Discount Textbook Options


Instead, ask your instructor a few questions about the textbook for your course.  Then, if the textbook is needed, use one of the sites below to purchase the text or consider purchasing the e-book version (if you regularly use a smartphone, tablet or laptop).

  1. Is the textbook necessary for this course?  
  2. If the answer is yes, how will we be using the textbook for this course?
  3. How will you hold me accountable for reading the textbook for this course?  Will there be quizzes, activities, test questions, textbook discussions, etc.?
  4. Could I find the same information online?  If yes, could that take the place of the textbook?
If your instructor really, truly, cruelly (I couldn't find another good word that rhymed), wants you to purchase the textbook, then, by all means DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE.

Here are my favorite discount buying sites:
  • (part of Ebay) - what until you see the savings below!
  • (part of Amazon)
  • - which I just checked to see if they carry the Educational Psychology book that my class uses and they do!  You can rent the latest edition for $22 or buy it used for $61.  This textbook new is over $140.  The rental option is great for students who plan to only use the textbook that semester - not longer.

Now check out,  You can rent the same textbook for the same amount of time for $14.53.  You save $7.  That's two lattes, right?  Yay, for  Even better!

Of course, many textbooks can be "rented" via the e-book option.  This, too, is great for students who do not plan to use the textbook past the semester AND for students who regularly are plugged into their smartphones, tablets or laptops.  If your only computer is a desktop one at home; this is not a good fit. You want your e-book to be mobile - that's the cool part about e-books.

Now, I have one last tip and you must adhere to this one:  PAY THE EXTRA SHIPPING COST TO EXPRESS MAIL OR OVERNIGHT YOUR TEXTBOOK TO YOU.  Don't cheap out on this one.  It is worth the extra money.  Why, you ask?  Because most textbook companies save on shipping by shipping books fourth class mail.  Yes, it is appropriate because fourth class mail is reserved for books and media, but wow, is it sloooooow.  By the time you get your textbook via fourth class mail, it will be the end of the semester.  PAY THE EXTRA SHIPPING COST TO GET YOUR TEXTBOOK FASTER.  Or, plan at least 4-6 weeks ahead before the semester begins.

If you've already purchased your textbook at full price, every college bookstore has a refund policy.  For example, my college allows returns up to 10 days after the semester starts.  To do so, you just need your receipt and ID and voila, you can return your over-priced handsomely-priced textbook. 

Go forth and save, fine college student.  If you have other discount textbook websites or textbook buying tips, please leave them in the comments section below.  My next post about textbooks will be about FREE textbooks, yes, you heard me.  F. R. E. E.

That's my favorite price ;)