AbeBooks' Reading Copy

AbeBooks book blog

Advanced Search Browse Books Rare Books Textbooks
Advanced Search

Buying cheap textbooks online

If you are one of thousands of US students heading back to university, then here are a few tips for buying textbooks on the Internet. AbeBooks.com has been a player in the online textbook market for more than three years now so here’s some very simple advice for saving money on books.

  1. Buy early – plan ahead and avoid buying just before classes begin because prices rise when supplies begin to decrease. Textbooks sell fast and furiously over a short period of time, so the best prices can be found early when the numbers of books online is far greater.
  2. Buy used – secondhand textbooks offer large savings and it is not hard to find significant savings of $50 or more on list prices. It’s possible to find books at less than $10, sometimes even $1, if you are prepared to use a book that is several years old.
  3. Consider older editions as they offer massive savings on list prices – if there have been no major updates to your subject (eg biology, chemistry) then an older edition will be fine. Contact course tutors and simply ask if an older edition will suffice – some courses change very little over the years.
  4. Use the ISBN for rapid searching. Every book published since 1970 has an ‘International Standard Book Number’ (it used to be a 10-digit unique number but is now 13-digit) and searches by ISBN locate the exact book and disregard titles with similar names.
  5. (Many courses do not issue reading lists with ISBNs – however, AbeBooks.com has a tool in its ‘Textbook’ section that allows students to search for textbooks by university and course.)

  6. Look for the growing number of independent booksellers offering free shipping.
  7. Don’t write on textbooks. Help keep its value for resale. (It’s also possible to sell textbooks at AbeBooks.com through its competitive buy-back program that includes free shipping.)
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

2 Responses to “Buying cheap textbooks online”