10 Tips For Buying the Cheapest Textbooks


It’s that time of year where you don’t want to starve in order to afford expensive textbooks and need an affordable place to buy them without going broke. Don’t know where to begin? Not a problem. The geniuses at BIGWORDS just got together with the Uberbot and drafted up some healthy pointers to help you save over $1,000 this academic school year.

  1. Never use the campus bookstore.
    The campus bookstore preys upon the weak. They locate themselves centrally on campus and sell textbooks at insanely jacked-up prices to either lazy or uninformed students. In fact, they boast of having great deals and impeccable service but usually around textbook season, this paper mill is a wild circus not worth entering. Still, the main reason you shouldn’t buy from the bookstore is because BIGWORDS.com can save you up to 90% of what you would otherwise pay for titles in the school bookstore.
  2. Do not use nearby bookstores.
    The places that sell textbooks around your campus are also wack because they’re tied to the local campus market. They may undercut the on-campus store by a few bucks per book, but there’s not going to be a real meaningful savings. Buying books online opens the market up across North America and the World. BIGWORDS will search to the ends of the Universe to find you the best prices to buy, rent, and sell your textbooks. We’re even 35%-45% cheaper than other online textbook retailers.
  3. Buy textbooks online.
    BIGWORDS.com is like the Kayak of the textbook world. We have done for textbooks what they have done for travel. We scour the net and find the best prices from endless sources that wind up calculating the cheapest prices for textbooks that you can find anywhere. Not only are we 90% cheaper than the campus bookstore, but we are also 35%-45% cheaper than other online textbook companies. BIGWORDS has been known to save students around $1,000 a year on average. That’s nothing to sneeze at. That’s a solid down payment on your backpacking trip to Europe taking next summer.
  4. Don’t wait to compare textbook prices!
    If you look around early enough, it shouldn’t be hard to find the textbooks you are looking for at the cheapest possible price and have them shipped directly to your door. If you wait too long, you could think you’re dependent on the price gougers I mentioned in #1 & #2, who have absolutely no interest in getting you the best deal on college textbooks–it’s not in their self-interest! When you buy online we’ll calculate available coupons and shipping so you don’t have to. With various shipping options you could see your textbooks within just a couple of days– maybe sooner if your in a bind, but hey! That was the point of #4: Avoid the vultures. Don’t wait until you get to the point where you feel stuck buying from the predators at the campus bookstore.
  5. Be the first to order.
    Don’t let some other person from your class be the one to find the cheapest used textbook and order it because you were still too busy searching around at the campus bookstore only to find that even their copies of the used version of the textbook was still more than 75% higher than on BIGWORDS.com. BIGWORDS gives you access to the cheapest used textbooks out there. Don’t believe us? Go out and compare, but don’t lose your hair!
  6. Use ISBN and Title/Author to shop around.
    Textbook publishers are constantly changing editions of their books. It’s good for them because it keeps their earnings up if they constantly make old editions obsolete. Your professor will probably suggest that you purchase the latest edition of any given textbook. Why wouldn’t they, they may very well have been wined and dined by the textbook publisher. This is a common practice among the textbook lobby. We’re not blaming the professors either. Why wouldn’t you want the newest, latest, most-improved edition? But in all honesty, most changes per edition are nominal, if even noticeable. Sometimes a chapter is added, other times they are just moved around. If you do your research, you may find that you’re perfectly fine owning the 4th edition instead of the 5th and saving yourself $100 for a book that is 99.9% the same.
  7. Buy used textbooks.
    Whenever it’s possible, you should buy used textbooks. There is no point in buying something new for full price. It’s kind of the same concept as when you buy a car. As soon as you drive it off the lot, it loses a huge margin of its value. Well…this is a book–not a car. There is no real good reason for you to buy a new one unless you are a hypochondriac or obsessive compulsive who can’t stand the thought of someone else touching something. If that’s the case, you may have a problem attending college anyway. Don’t be a bubble-boy. Buy used and save up to 90%.
  8. Rent your textbooks.
    Although buy-back programs have been around for years, renting textbooks is a relatively new alternative to buying expensive new books. Regularly, buy back programs allow bookstores to guarantee you some nominal fee for the return of your book, after which, they sell or rent that book again for the same price they sold it to you for. Take out the middleman vultures and rent textbooks online. You can save up to 80% of the cost when you rent textbooks and many of the sites we use even ship for free. You can even use the BIGWORDS Uber Marketplace to see how much you stand to earn or lose from an online buyback at rates that are far more rewarding than the campus bookstore.
  9. Sell your books online.
    Don’t let your books pile up at the end of the semester just so you can forget about them, until you have to move and wind up scrapping them. Those books are worth money. Heck, you should know. You paid for them. Be a BIGWORDS genius and get those babies online for sale. The BIGWORDS Uber Marketplace scans online textbook retailers and gives connects you with the one that can get you the most money back for your book. If you play your cards right from beginning to end and follow these pointers, you might even make a profit or at least break even on the books you bought with the help of the BIGWORDS Uberbot.
  10. Keep records of your purchases for tax reimbursements.
    According to the IRS: “Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more parents and students will qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit to help pay for college expenses.” The bill “adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.” Learn more about education tax credits here. http://www.irs.gov/uac/American-Opportunity-Tax-Credit
Matt Dellinger


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