Sunday, January 07, 2007

Best Book Prices

Another semester, another trip to the bookstore to spend money on books which you probably won't crack open until exam time. Sound familiar? Not anymore! Yes, that's right, this is the semester you stand up for yourself! You tell the bookstore, "No, I need my booze money!.... errr, lunch money"

Since I was looking to buy some books, I went through and examined nearly 20 sites that do a metasearch of book stores. My most important criteria was whether the site found the cheapest price for a given book. Surprisingly, many of them failed on even that count. Either their price was outdated, they didn't take into consideration possible discounts, or they simply didn't search some particular bookstore that happened to have the lowest price. Then, out of the remaining ones, I looked at user-friendliness. I give to you the results of my study:

CampusI.com - Very solid and thorough search - claims to search 129 bookstores and 100,000 sellers. Also offers a search for many other products that would interest students (computers, music, movies, video games) and even offers a search for selling your books.

Campusbooks.com - Similar to CampusI, except it seems to search a smaller number of stores. However, they have a feature where you can input multiple ISBNs, and they will search the best prices all at once. They also offer a search for selling your books.

BIGWORDS.com - This one probably impressed me the most. Isn't as extensive as CampusI in terms of search capabilities, but if you're buying multiple books, it combines different prices and deals from each seller to create the lowest possible price for all of your books. If you're a member of any of the bookstores, it also considers member discounts. Like CampusI, it can also search, dvds, music, games, and even school supplies!

In addition, once you find the place with the cheapest price, you can go through certain cashback programs to get money back! Some of the more common bookstores and the programs with the highest cashback payouts:
AbeBooks - Ebates (5%)
Alibris - FatWallet (5.5%)
Barnes&Noble.com - Ebates (4%)
eBay - BigCrumbs (36% of listing fee)
eCampus.com - InstantProfitz (5%)
half.com - InstantProfitz (5%)
Overstock.com - Mr. Rebates (5%)
Textbookx.com - InstantProfitz (5%)

Here are some coupon codes for Alibris:
$10 off $100: TEXTBOOKS10
$5 off $50: TEXTBOOKS8
$2 off $15: BOOKFINDER

Also, if you're a new customer to half.com, email me and I'll send you a $5 coupon.

The great part about these cashback programs is that some of them give you an instant registration bonus - Ebates $5, InstantProfitz $3, and Mr. Rebates $2.50!

There are also some lesser known ways of getting cheaper books. Did you know that you can get international editions of books at a fraction of the cost of books here? In most cases, they're paperback versions, and they may be printed on a lower quality paper, but the content is the exact same.

Firstandsecond.com - India's largest online bookstore - that's a whole lotta books. Shipping may take a bit longer, but if you can wait, you can find some great deals here. The prices are in rupees, but you can plug the price into this currency converter.

Paperbackswap.com - Mentioned in an earlier post. Although the book you need probably isn't here, doesn't hurt to try.

An even more unorthodox way to get books is to see if your library carries it and borrow it and keep on renewing it for as long as you can. I managed to do this with one of my books last semester, which saved me a few bucks. Of course you may find yourself on the receiving end of unfriendly glares from your fellow classmates, so beware.

I hope this was helpful in saving you some money. Be on the lookout for some more money saving/earning tips!

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info - I was about to put up a post requesting help with my books for this upcoming semester...

January 7, 2007 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous ISPF said...

Neat post. Very helpful! Another site that I have used a lot is http://www.addall.com/ Its quite good too.

[...]Stingy Student has a great article on saving money on text books. All of you still looking to buy text books should take a look at that article for some fantastic money saving tips.[...]

January 9, 2007 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Stingy Student said...

Thanks for the comment! I used to use addall too, but when I was trying out all these search engines, I discovered that addall didn't always find the best price, so I've switched over to these.

January 9, 2007 at 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another site to compare book prices : www.bestbookdeal.com

January 21, 2007 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Best site I've found so far is www.ibeatmybookstore.com you buy and sell with students at your campus.

January 21, 2007 at 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Stingy Student said...

Thanks for the great suggestions everyone, keep them coming!

January 21, 2007 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try , buyselloldbooks.comwhere you can buy, sell, and exchange old used books. It is 100% Free community site.

February 2, 2007 at 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Cat said...

Great list of resources, I started using Textbook411.com last year, it is a bit sleaker in desighn and faster than the others AND it also lets me sell back my books at the end of the semester!! Check it out- http://www.textbook411.com

February 15, 2007 at 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a better site for cheap textbooks: books99.com
Very nice, simple, and fast.
Try it: http://www.books99.com

Val

March 5, 2007 at 4:51 PM  
Anonymous College Resources said...

Every semester requires different books. I'm just thankful that there still some sites that offer textbooks at affordable prices

March 27, 2008 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger andie said...

this was such a help!

August 9, 2009 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger All about free info said...

Bookase.com will enable you to compare the prices of books and textbooks all over the world in order to determine which online retailer is the most convenient one for you. It offers various option on shippng methods. So that you can choose which option suits you the best. It also provides discount coupons to furhter reduce on the cost of the books. This site aims at replacing traditional bookstores with a price comparison engine for the major online bookstores worldwide connecting both buyers and sellers directly

September 29, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Anonymous online book store said...

Nice post,

i think This is so helpful and useful article for anyone.Everybody should read this article.Keep it up.



Thanks!

July 13, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

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