So many of us live online, but this is especially true of the average geek.
If you fall into that category, you probably know how to do most things via the web, probably from the latest technophile’s fantasy device, or through those old channels that have been your Internet feeding ground since the web first hit the mainstream.
But those old school or well-known places to spot deals might not be the best option when it comes to college textbooks. You can probably find some great prices on a few things on eBay, or that little second-hand website your friend sent you to on the corner of the web, where every page has coffee stains and dirty cartoons drawn into the margin.
However, hardcover books, especially textbooks, cost such a shockingly high amount of money that you can’t afford to save every little bit possible.
Here are a few lesser-used places that have some of the best discounts online for new and like-new books.
Table of Contents
Rakuten.com (Formerly Buy.com)
Not just a great place for entertainment devices and electronics anymore! Buy.com has a great (if not as popular) textbook section that has some huge price slashes for you to enjoy. What makes this better is that they are mostly new books that have come straight from the manufacturers in overstock, or bought wholesale to save you money. They also take multiple payment sources, such as Google Checkout and PayPal, which chances are you have.
Quick tip! One thing to note is that the shipping can be a little iffy. While the cost is low, if you have ever bought from this site you will know that it can take longer than most to arrive. My advice would be to make your purchase at least 3 – 4 weeks ahead of your classes beginning, just in case. Otherwise, just select a premium shipping service.
Monopolizing on the popular book community concept, GoodReads is a place where you can find other people who have read the same book and what they think about it.
It has all those fun features of a community: Add fellow readers to friends, enjoy book recommendations, read what people have to say about any book, add books to various lists (books you plan to read, books you plan to re-read, etc).
Quick tip! Here are a few more social media sites for book readers and college students.
OK, so this one seems like a no-brainer. But you would be surprised at how many people miss out on the chance, simply because it didn’t cross their mind that Amazon sells textbooks.
Buying them right from the site is a bad move, as it won’t be any cheaper than going to your campus bookstore. But the used products are extremely cheap, something with as much as a 75% discount for one in “good” or “very good” condition. I actually found a $300 art history textbook there for $45 plus $4 shipping.
Don’t feel like buying? Hate having to spend that much money only to sell after a class is completed? Chegg.com offers you the chance to rent your textbooks instead, and all for a one time fee. You pay the rental fee at the time of checkout, plus shipping. They send it to you and you use it for as long as you need it.
Then, when you are done, you go to their site and sign in to your account to get the free return shipping label to print out. Send it back and you are done. You can do this with as many textbooks as you need, and they have a 21-day money-back guarantee if you find within that time you no longer need the book.
Want an additional reason to try this? They plant a tree for every single book you rent!
WorldCat is a beautiful initiative letting you find a nearby library (US-only) and even check if your book is currently available there.
There are lots of awesome mobile apps available including book scanning and recommendation apps, book price comparison, etc.
Bonus one: Bring Your Social Media Activity into a Book!
If you love the hardcover book experience, you must love this idea: Print your social media life! My Social Book is an awesome way to turn your Facebook activity into a book! You can do that yearly!
Another one, PrintMePoster turns your Instagram album into beautiful posters! Capture the moments!
Facebook prints by Snapfish turn your Facebook photos into books and personalized gidts!
Memeoirs.com is another good option: It offers to print not just photos but selected updates too!
You Have Options!
You don’t have to spend a huge chunk of your grant to buy textbooks. You have plenty of options to get them cheaply, or even rent them out to save you the hassle. Give it a try!
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