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Where Can You Get Cheap Textbooks for College?
Get Books Cheap...Spend Less Time Shopping
Tuition at colleges and universities across the country are going up. The economy is down and many state and federal grants are disappearing. Living expenses continue to rise...and then there's hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks you are required to purchase...
Except...there is a cheaper way out when it comes to textbooks. I have found, through the tips I will share below, that you can find brand new textbooks for as much as 80% off the regular bookstore price. It sounds too good to be true, but please take a moment to read on and maybe give it a try. It if works consider sending this article on to a friend who could use a little cheap textbook advise this semester.
Textbooks at Reasonable Prices
How it Works
To begin. Make a list of all the books you will need for the upcoming semester. Be sure to include the following information on the list:
-Author(s)/editor(s) full names
-CD or DVD included (yes or no)
Once you have collected all the above information go to www.collegeswapshop.com. This site helps you to compare prices between almost every seller of textbooks online. I find this very useful because instead of having to visit ten or fifteen different sites for each book, one site does it all. On the main page of the collegeswapshop.com, look for a box titled "buy textbooks". Enter the ISBN number for the book you are searching and hit enter. Assuming that you have the right ISBN and that particular book is being sold online (99% chance it is), a list of anywhere from five to twenty different online stores will appear with price of the book and cost of shipping for each retailer.
From the list provided by collegeswapshop.com you can click on anyone of the listed retailers for more details. From those individual websites you will have the opportunity to immediately place orders for the textbook you are looking for. In my experience, I have found that most books sell for at least 50% the retail bookstore price and some for as much as 80% off.
Many of the retailers listed are actually just marketplaces where third party individuals and businesses sell books. Don't let this scare you though because most retailers offer a guarantee that you will receive the product you ordered or your money back. Furthermore, most marketplaces use a rating system much like eBay in which customers rate the individuals and businesses they buy items from. In an effort to get quality ratings most sellers provide honest descriptions of their books and quality customer service. If the retailer you choose (click the hyperlinked name) from the choices provided by collegeswapshop.com is one of these sellers, then you will have the option to choose from a variety of third party sellers.
Each seller will give the price, quality, and description of the book. Often I have found that brand new books sell for nearly the same price as used books so I would recommend going with a brand new book. Be sure to cross reference the book details with information collected on your list. Be sure you are selecting a book in the right edition and note whether or not the seller includes a CD with the book (if applicable).
Finally, many of the books sold on these sites are International versions. With the exception of the covers, there is usually no difference between an international textbook and a regular US edition and if there is a difference it is very minor; page numbers are almost always identical. Often a statement like "not to be sold in the US" will appear on the front or back of the book. However, a New York Times article states "a 1998 Supreme Court ruling that federal copyright law does not protect American manufacturers from having the products they arranged to sell overseas at a discount shipped back for sale in the United States.” To read more about International textbooks read the entire article here.
To buy the books simply follow the prompts provided by the retailer. You will probably have a chance to choose between several different shipping options and your selection will depend on the importance of getting your book quickly. All credit card information stays with the retailer and is not seen by the third party sellers.
Some of the cheapest retailers I have found include:
While there is a very slim chance that things may not work out with your order, it is important to remember that with the amount you are saving you could probably buy that same book online several times for the cost of buying it in the bookstore. In my entire experience with this method of textbook shopping I have been very satisfied and have had no reason to shop in bookstores anymore. If you are a little unsure of this textbook idea, maybe start by just ordering one or two of your books online and if you are satisfied you can buy more in future semesters.
Hopefully this helps. From a financial perspective, getting through college is not easy and it helps to know there are small things you can do to save up and take on less debt.