While the beginning of a new school year is great for kids and parents alike, the costs associated with shopping for new school gear can put a damper on any home budget. Between clothes, supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes, and textbooks, things can quickly get out of hand. Since school books can be among the big ticket items, we hope you can save money with these tips for buying back-to-school books on a budget.
1) Avoid Campus Bookstores
If you’re purchasing college course textbooks, the first place you’d think to look is the local campus bookstore. However, they actually tend to be the most expensive textbook retailer. Check out other retailers below to find better priced school books.
2) Buy Used
Obviously, it’s cheaper to buy used books rather than new, but with dozens of used book options, finding the right retailer to buy used books can be overwhelming. When searching for used books, look for retailers that have high ratings and reviews. Also, pay attention to return policies, as that book described as “Good” condition turns out to be filled with stains, notes, doodles, or worse. A few places to start would Amazon, ValoreBooks, and Textbooks.com.
3) Look for Coupons
While buying used is always the cheaper option, it may not be the right option depending on the textbook (since you might really need the newest edition with the updated data). So if buying new, then definitely search for any coupons or discounts available. To help with the search, use online sites BIGWORDS and CampusBooks to do the work for you. They compare numerous textbook sites to find the best deals not only for new books but for used ones too.
Seriously. Skip purchasing school books altogether and rent them. There are many retailers that provide this option, but a few sites in particular are Chegg and ValoreBooks. If you do decide to rent, just be sure to not mark up the book, and turn it back in the best shape as possible.
5) Sell Books Back
Check through your current textbook inventory to see if you have any that you can sell back. Bookstores will buy back books, and pay you in cash or store-credit, which can be applied for the next year’s textbooks. While most campus bookstores will buy textbooks back, be sure to check out sites like Chegg, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobel to see if you can earn more cash back.