How to Buy or Rent Used Textbooks
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How to Buy or Rent Used Textbooks

Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Put down that brand new textbook! You might be able to find a used copy that is less expensive - or be able to rent the book instead of buying it.The textbooks that are required for college classes tend to be expensive. Unfortunately, students need those textbooks in order to pass their classes. One way to cut down on the costs is to purchase used textbooks instead of new ones. Here are some tips on where to find them.

Amazon.com says it can save you up to 90% on college textbooks. The exact amount of the discount depends on which book you need and the discount that has been assigned to the book.

You can also rent textbooks from Amazon. You might receive a new or used textbook. All used textbooks will be in acceptable rental condition. If you return the textbook within the first 30 days of the rental period, in the same condition as when you received it, you will get a full refund of the rental fee.

Eligible students who live in certain states are tax exempt on textbook purchases from Amazon. Those states include: Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Barnes & Noble offers some of their used textbooks for 90% off their sticker price. Use their search engine to look for the textbook you need and see if they have a used one that you can purchase.

You can rent textbooks from Barnes & Noble. You can rent a textbook from 60 days to 130 days. You are expected to return your rented textbook in a condition that would allow someone else to reuse it later. (This means you can be charged for the replacement of a damaged textbook.) If you return your rented textbook within the time limit, shipping is free. They give you an easy-to-use UPS shipping label.

Staples Will also save you up to 90% on your textbooks. Staples has teamed up with BookRenter to provide students with a top notch textbook rental service. You can rent a textbook for 30 days to 125 days.

Unlike other places, Staples does not consider your rental period to have started until your books are delivered to you. You are allowed to write or highlight in the textbook, but it is advised that you keep that to a minimum. If you have done too much writing, a damage fee will be charged.

Other options for Used Textbooks:

Find out the ISBN number of the book you need, and see if you can buy it from a student who took the class last year. Make sure the ISBN number of the book matches the one your teacher assigned. Check to see if the used book is the correct edition.

The school’s library might have a few copies of textbooks on hand for students to borrow for a hour. You might not be allowed to take the book out of the library, so plan on studying it there.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.