Thursday, January 5, 2012

College Textbooks

When Ds started college I just about went into cardiac arrest seeing the college bookstore prices for textbooks.  I think we purchased the first quarter's books at the bookstore, but by the time the second quarter rolled around I decided to do some online checking into alternative ways to purchase.  Boy, am I glad I did!  I'm sure I have saved a minimum of 50% over the cost at the bookstore - of USED books, to boot.

My favorite tool to use to research prices is  Just type in the ISBN number of the textbook and up pops numerous places to purchase.  The search can then be sorted various ways, by price, new, used, etc. I have saved so much money using this website and have purchased his textbooks through several different sites over the last 2 years -Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ebay, along with renting books on several occasions. has been my favorite to rent from - they made it the easiest to return, by sending me a prepaid envelope to mail back the book in.  Chegg and the other one I used (I can't recall who it was off the top of my head) for renting, I had to find a box of my own to send back in, even though I was able to dowload a prepaid return shipping label.

Even if you don't use this resource, is great for textbooks much cheaper than the college bookstore.  Ds prefers his computer course books (his major) to be new (but has used e-books on some classes) because he wants to keep the books for reference.  For his general courses, we have either purchased used or rented.  Our neighbor just spent $900 for textbooks for her Physics major classes! But I commented to her on Facebook to check out online prices and she found a couple of the books much lower, so is returning the books purchased at the bookstore, and buying the books online now.

For example - the 3 textbooks Ds needs for this quarter came to $294 new or $221 used at the school bookstore.  With the online search I have found I can buy the 2 computer class books and the English class book for $130 total.  This would be e-books for 2 of the books and an actual textbook for the other class.  Even if I got him actual books for all 3 classes, the total would still be quite a bit less than the bookstore, at $156.


  1. College book store prices are horrendous! I don't know how they get away with it. We usually buy from Amazon, Chegg and a number of others and have saved thousands, I'm sure, over the past 4 years. We rent too. I heard from our local college bookstore that ALL colleges will be using online reference materials soon which - get this - will require activation codes that can only be used ONCE, are not downloadable or shareable with the material being specific only to that college. That means that buying used books will no longer work. The price for this online content will be the same as buying the actual book BUT the colleges will make bank because the material will all be digital on a single website! I hope my kids are all done with school by then because this modus operandi is not routine yet. Their classes are a combo of hard copy book and online material.

  2. nice blog. i know one world famous rental text shop called you need any book's for rent just get from here

  3. Quest - I read an article in our local newspaper recently referencing textbooks being online soon (to reduce costs) but it didn't go into the detail you have. Sounds like it will not be as beneficial as stated in the article!

    Rent Textbooks - I'm sure I will be renting from you again! Son still has 2 more years and daughter will be starting some college classes next year while she is in high school.

  4. I am SO bookmarking this post!!!! I will definitely need this information in the fall when the Princess goes to school!!!!!!