Ready or not, here it comes—it’s back to school time for college students. Back to school can be one of the costliest times of the year besides the holiday season, as you have to worry about purchasing school supplies, dorm gear, clothing, and textbooks. Since textbooks alone can cost hundreds of dollars per semester, it is wise to do whatever you can to cut costs on necessary materials.
Thankfully with today’s technology, it is easier than ever to shop around to save on textbooks. Did you know that you do not necessarily have to purchase from your school’s bookstore and pay top prices? It pays to do some comparison shopping when it comes to textbooks.
One of my favorite places to check for new and used textbooks is eBay.com. Yes, the online auction website that you have been using for years actually has school textbooks. Both bookstores and private sellers may choose to sell textbooks on eBay. Prices are often an improvement over inflated university bookstore price tags. Exclusive FreeShipping.com Deal for eBay.com: Free shipping by rebate with NO MINIMUM purchase required.
You know that Barnes &Noble has the latest fiction and non-fiction bestsellers, along with the fabulous Nook eReader, but were you aware that they also deal in educational textbooks? If you are looking for options to save serious cash, Barnes & Noble has them. With the option to buy new or used physical books, rent physical books, or buy or rent digital books, you can find textbooks to fit any budget. Exclusive FreeShipping.com Summer Savings Deal for BarnesandNoble.com: Instant free 3-day shipping on orders over$25, plus get 5% cash back from FreeShipping.com during August.
eCampus.com knows the true value of a college student’s dollar. That’s why they provide the university bookstore experience online at a discount to save precious cash. Whether you want to purchase new or used textbooks, rent textbooks, or receive instant access to thousands of eTextbooks, eCampus.com has it. They also offer college sports fan apparel to complete the college experience. Exclusive FreeShipping.com Deal for eCampus.com: Free shipping by rebate with NO MINIMUM purchase required.
I have purchased textbooks online on numerous occasions, and I would definitely recommend it as a valid method to save a lot of money. But I do have some tips on how to shop savvy for textbooks:
- When searching for your books, make sure to search by ISBN. Each textbook should have an ISBN that can help you to determine if the version is the exact edition and year that you require. Some publishers put out new textbook versions each year, so using the ISBN should help to avoid any confusion. Your university should be able to provide you with the ISBN for each textbook.
- In addition to buying your textbooks at a great price, when you are done with the textbooks, you should consider selling them to get some money back. EBay, Barnes & Noble, and eCampus all offer opportunities to sell your books either to other students or directly to the online retailer (i.e., buyback). I normally try to do this as soon as the semester is over, particularly if you will be taking advantage of the buyback option. Many companies that offer buyback will also offer pre-paid labels to allow you to ship the books to them for free.
- If you choose to rent textbooks, make sure to keep them in good condition and to return all rented books and related materials by the due date. You do not want to incur extra charges due to damage or late return. Follow directions, use any provided labels, and make sure that you send them to the correct address.
- Before you purchase textbooks from retailers other than your school bookstore, it is wise to check out their return policy. It is good to know what your options are just in case that you end up with the wrong book, as some retailers will not take them back or will only take them back within a limited amount of time. Keeping this in mind, make sure to immediately open and inspect all textbooks that are shipped to you.
- Use an online textbook price comparison search engine to make sure that you are finding the cheapest prices on the web. My personal favorite is BigWords.com. Some tools will do this for you, but always make sure to factor in shipping costs. And remember, when you shop with FreeShipping.com, shipping is free. ;)
Going back to school during the college years can be costly, but with a little thinking ahead and help from FreeShipping.com, you can significantly slash your textbook expense.