College Textbooks – Should I Rent or Should I Buy?

by Ariana Cruz

Every student knows that with every new semester of college comes the tedious challenge of trying to find the best deal on all the various college textbooks they're required to have for that particular semester. They will check with the campus bookstore, online bookstores, buy and sell boards, and even friends to see what their best deal is going to be in order to save as much money as possible because college textbooks tend to get rather expensive.
Nowadays there's a new option for college students. When the time comes to buy college textbooks, they now have the option to rent college textbooks instead. Although this may seem a little unusual to some, others are loving the option.

Rent College Textbooks

College students can save anywhere between 30% and 80% when they choose to rent college textbooks vs. buying them. All you have to do is choose the textbooks you need for the semester as well as the amount of time you're going to need to rent the textbook for. Shipping and handling is usually included making it convenient to rent college textbooks. Many places will even apply the rental costs towards actually purchasing the textbook if a student decides they want to now keep the textbook.

Buy College Textbooks (and then sell them back!)

Buying college textbooks is something that college students are much more familiar with as this has been the way it's been done for as long as most of us can remember. Although there are many students who will buy nothing but brand new textbooks, the majority of college students tend to buy used college textbooks.  Whether you prefer new or used, the best way to approach searching for college textbooks is to take a trip to the college bookstore. All you have to do is write down the ISBN number as well as prices for both new and used textbooks for sale. By doing this, you can search around and compare in order to find the best deal.

Something to Think About

Instead of rushing out as soon as the semester is over to sell college textbooks, take a minute or two to think about whether you really want to sell all of them. Do you think you might need them for future classes? Or for a reference that can be used even after you graduate? Or did you learn everything you needed to know and are now ready to part ways?

Good to Know

Sometimes even the price of renting a college textbook is too expensive for struggling students.

Something that not everyone is aware of is that most on-campus college library's carry some textbooks behind the counter that are available for check out. You just need to provide them with the textbook name and author, and you can check the textbook out, as long as you have a library card, that is. Since these textbooks are usually in-library only check out's and have a time limit of about 2 hours, it's a good idea to plan ahead. You also have the option to make copies of textbook pages to take home if this time limit is not enough for you. Be sure to not wait until the last minute in case the textbook you need isn't available!

Bottom Line

You're going to have to carry out a little research to see whether renting or buying your college textbooks is going to save you the most money, which shouldn't take very long to do. You could even end up saving enough money to have a fun night out, which every college student deserves after a semester of reading and studying all of their college textbooks.

This post was written by Ariana Cruz

Ariana is a former college student who saved a lot of money with Textbook Recycling!

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