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Used textbooks cheap?

  1. Nov 22, 2011 #1
    Anyone know a good place to find used textbooks?

    I know of Amazon, ebay and half.com, but sometimes their prices aren't all that great, or the book isn't really well "stocked". The campus bookstore charges absurd prices, so no way I'm getting books from them...

    I honestly don't care much about quality, as long as the thing isn't falling to pieces or missing pages, if it's cheap it'll do. Any suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2011 #2
    I found that used book prices were fairly close - both my brick/mortar bookstores (univ owned, and the nearby independant) and online are all competitive. I've been price shopping last few terms and generally found that Barnes and Noble's network of used booksellers is one of the better groups online, but even then - often it was cheaper to get it used at the university.

    However, it varies book to book; one semester, if I bought every book from one source (BN-used, or either of the local stores) the price would be the same - but splitting the order and ordering the cheaper from the proper source saved me a bit of money. Is it worth it? If I'm only saving a few dollars, I'd rather have the piece of mind of going to my local bookstore and picking them up. I would really look side-by-side at the same quality of book to compare prices. Your local store may suprise you.

    Also take note: many books have online resources now that professors use, and you may not really be saving any money buying a used book if you have to buy an online access as well.
  4. Nov 23, 2011 #3
    i've seen old textbooks show up at flea markets before. i think the homeschoolers tend to be a market for this. but pickens can be slim, and mostly not at your level, probably. still, i was pleasantly surprised to get Dorf's 7th ed. Modern Control Systems for $5.
  5. Nov 23, 2011 #4


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    (sorry, couldn't resist)
  6. Nov 23, 2011 #5
    lol, i had to double check my spelling on that. must be a freudian thing.
  7. Nov 23, 2011 #6
    Amazon doesn't have??? That's not possible. Try Craig's list?
  8. Nov 23, 2011 #7
  9. Jan 4, 2012 #8
    I find that auction sites like ebay and amazon or hit or miss too.

    What I do is create a spread sheet and use websites like directtextbook.com or bookfinder.com, they do most of the heavy lifting and then I can compare their results to the auction sites. This usually helps me get a pretty good deal.

    Although I recently read an article on dirt cheap college textbooks that showed these websites exclude some textbook websites. They have a pretty good list of textbook websites and which ones other sites exclude.

    I'm going to try renting some of mine from chegg they seems reasonably priced. But if you want to save money you have to do the research!
  10. Jan 4, 2012 #9


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  11. Jan 23, 2012 #10
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