How to Find Cheap College Textbooks

The price of college textbooks has increased more than any good or service in the United States. Knowing how to find the best price on textbooks is a needed skill for any college student.

We have compiled a simple list to follow at the start of every semester to ensure that you get the best prices on textbooks.

1. Decide If You Need The Textbook

Before you actually start your search make sure that you will actually need that textbooks on your list. Email the professor before the class and ask what the textbook will be used for and talk with friends who have already taken the class.

If you’re only going to need a couple of assignments from the textbook it might be a smarter idea to just copy them from a friend’s textbook. Also, if the professor just recommends it as a supplementary source then chances are you won’t need the book. Most information will be available from class notes or the internet anyways.

2. See If There Are Free Options Available

If the textbook is a must then look to see if there is a free version available. Some professor will keep a copy of their textbook in the university library reserves for students to use. Novels and books of poetry can usually be checked out from the library. Also, many books can be downloaded for free of the internet. There is no better price than free so take some time to check for no-cost textbooks.

3. Consider Renting

You’re going to take a lot of classes in college and many of them will have nothing to do with your major or future career goals. If you’re only taking a semester of Psychology or Chemistry to satisfy a requirement then you should consider just renting the textbook from sites like Chegg or Book Renter and save yourself some money. Also, rent textbooks that you’re sure you won’t use later on. Today, almost everything can be found online so there isn’t much of a reason to hold on to your textbooks once the semester has ended.

Renting textbooks can be 90% cheaper than buying new or used textbooks. Also, since the textbook is returned after the semester is over you won’t have to keep that art history textbook on your shelf for the rest of your college career. Make sure to place the orders early so that the textbooks will have time to arrive and consider signing up for the email list since many of these online stores will send you coupon codes for additional savings.

To find the best price just visit and type in your textbooks ISBN. The website will automatically check the rental price on several other websites and displays the results. Find a great price on textbook rentals has never been simpler!

4. International Edition

Many textbook publishers will have international editions of their textbooks available for a lower price.  The reason that these textbooks are available for a lower prices is because textbooks are much cheaper overseas than in the US.
Companies like TextbookRush gets a hold of these books and passes the savings on to you!

These international editions are originally created to be sold in different regions, like England, so they might have slightly different covers, different ISBNs on the outside covers, but are still printed on high-quality paper and have the same pagination and contents as the US Edition. All units, page numbers, and problem sets are guaranteed to be the same.

5. Never EVER Buy From the Bookstore

The bookstore will always be the most expensive place to buy your textbook so don’t waste your time looking there. Instead, check out one of the many online stores that will provide you with a much more competitive price. Here is a list of just a couple sites that sell college textbooks:

These websites also offer buyback programs that will give you much better price than your campus bookstore. Some websites like Chegg will even give you freebies (like shampoo and energy drinks) with your orders as an added incentive.