WalletPop's guide to buying textbooks: Part 2...Outside the box

textbook signIf you or your kid is new to college this year you've probably heard horror stories about book costs from your friends who have already crossed the archway to higher education but fear not! WalletPop is providing you with some great ways to save money on textbooks. The first part of our series covered 5 ways to avoid purchasing a textbook, while still doing all of your homework and reading. This post will help you find the cheapest version of the textbook out there.

As you'll soon find out there are many other places besides the campus bookstore to get your textbooks and companies are finally beginning to offer textbooks in new, exciting and of course CHEAPER ways. The following list will help you locate cheap copies of those books that you need to buy because borrowing just won't cut it.

  • Go digital! After a rocky start a few years ago digital copies of textbooks are finally picking up steam. McGraw Hill is one example of a textbook company offering some of their books in a digital format through Zinio Textbooks. Zinio provides the ability to take digital notes in the text as well as print pages when you'd rather have a hard copy of a page.
  • Rent don't buy. The argument is just for the housing market anymore. Now you can rent textbooks from Chegg.com. My fellow blogger Zac Bissonnette took a deeper look at Chegg, which lets you rent textbooks for a deep discount off of the purchase price.
  • Purchase used and new online. Nowadays there are soo many online booksellers that I can't even begin to list them all but before you purchase a book be sure to look up prices including shipping on half.com, amazon.com and textbook price comparison sites like Cheapesttextbooks.com. You may even get lucky and pick up a pre-highlighted copy so you'll know where all the important stuff is!
  • Check out campus bulletin boards. When I was an undergrad for the first few weeks of the semester the bulletin boards in the dining halls, dorms and classroom buildings would be covered in ads for books at rock bottom prices. You can even put a post a list of the books you need and let the books coming rolling into you the first time someone else needs money for a beer run. This is also a great place to look for new dorm furniture at the end of the semester.
  • Campus Bookstore. Even though this is normally going to be one of the pricier locations to pick up textbooks, I have found that in the recent years our bookstore has been able to pull in prices that sit just below the going rate on Amazon for both new and used books. Your mileage may vary on this one.
Wherever you decide to go to school this fall theses methods should help you keep enough money in your wallet to handle the incidentals associated with going to school.
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