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How to Save Money on Textbooks

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Education is expensive and that includes the books you need each semester for all of your classes. It’s great to be able to save anywhere you can so here are a few ideas for making your books cost you less:

Go digital. If you have an e-reader or tablet, many textbooks are available online. You may want to check with other students or your professor first to make sure that there’s no reason that you absolutely need a physical textbook, but if you don’t, you may be able to get a digital version for a fraction of the price. For example, the hardcover textbook, Campbell Biology (9th Edition), is selling for $154 on while the Kindle version is $108.

Rent a textbook. Some sites also offer textbook rentals. For example, Amazon is offering a rental option for Campbell Biology (9th Edition) for $69 if you only need the book for one semester, and they cover the cost of shipping both ways.

Sell back your books. Many college bookstores and websites offer money for used textbooks at the end of the semester. This is a good way to recoup some of the money from your original purchase, no matter where you made it. You also may want to see if other students you know need the books by posting fliers in your dorm. The students may offer you a better price than the bookstores or websites so it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Use cashback programs to save money. is a cashback program that gives you a percent of your online purchases back in cash every three months. If you go to Ebates and then search for textbook sites, you can go to the site, make your textbook purchases and get cash back from that purchase deposited into your Ebates account. Then, four times a year, you’ll receive a check from Ebates! You can use Ebates for all types of purchases but textbooks are a great place to start.

Remember, any money you save can be used for other things like tuition, food or even a night out with your new friends!

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