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Textbooks Online: 21 Quick Tips to Lower Prices

Use these quick tips to get textbooks online for 30-50% off retail price.

1. Rental isn’t always cheaper than buying; double-check all your options

College Book Rental: Bookstore VS Online Store Prices Compared

2. Ask your professor if an older edition will work

3. eTextbooks are often cheaper alternatives, but not always.

eTextbooks: Ways to Pay Less

4. Look for ultra-cheap alternatives like international and loose-leaf editions

5. ISBN search always works best for finding the exact books you need

6. Schools must provide ISBN numbers for each book in a bundle. Use them to find lower-priced alternatives

7. Ask the bookstore to match the lowest online price

8. Check for a free edition that will work (but understand free textbook sources often come with headaches)

9. See if you can check out a copy from your school’s library

10. Try social media book exchanges

11. If you’re renting, know how long your rental term is to avoid late fees

12. Use a book cover to protect your investment; well-cared-for books can often be resold at a premium

13. Amazon has most – but not all – books, and they don’t always have the lowest prices

14. Some stores offer free shipping when you order multiple books

15. Split costs and share books with classmates

16. Exhaustive coupon searches are typically fruitless, but you can find coupons fast with a price comparison service

17. Look for standalone access codes to avoid buying expensive bookstore bundles

18. Check with other students to see if the book is really needed

See Also: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Cheap Textbooks

19. Check with the professor to see if there is a desk copy you can use

20. Apply for textbook scholarships

21. Cash back programs (like ours) can put up to 10% cash back in your pocket

Have a textbook saving tip to share? We would really enjoy hearing about it. Let us know!