One of the worst parts of going back to school for a new semester is definitely organizing the material you’re going to use. You start receiving a bunch of syllabi from your professors and you can’t take off your mind when and how you’re supposed to get that supplies. On top of that comes another concern: new college textbooks are very expensive. If you take between four and five classes, you can easily spend more than $1,000 in material every semester. And trust me: There’s no reason why you will want to spend so much on books you’ll most likely only be using for six months. Because we know it’s important that the books are both affordable and in good condition, the following list contains 12 reliable places for you to purchase used textbooks and help you save some money.
- Barnes and Noble: Present in more than 768 college campuses across the country, Barnes and Noble is a great option if you are looking for buying used textbooks. All books go through a very thorough process of analysis before they are bought from their previous owners to make sure they’re in good condition. If you are short of time due to the back to school rush, don’t worry: you can order used books on the Barnes and Noble website and they will deliver them to your home. If you don’t feel like keeping too many books after you’re done with your classes, you can rent used ones instead of buying them, saving up to 80% off.
- Announce it on your class’ Facebook group: Another strategy used by many college students is to post about a book you’re looking for on your class’ Facebook group. By speaking directly to another student, you will be able to bargain the price. You might even be lucky enough to find someone who needs a book that you have and you two just exchange them. One tip: start posting on social media as early as possible, before winter or summer breaks, so you will have enough time to find all the books you need for the lowest price.
- Look on campus: It’s very common for colleges to organize fairs where students can sell their old books and purchase used ones. It usually happens at the end of finals week when students are cleaning up and getting ready to go home, so don’t forget to check it out before the end of each semester if you know what books you’re going to need. Tip: some colleges also allow people outside the college community to organize a little second-hand bookstore in trucks or vans in on-campus spots, so keep your eyes peeled for those at the beginning and end of the school year.
- Chegg Study: You’ve probably already used or at least heard about Chegg Study, right? Most of the students use the website to check resolutions to non-answered exercises in math books. But who knew that they also offer a tool for selling and renting used textbooks? You can save up to 90% off on books and get them delivered to your home. Plus, they have a 21-day risk free return policy, which is great if you’re not sure if you are switching classes after the first week.
- Amazon: Amazon is a beyond reliable option if you are looking for buying used books. As you probably already know, when you type a product’s name into the search box, results from different sellers will pop up. You’ll then be able to find many different editions, prices, versions, and translations. Don’t forget to pay attention to the description of the product and check the reputation of the seller to make sure that you are buying a high-quality product at a fair price.
- BookFinder: Operating since 1997, BookFinder provides a wide range of used books that can be bought from 100,000 different independent sellers worldwide for the best prices. They ship orders to anywhere in the world and you can select the language and currency of your preference.
- Book Scouter: Book Scouter allows you to either buy, sell, or rent used textbooks. A quick search on the website is enough for you to find around 40 different independent sellers. All of their profiles include feedback from people who have already bought books from them and shipping is free.
- Big Words: This website is a little different from the other ones in this list. In case you’re too confused about which website is the best one to find a book you are looking for, don’t worry: head to Big Words, type the title of the book, author, or edition into the search box, and a list of all websites where the book can be found will show up. You can take a look at prices and shipping fees and choose where you will be buying it from.
- Campus Books: Just like Big Words, Campus Books enables its clients to look up titles and compare their prices from sellers like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Valore Books, Textbook Rush, and many others. On Campus Books, you can buy or rent new or used books and sell the ones you’re not using anymore as well.
- Biblio: With Biblio, you can save up to 90% off not only on textbooks, but academic texts and other types of course readings as well. The website includes thousands of independent sellers worldwide, most of them very well reviewed by clients.
- Abe Books: At Abe Books, you can find international editions of some textbooks. The good thing about it is that international editions are cheaper than the ones published in the USA. Besides that, you can also find used textbooks at affordable prices and with free shipping.
- Better World Books: Better World Books is one of the few companies on the market that is eco-friendly. Besides the collecting used books, which by itself already contributes to the environment, they have a renewable energy system and take many others measures that make them ecological. They have funded educational programs, as well as donated books to causes such as Books for Africa, Room to Read, Invisible Children and others. You can buy or rent used or new books, as well as register to be a seller.
Opening image by Jordyn Wissert.