06 January 2017

How to Save Money on Textbooks

Anyone else feeling broke after the Christmas holidays? I know I am…

And, with the little extra purchases I need to make, i.e. buy my parking pass, money is a little tight on my side of the corner #studentproblems. But, luckily, I didn’t leave everything to last minute. I guess this is something I learned from my 4 years in university.

Last month, so approx. a month before school starts, I started my search and purchases for textbooks for the upcoming semester. And, with the holidays coming up, I knew I needed to save as much as I could to afford it all without breaking the bank.

So, for my fellow students who found their way on my blog, I’m going to share with you a few of the steps I took in order to help me save!


1. Do your research early!

  • Check the school bookstore use their prices as a starting point
  • Change your search to other school bookstores that are nearby (prices are relatively the same)
  • Check prices online – bookstores in the city (i.e., Indigo), or online shops like Amazon or Ebay. These prices are generally cheaper than bookstore prices.
  • Look for "Buy and Sell Textbooks at (insert school name here" Facebook groups 

2. Don’t be afraid of the word “used”.

  • Majority of the time, “used” can mean it was literally used for a year (or duration of the course). 
  • It is good to take extra precaution and further research when doing a purchase online. For instance, certain sellers on Amazon may describe “used” as good and usable condition, whereas other sellers describe items as “used” when they are missing the cover, or is an ex-library book. But, these are extremes.
  • When using Facebook groups, you can always message the seller for pictures of the book!

3. You don’t have to purchase bookstore packages.

  • A lot of times, your school bookstore will try to make you think that you should buy your textbook with the addition of extra books, or access codes to online resources. 
  • Always ask your prof! They are the only ones who know whether you will need to do any extra purchases
  • A lot of the time, courses don’t require extra books or online access codes that are included in these bookstore packages. I say you opt for purchasing the textbook on its own.

4. Choose the E-Book route.

  • The world is becoming so tech-savy that a lot of textbook companies make their publications of textbooks available as a e-book. 
  • This not only makes it easier to have access to your material without carrying the physical textbook, the cost of e-books is almost 3/4 the cost of the physical copy! Savings right there.

I think there is misconception that students need to keep their textbooks throughout the entire course of their academic career. This is not the case. As you go through the years, you are more likely going to take courses that are more specific to your interests and degree… and that means, purchasing textbooks specific to that subject.

  • SELL YOUR BOOKS. How much you want to sell your books is completely up to you. But, I tend to use other sellers from Facebooks as a price point.

With this option, I find myself selling my textbooks and using that money towards purchases of textbooks I need! I usually don’t mind myself spending extra money on textbooks. Just the money I made. 

Did these tips help? What are some ways you save money on textbooks?

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