Cheap Textbooks and How to get Textbooks for Free

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Clever Finances
getting cheap textbooks

(Buy and Sell textbooks for the same price)

It’s a common fact that a lot of students are not so eager to spend a lot of money on textbooks, especially on textbooks that they know they’ll need for just one semester. That’s why as students, we’ve been able to find easy ways out of this dilemma in which we end up not having to spend a fortune on textbooks. The Internet is a very helpful tool that has provided us with various means of solving our book problems; such as textbook rental, buying used hand-me-downs, comparing online prices, as well as the famous buyback services that are offered by Booksrun as well. The outrageously high prices of textbooks, as well as education fees, have caused students to try to save as much money as they can by buying and selling used college books. 

Buying and selling used textbooks is a popular thing amongst students and it’s one of the most profitable means of earning extra money. Although, sometimes it may not be as easy as it seems. It takes practice and experience to master the art of buying and selling textbooks and once you become a pro you might even be able to place college books for sale and buy textbooks for the same price. That means not losing any money at all! Here are some helpful tips you’ll need to consider to succeed in it.

Many websites offer different prices for textbooks as well as buyback services. By browsing through their inventory and comparing the prices, you might be able to find the one that’s more suitable for you and likely to bring in more money to the table. Keep in mind that depending on where you’re situated, most websites offer free shipping of textbooks, while others do not. This is a very important thing to consider if you’re looking to save some cash. Every website should have information about its shipping conditions readily available and easy to access. Make sure you read it before making any further decisions. To read about Booksrun shipping conditions and guidelines click here.

Perfect timing

top textbooks for buybacks
Designed by master1305 / Freepik

Like a lion waiting to pounce on its prey, timing is everything. Studies have shown that the prices of textbooks (both new and old) are greatly influenced by the season of the year. Certain used school books could cost as much as $120 at the beginning of the semester (considering that the demand for them will be very high) and could drop down to as low as $70 halfway through the end of the semester. One reliable way to avoid this is to know the textbooks you’re required to buy beforehand and purchase them before the semester begins. Don’t wait thinking that the books aren’t going anywhere. Sure they might not, but the price surely won’t be stable. This tactic also works vice versa.

Let’s say you purchased a book for a certain price, used it for the semester and now you no longer need it, you could wait for the perfect time when the book will be in demand and sell it for the same price that you had purchased it previously. As long as no serious damage had come to it while being in your care, and the book remains in good, reusable condition; then finding a buyer should be as easy as pie.

Treat your textbook as you would a priceless possession

Not a lot of people have the tendency to treat books properly and this is why most students find it hard to sell their textbooks. If you’re looking to sell your textbook for the same price as you had bought it, you have to make sure it remains in the same condition as it had been the first time you purchased it. This means that there should be no highlighting or sticky notes, water damage or torn pages. It has to look as good as new. Any slight damage might reduce the book’s worth, thus reducing its buyback price. Information about BooksRun terms of accepting textbooks and in what state they should be in can be found in this link.

Avoid University Bookstore Buybacks

college students battling textbook publishers
Designed by prostooleh / Freepik

Yes, you heard that right! Though it might seem pretty convenient to head to your nearest college bookstore with the hopes of selling your book for the same price you had purchased it, the chances of that happening is very slim. During college buyback season, each college bookstore has its fixed price (if you’re lucky you might get at least 50% back) for a particular book, and there’s no bargaining to increase the price. The demand for books also decreases instantly for every book that is purchased by the bookstore, and this can gravely affect the buyback price.

So if you’re looking to not lose almost half the price of what you had initially purchased your book, college bookstores should best be avoided. Visit the Booksrun website ( to check out our buyback prices. You will need to type the ISBN (or the title) of the item into the search box on our main page or scan the book’s barcode using our app. If you have any questions, please visit our FAQ page or simply send us a message.

Additional Tips on Used Textbooks Hunting

When searching to buy used college textbooks, take into account the following tips which will help you save cash in the long run. Rather than going to the closest college bookstore and buying a new, crispy copy with packaging still intact is the easiest way, there are many, many other ways to save up and still pass your semester with good grades!

  1. Used items tend to lose a significant amount of their initial price, even if they are still in good condition. If your course does not require one-time access cards to online materials, there is no need to buy them new. 
  2. You often tend to ask this question yourself or hear other students saying: Where to buy used textbooks? Shopping for books online can also save you money and most importantly, time. You don’t need to physically go to the shop and search for the textbook, so all you have to do in this case is type the ISBN you need, click “buy”, and wait until the item is delivered right to your address. And you can be lucky to find half-price textbooks on sale online!
  3. Rent textbooks that you definitely won’t need after the semester are over. The price of textbook rentals is usually much lower than for sales. Just make sure you return the book in time, otherwise, you will end up paying the full amount!
  4. The other way not to spend too much is to sell back the books afterward. Our website offers competitive buyback prices for college textbooks, and you may even earn on selling some copies to us.
  5. If you have the opportunity, try buying textbooks early when their prices are still not extremely high due to high demand. Also, opt for the seller with a return policy if you end up dropping the course and not needing the textbook. 
  6. Check out the international or instructor’s editions. The content is pretty much the same as in regular editions, the only difference being the worse quality of the paper and print in international copies and additional materials for teacher’s editions. The price, however, is usually much better looking.

BooksRun wishes you good luck with your used college textbooks hunting!

Iliana K