Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 places to buy used college textbooks

My daughters are both getting ready to head back to college this fall.(Yay!) I continue to be shocked at how the cost of textbooks has gone up through the years. They have always been expensive. In the old days the college bookstore often had inexpensive copies of most textbooks. No so anymore.

Some students are opting to rent books at places like Alibris instead of buying them and it's no wonder! To get them ready for college, my daughters and I have been on the lookout for used textbook sources. Here's what we found so far and a short review of each.

McKays Knoxville, TN
In Knoxville, there may be no better brick-and-mortar store than McKays Used Books and CDs on Papermill Drive. They have almost everything that you want including some used textbooks for college. Finding what you need requires a trip to the bookstore.

You can't call and ask about titles or ISBNs ahead of time. However, the two story store has wide clean aisles and a helpful directory. They also issue trade credit or purchase used textbooks. Bring your old books in and take them to the counter. This definitely helps with buying college textbooks. Plan to spend awhile at McKays. Checkout lines can be long and there is plenty of inventory to browse through.

Alibris
Alibris sseems to be a good source of used textbooks. You can search by category, ISBN, title or author. Students can make some extra money by selling their used books at Alibris too. Money is always welcomed by college students. Renters will be happy as textbooks can also be rented here. From what we've seen so far, Alibris offers more than some other online bookstores.

Amazon

Amazon.Com is a great place for everything and items for college are no exception. Surely you've heard about them. Buy your used textbooks online here. New ones bought here can be less expensive than the college bookstore. I didn't see anything about renting used textbooks like you can at Alibris but it can still be a good choice.

If you have any other reviews or suggestions on used textbook sources let me know by posting a comment. Other parents and I welcome your ideas.