8 Things You Can Do to Lower Your Textbook Costs

Nothing is worse than buying a $300 college text book and then you can’t get rid of it at the end of the semester. Frustratingly, universities opt for the updated edition the following semester rendering your textbook into toilet tissue. There’s several strategies and tactics you can apply to be sure you spend the least amount on your college text books.

8 Things You Can Do to Lower Your Textbook Costs

1. Digital Textbooks

Ebooks, PDFs, whatever format they come in for your Kindle, iPad or Android, it’s usually cheaper than its “analog” counterpart. There’s both pros and cons when it comes to the digital copy. You can’t physically turn pages and that really sucks, because when it comes to studying, nothing gets you more focused than having a physical copy of the textbook next to you to look back at while you jot down notes on it or while you’re writing an essay. If you do get a digital copy, we would suggest having it on a separate tablet while you use your laptop or desktop to do your report. You usually on average can save 30% vs the physical copy.

2. Group Buy With 1 to 3 Classmates

A good method to lower the cost of textbooks is split the cost with a few of your buddies that are taking the same class as you, it’s even better if they have it on another schedule. Professors don’t really care though if you’re sharing in class, they understand the economical factors. This method can save you anywhere from 50%-75%!

3. Make Photocopies Off Classmate’s Book

This is a super old school technique but can still be viable if the book isn’t like 1000 pages, which believe it or not is quite the norm. The problem with using this as an alternative is that it will be very time consuming because you can’t just set it and forget it, you have to be there to turn every page and make the copy. UGH! Our calculations say you could cut costs by 75%, but SAVE YOUR TIME! Unless the book is a pamphlet, and in that case it’s probably cheap to just buy it from the bookstore.

4. Rent

Renting textbooks is the perfect option because you don’t have worry about what you will do after the semester is over, it gives you a deadline and you can always extend it for a couple months. The costs in comparison to purchasing the textbook is a fraction, saving you anywhere from 30 to 90%! This is the best. Valorebooks is our option because they have a LARGE selection, they also have a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy, and a price match guarantee. Renting is always a great choice.

5. Friends With Book Benefits

I like doing this because the cost is zero. If you can make a “friend”, ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) ,  that’s cool with you just borrowing their book whenever, then my friend, you are in like Flynn. You of course better be really chill and offer something in return. ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) 

6. Advanced Planning

You need to make friends with students who are already in classes that you will be taking. Hopefully your college won’t feel the need to update the edition the following semester and they can just let you borrow their book. You can also buy it from them, usually they are cheaper than the online markets, saving you well over 50%!

7. International Edition

A lot of times the international edition of the textbook is the exact same thing as the U.S. version, just a different cover. I’d check with the professor, they are usually cool if you personally ask them if you can use it. You can save up to 60% going this route, it’s def something worth checking into.

8. Sell Your Books!

Year after year, so many students just hold on to their books! It’s really easy these days to list your book on a popular book sale website, usually they only ask for the ISBN the condition and shipping options. That simple! It’s important to sell your books immediately as the semester is ending. A strategy which I like to incorporate is as I complete the final assignment, I list it right away on the book sale website such as ValoreBooks.com, a week before the semester is over, this way you beat the rush and could sell your book for top dollar. This will help balance costs. You have to think long term. It’s also important to “Stand Your Ground” when listing the prices of these books. Don’t worry if a few our listed at a ridiculously low price, you stand your ground and keep it listed at a reasonable price, it will sell, and you won’t feel so cheated. You can usually get back 25% to 75% of the original costs!

Let Us Know

You can actually combine many of these tactics to create the best savings for your textbooks and finally making it affordable on your budget. Remember by selling your books immediately after the semester over, and also “standing your ground” can help your buffer your costs on the rebound. We hope you found this helpful, this is your time to let us know, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. Also check out our dorm room essentials checklist, we made it a printable PDF for your convenience.

  1. Avatar CraigDee July 27, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    I use Valorebooks.com, they really out do amazon on the book rentals

  2. Avatar taylor D August 7, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    hahaha, i make photocopies all the time! best tip ever!

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