Save money on text books: Buyer’s guide to not spending a small fortune

Posted February 4, 2014 by Student Profit Staff

Textbooks can be bloody expensive when you start out at University but you needn’t blow your entire budget on them as we present a 6 point guide to get the best deals.

Avoid unnecessary books

First things first: Figure out which books it is you actually need to get your hands on. Your reading list will have a lot of materials but not all will be required: Some may just be there for suggested reading, while others could only be used for a single chapter which you’ll probably be able to find elsewhere or obtain from a library copy.


Use the library

Next, decide whether or not you actually need to buy the book at all or you can just borrow it from the library. Be quick as copies will probably be snapped up soon, and popular books may not be allowed out on a long-term basis, but you can make savings on those you do manage to take out.

Save money with cheaper, older editions

Most text books nowadays have several editions but the differences between them may be negligible: Perhaps a slightly different layout, different pictures and maybe an extra page or two. Do your research to find out whether you really do need to buy the latest version or you can save money by buying an older one.

Take your time and compare prices

It can be very tempting to treat your reading list like a scavenger hunt and race to find the books and cross them off your list, but it pays to take your time. Don’t buy at the first place you find your book, compare prices at other book stores and online shops to get the best deal.

> How to save money on University textbooks

Buy second hand

There’s often very little reason to actually buy new books at all, there are usually plenty of second (or even third) hand copies around at much cheaper prices. Search not only online (e.g. The Book Pond) but also look for ads in your university for past students selling their old books.


Try eBooks

Don’t rule out an eBook copy of the book: Generally cheaper, digital versions of books can be more than helpful than the physical alternative with interactive content. Various apps also allow you to add notes and annotate your eBooks just like the real thing too!