This post was written by an external contributor. University is a pretty expensive business, with text books alone often costing a small fortune, so Chloe Smith gives us her top tips on how to get your hands on that essential reading without having to take out a second student loan.
An old favourite, Amazon has the amazing option to find specific editions of books easily, really handy if your course requires that. You can also choose to buy new or second-hand editions of books from Amazon sellers – typically for a cheaper price. Or, if Amazon does end up having the cheapest price, then you could always take advantage of the Amazon Student account and use Amazon Prime to get free delivery, making it a real bargain.
No, really. Your university, course or department might well have their own Facebook group (either official or run by students), where older students sell their old books to those that need them. Not only will they be cheap because they’re second hand, but they might come with useful annotations and maybe even no postage costs if the sellers live on campus with you! (It might be worthwhile checking out Facebook’s marketplace to see if anyone is selling any of the books you need locally as well).
eBay is one of the best places to buy second-hand books (also new, but especially second-hand), particularly university books or textbooks. Not only do uni students often list books on there that they no longer need, there’s a chance that through some strategic bidding you could end up with a real steal. You can also filter searches so you’re guaranteed to find the cheapest options. And you have the option to find them locally, too. So that’s another way you can save on those dreaded postage costs.
This site is like a goldmine for second-hand books. Just type in the author, title and/or ISBN number and it’ll give you options to buy specific editions of second-hand books from sellers all around the world. The books are spectacularly cheap because they’re second-hand, but you can also search by quality so you can often get a brand new copy for a very affordable price. Some sellers even offer free postage, too.
Yep, the charity Oxfam has an online shop where you can buy books from the comfort of your own home. Again, they’ll be second hand, but at least you’ll be getting stocked up for university safe in the knowledge that you’re also doing some good at the same time.
Honestly, there are actually comparison sites that exist for things other than insurance. (And all these are free of annoying Russian meerkats, so that’s already a bonus). With sites like booksprice.co.uk and bookfinder.com, all you need to do is type in the book you’re looking for and it’ll tell you where on the internet you can buy it for the cheapest price. Hassle-free, and actually really simple.
So there you are, 6 of the best places to get your university books at affordable prices. I hope that through using these sites you’re able to save some money when you next have to splash the cash on your reading materials! (Because we all know that reading lists are long and it can get pretty pricey).