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Back to School Money Saving Tips: How to Buy Used Textbooks

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The start of fall semester is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start getting yourself organized to head back to school. Are you worried about how you are going to stretch your college funds to cover all your expenses? Over the next three weeks, I am going to give you some tips for saving money on school costs.

Tip #1 is to buy used text books. Did you know that the cost of books has gone up over 200% in the last decade and that students spend an average of $1,000 per year on textbooks alone? There is no reason to pay full-price for your books, especially when there are dozens of places that will ship you excellent used condition textbooks for free.

Not sure where to look for used textbooks online? Here are five places you might want to consider ordering your books from:

1. BookByte

BookByte has a very user-friendly search engine with nearly 500,000 textbook titles. You can search by subject, title, author or key words. Not only are their prices low, but you can recoup a good chunk of your cost by reselling your books at the end of the semester.

2. Affordabook

Not up for all the legwork of comparison shopping? Affordabook will do the work for you. The website is paired up with 20 discount retailer partners and it searches through each of them to find the lowest price on new and used textbooks (and other books, too). You can search by ISBN, title or keywords and then rest assured you’re getting the best deal.

3. BigWords

Like Affordabook, BigWords does your research for you. The site searches through several other online retailers to find the cheapest textbooks. With multi-item price optimization, Bigwords claims to save it’s users an average of $225 per order. Sweet! Now there is even an iPhone application to help you search for books, which Masahble.com is calling the #1 Back-to-School App.

4. Textbookz

If you like eBay, you’ll love buying your books from Textbookz. It’s an e-Bay based site for student book exchanges. The site is super fast and easy to use, and let’s you buy or sell used books in no time.

5. TextbooksRUs

My personal favorite, TextbooksRUs is fast, simple and super user-friendly. You can search by subject, title, author or ISBN, and you can turn around and sell you books back at the end of the semester for a handsome little profit. I personally have sold books back to TextbooksRUs and I had a great experience. They paid me top dollar of all the sell-back sites, so when you’re ready to sell back your books, read my TextbooksRUs review!

For more money-saving ideas, check out my post with 6 tips on saving money on textbooks.

How do you save money on books and other school supplies? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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