Buying Textbooks Online

Learn how to save hundreds of dollars on college textbooks and avoid delays in purchasing a new or used textbook online.

Biology by Neil Campbell

Biology by Neil Campbell is one of the most used textbooks in the U.S. Pictured here is the 7th edition.

A recent national survey reports that textbook prices have been increasing each year, a fact that’s hardly surprising to anyone who has visited a college bookstore recently. What may be more surprising is that textbook prices have increased on an average of two to three times the rate of inflation, bringing the average U.S. student’s textbook budget to around $1,000 annually. Combined with ever rising tuition, some students and parents have found some creative ways of cutting their college costs by buying textbooks on the Internet.

Buying used textbooks

Everyone knows that you can save a lot of cash by buying used textbooks instead of the new textbooks from your college bookstore.

But, did you know a little cost comparison will show that you can find used textbooks much cheaper online than the national companies that sell used textbooks in college bookstores?

Many professional used booksellers specialize in used textbooks at significantly cheaper prices. Read more about buying used textbooks or click here to start saving on used textbooks now!

Buying an older edition

Textbook publishers put out new editions of textbooks every three and a half years, on average. Often the changes between editions consist mostly of changing the page numbers and the order of chapters. The contents often remain considerably unchanged. TIP: You can ask your instructor if their lesson plan will work with a previous edition of the textbook.  Many instructors are conscious and sympathetic to students’ need to save money when purchasing textbooks and other course materials.

Buying online

A few things to keep in mind when buying a textbook on the Internet:

Use the ISBN: The ISBN is your key to making sure you get the right edition of the assigned text book.  Schools are required by law to provide this to students, so if it’s not handy in your syllabus, make sure to ask.  Once you have it in hand, simply plug it in to the ISBN search field at Biblio and click “Search” to find the best prices on new & used textbooks.

Order early: This will ensure the best choices. The cheapest copies go first! Also, your book may be shipping from a long distance, even overseas. Order a few weeks in advance of your class and choose the fastest shipping option to make sure that your book arrives in time.

CD Roms and extras: If the description of the book you are considering doesn’t mention a CD-ROM, it probably does not include it. Used copies may or may not include the supplementary materials.

Ask the bookseller: If you aren’t sure if the copy you are considering is what you need, contact the bookseller directly. They can answer most questions quickly, helping you avoid a mistake that may cost time and money.

Ship by air: When the price difference between economy and air shipping is just a few dollars, don’t take any chances. Economy shipping will get to you, but may take anywhere from a few more days, to a couple of weeks extra in transit. Once the book is shipped, you won’t be able to change the shipping method. Some booksellers offer only one shipping method.

By taking a little time to research your buying options, you can save up to 75% on your textbook purchases at Biblio.com!


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