Dig Up Deals at Your Local Library

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Local Library Deals
Going to the library may seem old-school, but you'd be surprised at how much you can save with just one membership.

Aside from free access to books, movies, music and online classes, public libraries can be a great place to get audio books. Most locations have huge collections available on CD and online. With just a few clicks, you can download titles straight off their website and directly onto your computer. When the average audio book costs $20, the savings can really add up.

Another lesser-known service that public libraries offer is free access to e-books. With an average cost of $7.65 each, this is another great deal. Many branches have fantastic, up-to date websites where, in a matter of minutes, you can download and read the latest titles on your iPad, e-reader or smartphone.

As an added bonus, sometimes new e-book titles are available before the printed versions hit the shelves, so you'll be getting your hands on great reads in advance.

Last but not least, public libraries have an excellent selection of e-magazines, which you can digitally check out through an app. What's great about this is that there's no limit on how many people can download an issue, so you'll never have to wait.

With a free library membership, you can save big on audio books, magazines and more. Check out your local branch to cash in on the savings for yourself.


Dig Up Deals at Your Local Library -- Savings Experiment

By Mandi Woodruff, Business Insider

Malls and e-commerce sites are packed with deals on back-to-school basics like electronics, but finding ways to shave the soaring costs of textbooks can be tricky.

From e-books to online swap meets, there's absolutely no reason to plop down big money for glossy hardbacks when you could be saving that cash for student loans down the road.

Click through our quick guide for buying, renting, selling and swapping your text books online and in-store.



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Amazon's Book Rental. Rent e-books as long as you need them (30 days minimum) and save up to 80% off the cover price. The best part about this service is that all your highlights and notes will still be available via their Cloud service even after you've returned your book. You can download books to just about any device, including the iPad, Kindle, Macs and PCs.

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Rent-A-Text. Created by Follett Higher Education Group, students can save 50 percent on average by renting their books from Rent-a-Text. Not only can you rent straight from eFollett.com, but the site gives access to rentals from more than 900 college bookstores across the nation. Want to avoid shipping charges? They tell you where to pick books up, too.

Video: Rent-A-Text

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Collegebookrenter.com. This site promises savings up to 85% off the cover price of textbooks. It claims to have the largest textbook inventory on the market and also allows you to sell or buy books new. CEO Chuck Jones says they aren't offering e-books at the moment but don't charge customers for shipping costs. And if you're really into highlighting the margins, Jones promises they're far more lenient in that regard.

Video: College Book Renter

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Chegg.com.This site has a huge inventory of books for rent and it recently launched an e-book rental service as well. You can download books to your account and access them anytime on the Web. The only drawback is they're only available as streaming files, so you'll need an Internet connection to access them and they can't be downloaded.

Video: Chegg

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Campusbookrentals.com. They give you a 15-day late return grace period and offer three options for rentals: 55 days (summer), 130 days (semester) and 85 days (quarter). Extra perk: They're cool with highlighting fanatics, too.

Video: Campus Book Rentals

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You can sell back your books on most sites, but Amazon is a great go-to site for anyone new to the game. Campusbooks.com has a great app to find the best buy-back price on your books. Stack up your text books with the ISBN codes all facing the same direction, then snap a photo with your smartphone.
 

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Give Cash4books.net a try if you're looking for something quick and simple. You can ship your book to them free and they pay by check or via PayPal.

Video: Cash4books

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Half.com. This eBay-owned site lets you rent and buy your books online, like Amazon.com.

Video: Half.com

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Swap.com. The go-to site to swap everything from DVDs to expired Groupons, Swap.com is also great for trading textbooks. If you've got an older edition you know you won't get much cash back for, it might be a better idea to try to swap it for another title.

Video: Swap.com

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Edubookswap.com. This site is a bit different in that it charges a fee ($8.95) for swapping services. If you sign up for a five-swap plan, that gets knocked down to $7.99 per book. But the cool part is every book you post for sale accrues points toward your account, which can then be applied to a book purchase. The points for each book are based on fair market value of the book, age and demand.

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Bookmooch.com. This is a true swap site, in that you trade books even-steven with other users and get points for every book you give away. For each book you give, you can get one back in return and you only pay the cost of shipping. You can also request books from other countries and choose to donate points to charities.

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