College textbooks can break your bank, especially when you buy them brand new and straight from the university or your local bookstore. To make matters worse, textbooks increase in price each year more than any other educational expense. (source)
That is why you need to be careful where you acquire your textbooks.
Fortunately for you, I’ve done my research. If you have no problems using handy-downs, then here are seven websites that offer cheap college textbooks online!
Let’s first talk about the most popular student resource for both new and used books, Chegg.com. This website is more than just about selling or renting out top-condition college textbooks; they’re also a service.
They offer “Chegg Study,” which gives you access to step-by-step textbook solutions. You may even send them up to 20 questions every month to make your college a little bit easier. Textbook rentals are always a fifth of the brand-new price. Moreover, you get to keep the book for the entire semester.
So if the book sells for $100, you can have it for the entire semester for just $20 — sometimes you even get it for even less. If you’re lucky enough, you can sometimes find good deals that can go as low as $10 for a used book!
Everything is on Amazon, including your future college textbooks!
It’s a super versatile platform where you can buy, rent, and even sell your old textbooks and e-books. Prices are reasonable and likely lower than what your college bookstore has to offer.
What makes Amazon great for college students is that you get to have Amazon Prime for free. You can get that sweet deal through their Amazon Student deal. After six months, you’ll only pay half the price too!
Amazon is a great marketplace for broke students because you can compare prices and find cheap textbooks. However, unless there are free shipping labels next to your books, Amazon has shipping costs.
If you prefer owning textbooks, whether used or new, then Textbook.com is the right place for you.
Textbook.com claims to have the biggest archive of used books, so you’re bound to see the one you need at a friendlier price. Plus, most of the books they sell have eBook versions, which is almost half the price of a physical one.
Although you don’t have the option to rent a book, you can sell it back to them after the semester. Granted, selling it back to them will take some time, but it’s all worth it.
Next on our list is more of a specific online bookstore dedicated to students studying fine art.
They have rare books, special editions, and even collectibles. What makes them impressive and what made them on this list is their dedication to updating their bargain books section.
You can find textbooks for less than $10!
Furthermore, their search engine is easier to use than most websites on this list. You have the option to get similar books by just searching for a keyword instead of its ISBN or title. You can also choose to search for the author and get all his work on one page.
When it comes to convenience, we highly recommend eCampus.com.
It’s a straightforward website that allows you to rent, sell, and buy new and old textbooks that are near your college campus.
We love the fact that they are super easy to work with and gives you the chance to return your textbook if you’re unhappy with it. However, what makes them unique out of all the websites on this list is their eWards program.
In a nutshell, they offer an ambassador program where you earn points by promoting their website or products.
These points are convertible into cash gift cards. By merely referring a friend or tweeting about one of their promotions, you get to earn points — easy peasy lemon squeezy!
The more active you are, the more points you’ll get. At the end of the day, you might have enough points to buy a book.
Now, this website is for those who are quite wary about their college program.
If you’re unsure about your course, and you think you might be dropping a few subjects here and there, then this bookstore is a lifesaver.
ValoreBooks.com has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
So if within the first few weeks, you’re going to drop a few subjects, you can return the book and get your money back with ease.
They still have low prices on their used textbooks, so you don’t have to worry if you plan on pursuing your course.
Last but definitely not least is not an online bookstore but more of a search engine designed to provide you with the cheapest textbooks online.
Whenever you search for a book, it will send you to a results page where you can compare the prices coming from different websites.
If you want to know where you can get the cheapest title out there, use this website.
However, the only con is if you buy in bulk, you might end up getting books from different sources. That means paying for every individual delivery charge from each store.
What I recommend is to use this website if you’re only looking to buy or rent a single book.
You can get lucky and have all the books you need in one store, and they all have the lowest price, but that’s incredibly rare. So do be careful.
With the right mindset and a little hustle, you can get your books for half or even a fraction of the original price. This means that you won’t have to increase your student loans with textbooks purchases.
It takes quite some time to get all your needs, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be worth your while as you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars!