Tips for buying textbooks online
You don't need us to tell you that textbooks are expensive. Here we share some ideas to help you spend less on books and more on the things you actually enjoy.
- Buy used
- Before purchasing a new textbook, try to find used copy using the search above. You might have to sacrifice a little in the way of condition, but you'll appreciate how much you save.
- Instructors' Editions
- The Teacher's Edition or Instructor's Edition of a textbook can be a great value. The Instructor's Edition is the generally the same content as the student edition of the book, but has the answers to the study questions. Even though the Instructor's Edition typically as more material, the cost is often lower than the student edition. Having the answers to all the questions can make them the perfect choice for home schooling parents and those trying to teach themselves a subject, but if you are enrolled in a class, you may want to check with your professor or teacher to make sure that they are alright with you using the Instructor's Edition in their class.
- International editions
- International editions are versions of a textbook that have been produced for a market outside of the U.S. Often differing in small ways, such as different covers, illustrations and pagination, they can represent enormous savings over the U.S. edition of a textbook.
- Look for older editions
- Ask your instructor if a previous edition of the text is acceptable. They are often sensitive to the high costs of college books and may be willing to work with you. It could mean hundred of dollars in savings!
- It's a good idea to purchase as many of your books as possible from the same bookseller in order to save on shipping.
- Order early
- Textbooks, like most anything else, are driven by market demand. This means the longer you wait to order your textbooks, the more likely the prices are to increase. Buy as soon as you know your course requirements in order to get the best price possible as well as to minimize any chance of delays.
- Ask the bookseller
- If you have questions (such as whether a textbook contains a CD-ROM or other supplementary material) and are unsure of the answer, ask the bookseller before ordering. This will save you the time and expense of ordering a book only to realize it lacks a required component.
- Sell your textbooks
- While it won't help you save on this semester's purchases, selling your textbooks from last semester can help you at least recoup some of the costs to offset the next round of materials. Use our handy buyback comparison search to get the best buyback prices
- Buying outside the U.S.
When purchasing some textbooks, particularly international editions, you may be purchasing from a seller outside of the U.S. While this can often represent a significant savings, be sure to check that seller's shipping and delivery time to endure that you receive your textbooks in time for your courses.
- Other required reading
While you're at Biblio, don't forget other titles that are part of your course's required reading material. Biblio has over 100 million books available, in every subject imaginable - from classic literature to history to armchair reading.
Still looking for more great tips for saving on your college textbooks? Try our blog, where we have more in-depth tips for buying textbooks online or used.