Colleges are starting up again and *surprise surprise,* textbook costs are through the roof yet again. I always wondered why textbooks were so expensive, especially since we never seem to use them as much as we should.
My philosophy in life is that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get by, which I usually use to support my $2 sweaters and $8 dresses, but can honestly apply to a lot of other things too.
It's safe to say I am a bargain shopper, especially when it comes to those overpriced bag weights. Making the choice between buying or renting, digital (ebook) or hard copy (a physical textbook) can be hard too, and it really does depend on the professor and the class. Here are my top six websites and methods, ranked, to help with your decision making too.
After checking on my school's website for the books I need, this is always my first stop. All you have to do is copy the ISBN that your school/professors provide, paste it in the search bar of the website, and hit the magnifying glass. It's that simple. This site isn't like most others. It'll provide you with prices from various websites so you're sure to get the best deal, no matter what. I mostly buy rather than rent from this website.
I think this Instagram user pretty much sums it up. Chegg is a great and very affordable site for renting textbooks. I'm going into my junior year of college and I'm pretty sure I've used Chegg for at least one textbook per semester so far.
Very similar to Chegg, Knetbooks is an affordable textbook rental site. The bonus of Knetbooks is that you get free shipping on every order, and when I Google-searched for a coupon code, I found one and got an additional 5% off my order. That doesn't sound like a lot, but every dollar in college matters.
eCampus is similar to Chegg and Knetbooks and provides you with amazing deals. I have used this site for the past two years. You can buy or rent, both are good deals.
It's no surprise that Amazon is on this list. You can find literally anything on that glorious site. My best friend uses Amazon as her sole source of textbooks because it's the cheapest for her. I have found cheaper options myself, so I don't use Amazon as often as she probably does. I think buying is the better option here, that way you can try to resell and get SOME money back.
As a student, you can sign up for a six-month trial of Amazon Prime!
I've never heard of AbeBooks until this year when I had to buy more novels for an English class. Using this website, I was able to get the best deals and therefore pay the least amount of money. The process was very simple and secure. I found AbeBooks through CheapestTextbooks, and I would use it again if I ever wanted books for myself.
Similar to Amazon, you can find just about anything on eBay. I've bought books from eBay a few times and even resold them there. I bought novels that I needed for class and a textbook or two from eBay.
Your school's bookstore
The school bookstore is always my last option, personally. If I can't find what I'm looking for for less money somewhere else, I turn to my school. Although buying directly from your school tends to be the best route simply so you know you're getting the right supplies and the correct edition of your textbooks, it's also always the most expensive. If you do go with this option, I've found renting is generally the best deal here.
From a classmate
I've only bought from a classmate once or twice, just because I don't usually have cash on me and I don't usually know what classes they've all taken and what textbooks they bought and still have. This is a good option if you have a lot of friends in your major, or even one friend in your major who is a grade above you. Who knows, maybe you can even trade textbooks.
No matter how you acquire your books, you're far better off having them even if you don't use them than trying to slide by without them.