Smart Textbook Shopping

By Features Editor

We asked undergrads how they avoid the most common textbook buying mistakes when shopping online:

"The biggest mistake you can make is buying a textbook you need just for one semester and buying it new at full price. Some used textbooks are in perfect condition and they cost 30% of the actual price. is an amazing website, the textbooks I got from there were like totally new."

- Vlada, School of Visual Arts



"One mistake I made was not double- and triple-checking the ISBN numbers and the edition of the books that were required for the course. This is important because if you don't pay attention, you have to go to the trouble of returning the book and scavenging for the right one."

- Ashley Singh, Georgian Court University



"Don't forget about shipping: sometimes you can receive your book days after it's been assigned to to use in class, so plan ahead. If you need overnight shipping for emergency reading, the money you were trying to save goes out the window!"

- Amanda, Ithaca College

Nicole Allen, Textbooks Advocate at The Student PIRGs, is the director of the Make Textbooks Affordable campaign. Here, she explains why textbooks are so expensive—and what you can do about it.