How to get Really Cheap College Textbooks

Buy Books Ahead a Year or Two

Really cheap college textbooks are out there. Here is how you get them.

1. Divide your books into three lists.

a. books you already own, but no longer need
b. books you will need in the next four months
c. books you will need in the next two years

2. Sell unwanted books from your "already own" list in the best possible way.

a. selling locally brings the best price
b. find buyers on Craigslist, pass out flyers or business cards, use forums
c. DO NOT use your college bookstore buyback program unless they offer you 50% plus - sometimes they offer freebie bribes such as free merchandise or cross promotions with local businesses -- watch for these as sometimes they are sweet deals.

3. Shop for cheap textbooks locally using Craigslist and local school bulletins and forums.

a. shop early - prices go UP exponentially as the first day of class approaches
b. buy cheap textbooks ahead for next semester and even for next year
c. set price alerts for your "really cheap college textbooks" target price at and

4. Download or Rent textbooks.

a. if the book was printed before 1930 (copyright expired) you can almost always find a free version online
b. renting a textbook is cheaper than buying a textbook -- if it is valued under $125
c. it's usually better to purchase outright and then resell any book valued over $125
d.try to calculate the diff between buying cheap textbooks and renting textbooks with the resale value in mind
e. renting cheaper books pays off because the resale value is marginal

Really Cheap College Textbooks Resources

Try a few of these resources to find really cheap college textbooks!
This is our bookrenter store. We appreciate your checking us out in your search for really cheap college textbooks -- but only rent here if it's actually the lowest price. It usually is!
Constantly changing large inventory of used textbooks. You can set an alert on ABEbooks for any textbook you want to track. Watch out for international versions as these are not always clearly marked.
Enormous inventory of used books from 20+ online stores. Good place to price your used textbooks.
Allows you to track the price of any particular book -- when the book hits your target price you get an email alert. They also have a phone app that allows you to search 20 different bookstores for the lowest price on really cheap college textbooks.
Makes an effort to show which textbooks are international versions (I wish other bookstores would be as proactive). Check on the net for Alibris coupons. They are very generous with their coupons!
Look at the tabs at the top of the page and click Special Offers. This is the greatest place to find coupon codes and free shipping offers.
The beast. You can find bargains galore here and Amazon has the best customer service/return policy of all the giants. The inventory can change in split seconds so it's always worth checking for really cheap college textbooks.
Support a good cause and find a ton of bargain textbooks.
Another multi-search engine.
Sometimes they have some great promotions like free expedited shipping. Worth visiting just to see what they are currently offering. They also have a guaranteed buyback program.
They show you the top searches for textbooks on their site. Harry Potter and Dracula are right behind Biology. Yep.
Very handy multi search engine. Results are listed in two columns. The left hand column shows you new books with descriptions and prices and the right hand column shows you used books with descriptions and prices.
This site offers a ten percent discount for members and usually offers more valuable promotions than the giant bookstores. Worth a look see.
You can list any textbook you want to sell on this website at any price you want. They do not take a commission or posting/transaction fee. They do charge a membership fee between $4 and $25 depending on the level you select. There is no fee for buying a textbook.
These guys will find bundled deals for you. If you have five or more books to buy all at once, run your search through their engine. If there are any bundled deals you'll find them.
Click on the deals tab. They have a few coupons and free shipping alerts that I haven't seen on other sites.
Yet another multi-search engine.
100% Free. Not only can you sell or buy textbooks, but they also have categories for other things you can swap -- stuff like furniture, appliances, electronics and er... hmmm... tests?
If you haven't seen the advertisements for Chegg plastered all over the net then here is the deal. They are the BIGGEST textbook rental giant online. Weird name. What's a chegg? A cheesy egg!
If you're looking for cheap International versions -- this is the place. International version textbooks are (sometimes) printed on cheaper paper, have softcover bindings and are (sometimes) more cheaply made than the regular publishers version. They have a very low resale value and it can sometimes take a long time to receive your book. You can save up to 90% of the cost of the US version - however beware sometimes the content is not quite the same. If anything is going to free students from the high cost of textbooks - it's going to be the international versions!
Get your text as an ebook in under five minutes flat. They seem to carry a lot of titles as ebooks.
Obviously! Advertise for the book you want to buy at the price you are willing to pay. Wait... wait... wait... kaching!
This is the first multi search engine which includes ebooks in the search results. It works! Surprisingly, the ebook versions of my textbooks were just as expensive as the print versions. Since 60% of the cost of a textbook is suppose to be the publishing cost... why is the cost of a digital version not at least a little bit cheaper?
Never hurts to see what's being offered on ebay. Many students dump their used textbooks here after they graduate or at the end of semesters. Best time to look is December, June, July, August and September.
It's a big marketplace and there is room for yet again one more textbook seller.
These guys have a very, very short booklist. But a very, very long proposition. The prices are astounding. $11.95 for an accounting book that normally sells for $165 new. They can deliver your book to your iphone, as a PDF, in a bundled digital format and printed format, or as an online book. I really love the ideas this company is trying to bring to the market. I just wish they had more books to offer!
Been around forever. They will show up in most of the multi search engine results.
arggh... I can't wait until these publishers get their stuff together. Here is another brilliant idea (being able to buy single chapters of a textbook) and yet, it's still in the baby stages and has very few offerings.
The idea behind this site is to make books free! They have a collection of about 100 books free to download. Many of these are top notch high quality textbooks in high demand topics. Ask your professor to check it out and consider using a FREE textbook.
Another rental/sale site.
A nice site with a fun interface. They buy back books and give free shipping both ways. I've noticed some companies cutting back on free shipping, but this company still offers this necessary perk.
This multi search engine include Canadian ebay offerings as well as US ebay sales. Which just happened to be the cheapest offering for the textbook I was looking for.
Another multi search. Can't see anything that sets it apart aside from the easy to remember domain name.
One thing I noticed while I was searching for really cheap college textbooks was that if I used hyphens in the ISBN number it messed up the search engine. So if you are having trouble retrieving a search for a book -- take the hyphens out of the ISBN and try it again.

Free Download Resources for really cheap college textbooks.

Big List of Downloadable Textbook Resources
Internet Public Library
Google Scholar
Online Mathematics Textbooks
Project Gutenburg
Student Exchange Websites
Wikibooks OpenSource Textbooks

Please consider using our textbook rental store in your search for really cheap college textbooks Best of luck in your search for the ultimate in really cheap college textbooks!