College. The best four years of your life…and quite possibly, the most expensive. And as any college kid (and their parents!) will tell you, it’s not just tuition that breaks the bank; stocking up on books for back to school can also cost big bucks. Check out some of these bookstores and online retailers and save some of that hard-earned dinero to pay off those loans. –Chelsea Karnash
CampusBooks 4 Less searches the major college bookstores for both new and used textbooks, as well as textbook rentals. You can search by ISBN number, author, title or keyword, and the website also features a “Deals” section where special offers, sales and promo codes are listed for numerous online retailers.
Because, seriously, what can’t you find on Amazon? The mega-retailer has a section of the website devoted entirely to textbooks (click on “Books” on the left side-bar for sub-categories), and then divided up into areas of study. And of course, you can also sell your books and get up to 70% back.
At Textbooks.com, you can buy, rent or sell books, and shipping is free. Plus, if you decide to drop that super-hard neurophysiology class, you can also return your now unnecessary books, stress free. Of course, I’m not speaking from experience or anything…
With a seriously simple homepage and concrete instructions (“1. Post your Book. 2. Be Contacted by Students…” and so on), postyourbook.com is a one-stop online shop for students looking to buy and sell books from each other. Simply enter your college and go from there.
Looking for a hard-to-find original copy or a book that’s out of print? This is your website! BookFinder compares prices on over 150 million books, including new and used, signed and original copies, rare books, international editions and generic textbooks.
This eBay-owned company has some great deals. Peruse their list of the 200 top-selling titles, and you’ll see exactly what percentage off the original cost you’ll get when you buy from the website.
TOP LOCAL USED BOOKSTORES FOR TEXTBOOKS:
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Mon – Fri, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun, closed
The Penn Book Center offers a quiet, academic refuge from the official campus Barnes & Noble down the street. And although the Book Center is independently-owned, many Penn professors in the Humanities order their course books through this store, so you’ll find a relatively large selection of required reading towards the back. The Book Center also sells books by local authors, poetry and literature with an academic slant, and you can sell your old books and textbooks back for cash. Though you could surely find the same books for less on Amazon, the experience and the convenience factor (no waiting, no shipping costs) make this place a good choice for many people, particularly Penn students.
1520 N Broad St
Mon – Tue, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Wed – Thur, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Fri, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Catering to Temple students, Zavelle’s can be hit or miss, but it’s still a great spot to check out before you resort to online retailers. And while many stores buy back books only when the semester starts or ends, Zavelle’s buys ‘em back year round.
Better Than The Bookstore
House of Our Own
3920 Spruce St.
Better Than The Bookstore, or BTTB, is a convenient, locally-based website that allows students at several area colleges (Penn, Drexel, Temple, Rutgers-New Brunswick & CCP) to buy and sell textbooks to other students at their school. The best part? Buyers and sellers maintain a level of anonymity that usually exists only when using larger, national/international web retailers. The common drop-off/pick-up location, at the House of Our Own bookstore on Spruce, means that creepy dude in your chemistry class never has to know where you live.