2016, outpacing even tuition and fee increases, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(Opens in a new window).

If you go with Kindle e-textbooks(Opens in a new window), it's 80 percent off the list price on rentals for 30 days, which you can extend any time; there are seven-day trials on purchases. Students can also trade in(Opens in a new window) their print textbooks back to Amazon, even if they were purchased elsewhere, for up to 80 percent of the purchase price. E-textbooks can also be rented(Opens in a new window).

Apple works with major textbook publishers Houghton Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson, plus some open-source providers like OpenStax, to offer textbooks on the iPad, sold via iBooks or iTunes. Because it's Apple, e-textbooks made with the iBooks Author publishing tool(Opens in a new window) get extras like image galleries and fully rendered 3D images, but those are the exception. All e-textbooks on iPad get the ability to take notes and highlight passages and share with your fellow students.

Google sells books to Android users via Google Play, so it makes sense it would get into e-textbook sales(Opens in a new window) as well. Google has titles from the biggest educational publishers, including Houghton-Mifflin, Cengage, Wiley, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Macmillan. Select e-textbooks are rentable.

Barnes & Noble(Opens in a new window) is still chugging away, and sells textbooks up to 90 percent off if you rent or get them used. Of course, B&N will buy them back and provide free shipping if you buy a print text over $25 (try to find a textbook that costs less).

BNED also includes Yuzu(Opens in a new window), a digital "learning platform" with apps for iOS and Android to let students read and annotate e-textbooks. It's affiliated with specific schools and promises up to 80 percent off e-texts. Just be aware: it is not universally loved(Opens in a new window).

Chegg's e-textbooks are readable on the web for desktop or via Chegg's apps for iOS(Opens in a new window) and Android(Opens in a new window). It will even give you seven days of reading the e-textbook version of a physical book you've purchased while you wait for delivery. It also hosts test prep for the ACT and SAT, offers a scholarship search engine, and provides tutors(Opens in a new window) via text, audio, and video, to help with "homework" and assist in locating internships.

VitalSource(Opens in a new window) (once called CourseSmart) has a great selection of mobile apps and desktop options(Opens in a new window), a big selection that it claims encompasses 90 percent of the core books used in higher ed, and prices up to 70 percent lower than the print versions when renting. The apps allow you to read offline, and most e-textbooks look identical to the print versions.

CourseSmart was originally co-founded by major textbooks makers Cengage, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, MacMillan, and John Wiley & Sons, then integrated with the learning management systems at over 100 institutions. It was then acquired by VitalSource Technologies (hence the name change), which is itself owned by Ingram Content Group, which also works with Chegg.

Well, this seems obvious. deals in new and used cheap textbooks. You can get free shipping on orders over $25. No shipping is needed if you buy something from their ebook catalog. They accept 30-day returns, which is a great option if you decide to drop a class.

Find new and used textbooks for your college course, including reference books, study guides, key texts, academic journals, test prep books, and classic literature. AbeBooks offers thousands of textbooks at cheap prices - from biology to calculus and law - for students and academics everywhere. Remember to search by ISBN to find the exact edition that you need.

Famous for selling used books, AbeBooks has helped school, college and university students find and buy cheap textbooks online since 1996. Thousands of independent booksellers - many of them bricks and mortar bookstores - list their new and used textbooks for sale on our site.

When looking for bargains, consider international editions - these are books that have been published outside the US, and they are usually significantly more affordable than textbooks published in the United States.

They also have coupons right on their homepage for even further savings. If you want to get rid of your bought textbooks later on then Chegg will buy them from you rather you got them from them or not.

Buying textbooks can be a process but makes it a lot easier. It has a simple search function that you can use to find what you need. The site has a wide variety of textbooks that are cheaper than you can get anywhere else.

With Better World Books, you can get the textbooks that you need and help out a good cause at the same time. They take in used books which save them from landfills. They also fund tons of literacy projects all over the world.

College is expensive enough without having to worry about spending a mint on your college books. Luckily for you, there are ways to make things a bit cheaper. Try out one of these best sites to buy college textbooks to make getting your education less stressful and more affordable.

Chances are you are not going to keep all your college textbooks, so you should buy books with the intention of reselling to save the most money. If another edition of the book is coming out this year, the value of your book will drop. You could also look at renting your textbooks.

While you may already be familiar with sites such as Amazon,, and, consider the options below for the best deal possible on your next set of college textbooks. Textbook comparison websites, such as Book Rocket can get you a quick price comparison from multiple websites for the best price with shipping and other discounts.

Amazon offers options to purchase, sell, and rent textbooks at a discount. You can always sell those same books on Amazon once the course is over. If you are eligible for Amazon Prime, you can also get your textbooks super fast.

Barnes and Noble is the last major national book retailer in the United States. While they don't sell many textbooks in their store, their website sells just about every textbook imaginable. They also offer textbook rentals, and they even have a textbook buyback program to sell your textbook back at the end of the semester.

BigWords is a search engine designed to help you find the best prices on college textbooks. Although you may end up purchasing textbooks through different retailers, you will be able to get the best prices and shipping costs. has been around since the late 90s, and has been the go to resource for all things related to textbooks. offers an option to buy, rent, or sell textbooks, with average savings at least 60%.