How to Save Money in College on Books

The biggest advice to any student is to avoid the bookstore at all costs!!
Whether you are buying, selling, or just renting, avoid them bookstores unless absolutely necessary! Saving money on books is something every college student needs to do. Saving money on books can very easily be done.bookstore-vs-online-sites

Before you buy any books!!

First, go on to and find your class with the professor you have and make sure you need the book. If you don’t use it much, then you might as well not buy it. That would be the easiest way to save.

If you do need it, free versions or PDF files online are the cheapest, but not the way to go. Not only can this be illegal, but you could also get a virus. Fixing a virus is more expensive than buying or renting a book!

Waiting Can be Smart!

Sometimes waiting for the first day of classes isn’t always bad. I have seen people buy $300 books and the professor tells us cheaper alternatives the first day. If the book can not return it, or have to pay return shipping, there goes $10. So what if I need it for the second day of class? (this is rare)

If you need a book for the second day of class and you didn’t buy it yet, you could either borrow it from someone or go to the bookstore and buy it. You can always return it, but know what the return policy is. Sometimes book stores will not accept books after a certain time. I recommend buying it off amazon and get free 1 or 2 day shipping if you need it ASAP. This is free with amazon student

Save Money with Older Editions

Publishers come out with new books every few years and some are literally about exactly the same with a different cover and the pages are mixed up a little. One time a professor had us order a 5th edition and it was no more than $20 when the 7th edition was over $300. He taught by chapter and section numbers instead of the page number and the content was exactly the same, just a different page number.

Buy Used Copies

If you know anyone in your major from high school, classes, fraternities, or whatever, ask if they have the books. Buying books from someone you know is much easier and faster (and usually cheaper) than dealing with online orders.

Buy Internationalus-vs-intl

Buying international editions is one of the cheapest routes, but is not always the best thing to do. I like to buy them because they are very cheap, but you may run into problems.

Warning: On the cover of some books, they say not for sale in the US. However, websites and companies inside the US still sell them within the US? Do your own research before buying or selling international editions.


Renting is much cheaper than buying, if you return it on time. Renting is nice, but then you can not sell your book after words. Sometimes it may be more beneficial to buy your textbook and then sell it after, just depends on the book.

Share Books

Sharing books is awesome. Everything is half the cost. Some classes this may not be possible with, but if you have several friends in your major, ask if the want to share a book. Cutting costs in half will save a lot of money. Then when you sell it, split that profit. Which brings me to my next point.

Selling Books

Always make sure you sell your books, preferably the semester after you use them so publishers don’t have time to come out with another edition. If you have an older edition, you might only get half of what you paid for it, if you’re lucky. If you are struggling to sell it, you can always sell it to amazon for a gift card.


Thanks for reading and hopefully this post will help you save money! If you have any questions or comments please let me know below!

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