How to Find the Best Deals on Textbooks

Mar 13, 2009
Updated • Dec 13, 2012

Most of you will agree with me when I say that education (especially in university) is expensive. After tuition and living costs, the next highest expense on the list will no doubt be textbooks. College textbooks prescribed by the university change on an almost yearly basis and most students have no choice but to cough up the money to buy them.

In the early days, the only way a student could find a cheaper textbook was to buy a used copy from someone who had taken the same course earlier. Now, with the internet, you can search for textbooks online and buy them from the online store. However, if you want to score a good deal, it's best to use a service like Campusbooks.

For people who have no time to scour multiple websites or don't know all the resources for buying textbooks online, Campusbooks is extremely helpful. When you look for a book, the site searches multiple sites like Amazon, AbeBooks, eBay, and other similar sites. Then, the search results are neatly displayed so you can check whatever interests you. Once you select a book, you are directed to the online store to make the payment.

Users can search for a book by name, author, keyword, or ISBN number. Additionally, they can browse by category. When search results are displayed, a summary of the lowest prices is shown first. The next two sections in the results page are the lowest prices for new books and used ones. Search results include international editions as well, which are often cheaper than books in the US. A search for a biochemistry book showed a 100$ price difference between the US and the international versions.

Campusbooks has a lot of other services. Users can sell their old textbooks to other sites or go one step further and donate textbooks. The site also offers to alert a user when the book he's looking for becomes available at a particular price. With Campusbooks, it's easier to find the cheapest textbooks available.

Have you ever used Campusbooks? What do you think of this service? What other sites do you know of to get textbooks and other school supplies cheap? Let me know in the comments.


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  1. dwarf_toss said on March 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve used in the past and saved at least $100 in one term. Shipping was free as well iirc (or at the least, insanely cheap). Books showed up a week later in very decent condition. Highly recommended. is a free trading service for textbooks. Looks very legit for those who don’t mind planning ahead.

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