When I was in college, we scrambled to find deals on used textbooks to save a little money. There was always a brisk trade in used textbooks, or you tried to make friends with people in your same major but a year ahead of you, in hopes of scoring some deals. But the price of new textbooks continues to be a major burden for people in college and their families.
So, I was interested to note that Amazon has gotten into the textbook trade, including selling and even renting textbooks (new and used), and buying them back as well. It certainly makes sense, since Amazon started out as a bookstore, and they have a great infrastructure in place for this sort of thing. But I had to check it out for myself to see if there were really savings.
My oldest son is going off to college this fall. I was able to look up the required textbook for one of his upcoming courses in the college’s online bookstore. It lists for nearly $200. I was able to find the exact same book (same volume and edition) on Amazon for just $15. That’s crazy savings!
Obviously this won’t work for every textbook for every course, but the fact that I hit this kind of home run on the first try is hopefully a good indicator. It just takes a little footwork to find some really significant savings. And considering they’ll buy back textbooks at a pretty good return rate (for Amazon credit), it seems like being a little smart could save a lot of money. Check out the Amazon Textbook store here!