Sometimes it’s easy to focus only on winning scholarships while forgetting there are many other ways to make the college experience affordable. One of those great opportunities comes when purchasing textbooks. While it’s great to support your campus bookstore, if your funds are depleted, you need to shop around! One semester, we were able to cut our textbook bill from $608.93 to $115.07 by shopping online, and that included shipping! While some of the books were used, all were in excellent condition. Our savings were comparable to an instant $500 college scholarship!
Where are the best places to shop for college textbooks? For a second semester in a row, we found used book sellers, such as Alibris.com to have the lowest prices. When searching for new books, was our favorite, for a number of reasons. First, students can get a free “Prime” account for a year, which includes free two-day shipping. Second, you can earn free Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks, just by searching online for things, or by participating in other activities. During the summer, you can accumulate numerous Amazon gift cards just by conducting online searches through Swagbucks! Theoretically, if you plan ahead, you can end up with your textbooks for free if they’re sold by Amazon. Third, there’s usually no tax when ordering from (unless you’re having them sent to Washington state).
If you’re savvy when buying your books, you can likely sell them for more than what you paid, giving you a head start on the next semester’s textbook purchases.