Back2School: How to save on college textbooks

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert
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If your student is headed to a college campus, you're probably still waiting to buy all of the textbooks their professors are requiring. Before you fork over big bucks at the campus bookstore, you should check prices at several online book sellers.

Jot down the international standard book number or ISBN of each textbook you need to buy. You'll find it on the barcode. That is all you need to search for the book on competitor's websites.

We compared the price of an English textbook called "Read, Reason & Write." It costs $133.30 new at the University of Houston campus bookstore.

You can save $53.31 by getting it at Chegg for $79.99.

At Half.com, an eBay company, you can get a used copy for $63.20, saving you $70.

We found the least expensive way to get the textbook is to rent it from Amazon for just $35.00.
Renting it at the campus bookstore is almost $80 more.

Textbooks.com is another helpful search site. When you type in the ISBN, it pulls up multiple sellers across the country that will sell you the book you need.

Don't rule out getting digital versions of your books or e-textbooks.  You won't only save your money, you will also save your back not lugging around the hardback book. The UH bookstore, Chegg and Amazon all sell and rent digital books.

The cheapest when we checked the same "Read, Reason & Write" book was Chegg.com where it is $39 compared to $91.65 at UH.

The UH bookstore says it will price match Amazon, but not the other sites mentioned here.
 
You can also sell your books at the end of the semester on Chegg, Half and Amazon.

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