Taking a few minutes to look into renting or buying used textbooks can save you hundreds of dollars. Here’s some advice on how to make the most of your book funds.
A few tips for renting books:
- Pay attention to shipping times. A book is no good to you if it doesn’t arrive until midterms.
- Watch out for high shipping prices. Add the book’s cost and the shipping. Make sure you’re saving money.
- Get the right edition of your book. Check your campus bookstore’s website to get the ISBN, an identifying number on every book. Use the ISBN to search online so you get, not only the right book, but the right version of that book.
- Read the fine print. Book rental requires you to sign a contract. Maybe you’ll love the course and want to keep the book. How much will you pay to keep the book? What if you spill something on the book? How much can you highlight or take notes in a book if you want to return it?
Websites for book rentals:
Rentatext.com (Run by Follett bookstores; available to students at DCCC, Lincoln University, Eastern University, Gwynedd-Mercy College, St. Joseph’s University)
Used and discounted books:
Your campus bookstore has limited supplies of used books and they are often much more expensive than used (and sometimes even new) books online.
Like book rental, there are some things to note before buying your books online:
- Study the return policy. If you change your schedule during drop/add, the campus bookstore will likely return 100% of your money. This isn’t so online so finalize your courses before ordering online.
- As with renting books, watch shipping times and prices. Shipping prices are usually reduced if you buy a number of books from the same seller. Be very careful buying used books on amazon.com; you may be buying from a number of different sellers and not realize it until you realize you’re paying shipping charges to a number of different sellers.
- Get the right edition. Use the ISBN number to find the exact version of the book on your syllabus.
Websites for used and discounted books:
Bigwords.com (this site searches other sites to find the best prices online)