How to Save Money on College Textbooks

How to Save Money on College Textbooks

So it’s the start of the new semester, and all around the United States you can hear college kids crying in the background. Okay maybe it’s not that dramatic, but there is one thing that all college kids have in common in the U.S. We all absolutely dread buying our expensive textbooks.

Remember when our sweet, sweet high school teachers would tell us to use our textbooks and stop taking them for granted because one day we would spend up to 700 dollars a semester on them? Yeah me too. That was obviously true and we should’ve listened to them. I have so many friends from Romania or even the UK who do not believe me when I say that I’ve spent up to 700$ on books before EACH semester. And yes, I WAS looking for used books, trying to rent them, and trying to find them online in PDF form. Unless there’s an access code with the textbook (damn you access codes!) then I can save you some money with a specific site I’ve been using since freshman year. My luck isn’t the best with this site actually, considering all Business majors pretty much require access codes for all their classes (have I mentioned how much I hate access codes?)  so most of the time I DO have to purchase the $215 book…strictly because of the access code. However, let me tell you  a bit about my favorite site ever. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars in the past.

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If you do not require access codes for programs that your professors want you to use with your books, then you my friend are in LUCK. Here is my book list for the Spring 2018 semester. I’ll use this to show you how incredible BigWords is after you learn to use it. You can see that they try to give you cheaper options at the university bookstore, but you don’t really know which textbook option your professor actually wants from you unless you email them or wait until the first day of class. Most of the time, it’s the one with the access code or the more expensive one.

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The dreaded access code version of the textbook. Thus, I’m forced into buying this $117 book.

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I find the “Custom” versions the most offensive. Due to the textbook being custom, you have to buy the expensive one they have at your specific university because you’re obviously not going to find the custom one from a different university or online. *long sigh*

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Now you go to bigwords.com and you get this homepage:

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In the search bar, simply type the ISBN or title of the book and its author. This site goes through every possible site selling that book (Amazon, halfoff.com, etc) and gives you the CHEAPEST option that INCLUDES shipping and handling.

After you get all your books searched and “added” to your book bag, it actually searches again to give you the best possible prices with shipping and handling for your WHOLE cart. It’s incredible. As you can see in the photo, the Enterprise Resource Planning book is ONLY $3.87 when my university had it for $17.49 to rent it. As many of you reading already know, renting doesn’t always work out either. There’s too many students needing that book, and I always hear people say that their bookstores run out within minutes so they are forced to buy the new versions.

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The bottom book, Organizational Behavior, is only $18.75 to rent, and to buy it at my university it costs $349.75. To rent it would be $139.90. I couldn’t recommend this site more to students. After your cart is good, you click the “Buy These Books” option at the bottom and the site will redirect you to each site they found that cheap option on. After that, you buy each book from its specific site.

I know so many people who use specific sites, and those are great, but bigwords.com searches every possible site, so no matter what you get the best deal. I’ve bought a book for a penny before for one of my Honors classes. Please try this site out, and comment and let me know if it helped you save money!

Thank you for reading!

-Giulia ♥

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