1. Rent everything.So, you finished your first semester — now what do you do with the
books you'll never use again? If you rent everything, you won't have a problem.
Plenty of school bookstores offer students the chance to rent a book instead of buying it,
which is usually much more cost-effective. (However, keep in mind that the school bookstore
is the last place you want to go to buy new textbooks. You're likely paying full price there, no
There are also rental book sites that allow students to borrow books, then mail them back
when the semester is over. From finding used books, to renting everything, acquiring textbooks
can be substantially easier on your wallet. Amazon, BookRenter, Neebo and Chegg are just a
few sites that offer students a "rent now, return later" model.
2. Hunt for e-books.
Your Kindle can save you money. Instead of lugging around books IRL, just buy e-book versions
of your textbooks. You can typically access them from your laptop, e-reader or tablet, and they'll
often save you a chunk of money. Plus, you're being environmentally friendly.
You can easily find e-books on sites like Amazon and CourseSmart, as well as through certain
3. Revitalize used books.
Give old lit a new meaning by buying used textbooks. There are dozens of great sites devoted
to helping you find a cheaper version of what you need. Here are a few options:
Chegg, AbeBooks, eCampus, Powell's, Half.com
Trusty sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble also sell used textbooks.
4. Get the most out of Amazon. Did you know students get Amazon Prime free for six months?
Using your student email address provided by your college, you can get free two-day shipping
on a number of items, snag exclusive deals and borrow free Kindle books.
5. Compare online book prices.
If you want to ensure you're getting the best deal, try sites like BookFinder and Big Words. They
comb the Internet for book titles and pull up a list of all the sites where you can buy them. That way,
you can easily compare prices and make the best pick.
6. Scour the school library.
The early bird gets the library book. Scan your syllabus before the semester begins and check if
your school's library has copies of your books. You won't be the only student doing this, though,
so make it a top priority on your back-to-school list.
7. Sell your books back at the end of the semester.
Earn back some of your money at the end of the semester by selling the books you didn't rent or
buy as an e-book. You can sell on Amazon, eBay or Half.com, or venture off to textbook-specific sites
like TextbookRush and Powell's. Barnes & Noble also offers a textbook buyback option. Most school
bookstores do, too, but they don't usually offer the best prices — so use them as a last resort for
selling books back.