How to save money on textbooks

Todays blog post is inspired by my 8am trip to the Post Office to post an old textbook to Sydney. The textbook had been sitting in a pile of books for the last year, unopened and gathering dust. I was able to sell it on a website dedicated to students buying and selling textbooks for $70.

I remember my first semester of university, walking into the campus book store and being shocked at the cost of textbooks, everything was at least $120!! Some textbooks were closer to $200!! In my first semester I made the  mistake of buying all my textbooks brand new before classes even started, when I swapped one of my courses a few weeks later I was left with an unopened $200 textbook. Luckily I was able to sell it for close to the purchase price but I learnt some valuable lessons that first semester about how I could have saved money on textbooks.

Here are some tips to help you save money on your textbooks this semester:

  1. Search student textbook websites, eBay, gumtree and university forums for students selling used textbooks (often for half the price)
  2. Share a textbook with friends – if you are in the same course you can split the cost of the textbook and share with friends, although this might be problematic at exam time!
  3. Borrow the textbook from the library – the campus library should have some copies of your textbook available for loan and also copies that cannot leave the library. You can study in the library using the textbook without having to spend a cent.
  4. Buy an old edition of the textbook but check with your lecturer or professor first that it will be suitable- in some courses old editions are almost exactly the same (and you can buy old editions very cheap) but depending on the content old editions might be useless so check first!
  5. If buying brand new don’t just shop at the campus bookstore as it might be more expensive, search other bookstores and online as it might be cheaper.
  6. Sell your old textbooks – as soon as your course finishes list your old textbooks online so you can sell them quickly and for a good price. If you are able to post your old textbooks you can sell them to students anywhere in the country.
  7. Ask your lecturer/professor if the textbook is essential. In some courses the textbook is essential but in some of my courses I DID NOT OPEN THE TEXTBOOK!! I spent $150 for a paperweight. For some courses you may only need the recommended textbook for one or two chapters which makes Option 3 above a great option.

Happy studying!

SJ xx



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