5 ways students can save on textbooks – Re-post from the Toronto Star’s Moneyville Blog

Below is a re-post of a Toronto Star article that Textbookrental.ca was mentioned in. Enjoy!

5 ways students can save on textbooks

By Krystal Yee | Mon Oct 15 2012

Some post-secondary students might be shocked to learn that textbooks can cost $1,000 or more each year. In fact, the Ontario government suggests budgeting at least $1,000 for books and school supplies, and the University of British Columbia suggests setting aside between $500 and $2000 for textbooks each academic year. Of course, depending on your program, you could end up paying more.

Here are five ways to help you save the next time you have to buy textbooks:

Check out the buyback and rental options:  Some universities are offer rental book services. At the University of British Columbia, students can rent used books at 55 per cent off. The University of Toronto offers a similar service, offering rental books at a 40 to 70 per cent discount.

Use a student network or exchange program: Many universities and colleges offer a website where students list their used books for sale. There are also often Facebook groups or internet forums set up for students as well. Buying from a student instead of the bookstore can save you a ton of money.

Look online: There are plenty of online services that sell used books and offer textbook rentals as well. They offer big discounts, free or cheap shipping, and older editions of the textbooks you’re looking for.

The most popular websites besides AmazonCraigslist, and eBay seem to be AbeBooks.com andTextbookRental.ca.

Try international editions: Typically, an international version of your textbook will only differ slightly from the Canadian version. Often the most noticeable difference is that they are in paperback instead of hardcover, and printed in black and white. Sometimes they might be missing additional materials such as workbooks or CDs, but they can often be purchased separately.

Carefully consider the optional books

When I was in university, I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship that covered the cost of my textbooks as well as the supplementary reading material. However, I rarely referred to the books that were not required for each class, and they sat on my bookshelf for the majority of the semester. Looking back at my receipts, my textbooks would have cost me over $1,000 every semester, but the required books only cost an average of $450.