ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Save Money in College

Updated on June 18, 2013
The latest textbook I sold on craigslist. I bought it used for $50 and sold it $30. The new price at the school book store was $85. Total cost to me - $20.
The latest textbook I sold on craigslist. I bought it used for $50 and sold it $30. The new price at the school book store was $85. Total cost to me - $20.

College Costs money

Books prices are ridiculous these days for college. Chances are, you're not even going to use the book you paid a couple hundred dollars for, ever again after that quarter or semester. So how can you save yourself tons of money during your years in college? You can't haggle your way to lower tuition costs but you can spend less on your "required" textbooks and even sell them when your done with the class. If you do this right, your college text books could cost you next to nothing or even end up being free after selling them and recouping your costs.

Tips for Meeting Craigslist Buyers or Sellers Safely

  • Don't go alone
  • Meet during the day
  • Look over the product/count the money in front of the person and before leaving
  • Meet somewhere that there will be people present
  • Agree on a safe location
  • Don't give out your address, only state what part of town you live on when trying to decide on a mutually beneficial location.

Craigslist Textbook Buying Guide

  • Check which books you will be needing for the upcoming semester or quarter. For each textbook, write down the title, author, edition and ISBN. It is also very helpful to have a picture of the correct textbook to reference quickly. You should also go to your school's book store and find out how much they are charging for those textbooks new and used. These ideas help you know if you're getting a good deal and that you are getting the correct book. Nothing is worst than showing up on the first day of class with the wrong book.
  • Make sure to check if the textbook you need for class includes any kind of one time use, online code. If so, check how much they cost on their own. Sometimes it is just cheaper to buy it new that buy the book used and then the code separate.
  • Log onto Craigslist for your city and state or your college's city and state. In the search bar, type in the course you are taking (MATH 1524) or the ISBN of the textbook you are looking for.
  • Textbooks go fast on Craigslist if they are inexpensive. So, look at the more recent listings. Find the cheapest one and read the listing and look at the picture. Make sure this is the book you are looking for.
  • Call, text or e-mail the person who listed the textbook. Use whatever method they have provided and stated to be preferred. Let them know your interested and what textbook it is you want.
  • Even if the price of the book is acceptable to you, try offering 5-10 below what they are asking. They might actually give it to you for less than you would have accepted.
  • Agree on a price, time and place to meet.
  • Buy your book and save money.

Craigslist Textbook Selling Guide

  • When you list a textbook, you want to make sure that the person looking for it will find it and find everything they need to know about the book. Think about the things you would look for if you were looking to buy that textbook.
  • You don't need to "sell" your textbook by saying how great of a book it was or anything like that. If someone is looking for your textbook, they most likely have to have it for school. They could care less if it was a good read or not.
  • Go to your campus book store and check the price of the textbook you are going to sell. Find out what it costs new and used. If your college bookstore has a buyback program, find out how much they are offering for your textbook. Most of the time, the school bookstore offers less money than what a stranger would pay you for your book.
  • Decide how much you want to get for your text book. If the bookstore is charging $100 for the same book, you are going to want to ask for less or people will just buy from the book store.
  • Go on Craigslist and search for the book you want to sell. Check how much others are selling the same book for. This will give you an idea of how much competition you have to sell your book.
  • Decide on a price and make a listing on Craigslist for your textbook. If you want $55 for your book, list it at $60 just in case someone is willing to pay more. If a person isn't willing to pay $60, chances are they will contact you and make and offer that is lower. It is then your choice to accept it or not.
  • Your listing needs to include the author, title, ISBN, picture, condition, price, location and contact information for the best chance at selling.
  • If no one responses for a while, make sure your posting is still active, if not, renew it. You will have the best shot of selling your book if you post it about 2 weeks before the start of school. Re-post it 1 week before school starts to make sure it isn't getting buried under a bunch of other postings.
  • Once someone contacts you, agree of a price, time and date to meet.
  • Sell your book and smile!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I still believe that buying used and selling used is the way to go. I'll use a site like and just comparative shop. When I'm done, I do the same, since they can shop for the best price to sell your book from. I think renting seems cheaper, but in the end, if you're savvy about buying and selling textbooks, you will save more money that way then renting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)