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Lower cost textbook options abound

Originally published December 3, 2010

The end of the semester means  the time has come again to purchase textbooks, a nightmare for many students.

However, there are plenty of student-approved online options to keep costs and hassles at a minimum.

Some students said they prefer online options to the campus bookstore because they tend to be cheaper.

“I get all my books from eBay,” said freshman math major Shelby Lindaman. “The bookstore is just more expensive.”

Sophomore mechanical engineering major Foster Pyle said despite the bookstore’s new book rental service, he still prefers to buy books online.

“I purchase books from half.com,” he said. “The bookstore is so expensive, and half.com is cheaper and easier.”

According to makeuseof.com, the top five websites to rent or buy textbooks are: half.com, amazon.com, chegg.com, socialbib.com and buy.com, but there are many more.

Some sites, like Socialbib, allow students to trade books by racking up credits for new books when they sell old ones.

Rental sites such as Chegg provide package labels to return books for free at the end of the semester, allowing students to save on shipping costs.

Bigwords.com, another rental site, calculates the total cost for a purchase and automatically applies any usable coupons. It also compiles books from several sources and allows students to compare prices. Additionally, it has options for students to rent international book titles.

Bookrenter.com and cengagebrain.com provide extensions for months, and valorebooks.com has giveaways and up to 99 percent off original book prices.
Regardless of your courses or budget, there are plenty of online websites to make textbook shopping a bit less painful.