It’s time to start getting ready for Fall term at many colleges and universities. Class schedules are out, and now you’re experiencing the sticker shock of buying textbooks, perhaps for the first time.
Not to worry. Finding the best deals on new and used textbooks takes a bit of research, but it’s time well spent finding big savings.
How To Find the Best Textbook Deal Online
When beginning your search for discounts on textbooks you’ll want to have your syllabus in hand, or better yet, access to it online.
Most universities have their student’s syllabus uploaded as early as two months in advance of the start of classes. This is done in part so you can order your textbooks ahead of your arrival on campus, and also in hopes that you’ll purchase your textbooks from their campus bookstore.
Campus bookstores obviously carry the books you need for classes, but are not always the best place to find a textbook deal. Online textbook shopping can be a great way to get all your shopping done in a flash, shipped for free to your door and for much less than you imagined.
For example, Oregon State University’s OSU Beaver Store has a way for you to look up your classes, and find which textbooks are needed for those classes.
OSU’s Beaver Store: Textbook Look-Up
They’ve also added a comparison shopper view which theoretically should show you the best comparable prices online, but based upon my informal testing of a few books, may be skewed a tad in OSU’s favor.
OSU Beaver Store: Pricing Options
If you want to save money shopping for textbooks online, I suggest opening up several windows within your browser to compare prices from several sources. Two sources the Savvy Sleuth has consistently found great deals on textbooks are Amazon and Texbooks.com, both of which also have textbook buy back programs.
Amazon offers an outstanding textbook option for deal shoppers. With the option to buy or rent e-textbooks for your Kindle at up to 60% Off, and used textbooks at up to 90% Off, Amazon could end up saving you a ton of cash!
Amazon Kindle e-Textbooks – Save Up to 60% Off!
You can also sell back your textbooks, no matter where you purchased them, to Amazon for credit or sell them yourself as a member of the Amazon Marketplace.
Amazon: Find New & Used Textbooks – Save Up to 90%!
Sell or Trade Your Textbooks on Amazon
Get an Amazon VISA which earns points that can be used to purchase textbooks off Amazon. I have one and use it for everything on and off Amazon, and when points accumulate I can either get a gift card, check or use the points immediately towards an Amazon purchase. Very handy, with 3 points earned for every dollar on Amazon purchases and 1 point for all other purchases.
Join Amazon Student for Free!
Another cool Amazon perk is Amazon Student, which is FREE to students with valid school (edu) email addresses. You get FREE Amazon Prime, which means access to free Kindle best sellers, magazines, Amazon Instant Video service and free 2-Day shipping for 6 months! I’d advise getting in on the Amazon Student deal whether you buy textbooks at Amazon or not, as it’s FREE and the Amazon video streaming to your PC is too once you’re a member.
Textbook Deals at Amazon: Save Up to 90% Off
Definitely worth checking to see if your textbooks are available at Amazon and comparing prices. If you’re looking at used books, be sure to read Amazon Marketplace seller’s descriptions of the books carefully, and their shipping policy to make sure you get your textbooks in the condition and time frame that works for you.
Textbooks.com has the most used textbooks in stock and ready to ship. Free shipping over $25.
Another fantastic resource for textbooks is Textbooks.com for new and used textbooks, as well as textbook rentals and e-reader options.
Textbooks.com also has a buy back program and a 30-day hassle free return policy, which works in your favor if for some reason you decide to drop out of a class or the instructor switches things around on you at the last minute and changes textbooks.
You can also download textbooks for your e-reader, which is sometimes a less expensive (depending upon the textbook), more portable option. Certainly makes your backpack lighter!
eBooks for Instant Download
If you are a returning customer you also get a 10% returning customer bonus, dropping your textbook costs yet again!
Save up to 90% Off at Textbooks.com and see price comparisons and conditions of used books for sale from other sites when you look up your books.
Textbooks.com: Textbook Pricing Options
Informal Testing & Recommendations
When I randomly chose three textbooks from the OSU’s syllabus in the class categories of Math, Science and English, and searched for those books at the OSU Beaver Store, Amazon and Textbooks, I found the best pricing for 2 of the 3 used books were at Textbooks.
Amazon came in second for the used textbooks I searched for in print, but first for e-reader textbooks.
When doing your own search for textbook deals online, I recommend opening up your favorite browser and windows from each site you wish to check. Then compare each book directly. Yes, there are comparison shopper tools that will do this for you, but it’s been my experience that they are not always accurate.
Choose at least 3 books from your syllabus and check the pricing on all of them at each store, noting conditions of books, as they affect the pricing.
You should see a pattern that will make your choice of where to purchase your textbook deals much easier.
Also take into consideration shipping costs.
Some marketplace sellers will charge for shipping, which are additional costs that may negate any savings you received on the book’s price.
Consider the e-reader option or renting your textbooks. It’s nice to have options and depending upon your budget, renting or e-reader options may be the best textbook deals for you.
Kindle Textbook Rentals – Amazon
Watch HD Movies Instantly with Vudu.com – Sign up for Free!
Free to sign-up and enjoy new release 1080p HD movies the day they come out on DVD.
Rent or buy, view trailers too… all in 1080p HD with 7.1 Surround Sound from VUDU.
No subscriptions, no late fees, Watch Movies Instantly with Vudu.com!
Now through July 31st you can sign up to get a Free VUDU account and get a Free Movie rental.
Watch HD movies on your computer or iPad.
Use a HD streaming devices including: VUDU enabled Blu-ray players, VUDU enabled HDTV’s, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game consoles, and other streaming video devices which are VUDU enabled.
Here are just a few of the devices available on Amazon that will stream VUDU content to you!
Watch new release movies like 21 Jump Street , Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and The Artist in 1080P, streamed to your VUDU enabled device.
Stream hundreds of new release HD movies via VUDU long before the other guys.
The latest movies in 1080P HD with 7.1 Surround Sound streaming video!
No sign-up fee, just pay for the movies you rent or buy from VUDU and stream them to your HDTV, computer (PC or Mac), iPad or gaming console.
Give VUDU a try and start enjoying the newest release movies the day they come out on DVD!
NO Monthly Fees!
NO Late Fees!
It’s free to sign-up today to start enjoying movies in HD with 7.1 Surround Sound.
Rent for just $2 for 2 Nights with Vudu.com – Sign up for Free!
Print + Digital Magazine Subscriptions from Amazon
Savings up to 91% Off – this is a can’t miss buy from Amazon!
Subscribe to any of these magazines right now on Amazon, and you will get a FREE digital subscription for your Kindle or for use with any Kindle app for PC, iPad or Android device.
This is in addition to the print version which will be mailed to the address designated on your order.
Immediate access to your magazine via your Kindle or Kindle reading apps for Android, iPad or PC!
Don’t have a Kindle yet? No problem!
You can also use the Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader to view Kindle digital magazine content without a Kindle device.
A little something on sale for everyone, here are the magazines available for this promotion.
Terms per Amazon:
This print magazine comes with a FREE Kindle subscription.
The Kindle subscription will remain free as long as your print magazine subscription remains active through Amazon.
To receive a FREE Kindle subscription with your print magazine purchase:
- After you check out, you will see a prompt to activate your Kindle subscription. Choose your Kindle device or Kindle reading app on which you plan to receive this subscription.
- If you don’t have any devices or reading apps registered yet, you can always return later to the Magazine Subscription Manager to activate your Kindle subscription.
- Once you activate the Kindle subscription, you’re done! You can start enjoying your Kindle subscription immediately.
Terms and conditions:
- This offer is non-transferable, non-exchangeable, not redeemable for cash.
- Void where prohibited.
Print + Digital Magazine Subscriptions from Amazon
FREE – Kindle for iPad App Download
FREE – Kindle App for Android
Kindle for PC App
Subscribe to the Kindle Daily Deal
Amazon Kindle Gift Cards