FindersCheapers.com is a price comparison website. A price comparison website helps you find the best deals by collecting pricing information from online and brick and mortar retailers and displaying it in one location.
We display used, rental, and new textbook pricing combined with coupon discounts and free shipping offers. Used and rental textbook pricing is dynamically retrieved from textbook sellers when you view a product page.
When you click "go to store", you leave FindersCheapers. Your purchases are made directly through the destination store.
Money Saving Tips
You never know what great deal may be available online. The coupons listed on this page will help you find deals, but they do not necessarily guarantee the lowest price. Textbook marketplaces have multiple sellers vying
for your business. This competition puts downward price pressure on textbooks. Its a good idea to use a price comparison website that provides real-time used pricing to verify you are getting the best deal.
The average savings per semester
from buying textbooks online is approximately $250.
Re-Sell to Students
If you are looking for the absolute biggest savings, we frequently recommend that you purchase used textbooks online and then resell them via an online marketplace such as Amazon Marketplace
You will usually be able to recoup most of your textbook expenses in this manner. There is no fee for listing your textbooks, but you will pay seller fees when someone buys your book. For example you could:
|Re-sell on Amazon:
||$40 - $8.34 in fees
When reselling your textbooks, watch out for shipping costs. Some textbook marketplaces will collect a fixed amount for shipping and heavy textbooks may cost more to ship. Be aware that the USPS offers a special rate
a "media rate" for shipping books. The media rate is a great money saver for textbook sellers. Be aware that there is a price point where re-selling your textbook does not make sense because the seller fees
consume all of your profit.
Re-Sell to a Book Merchant
There are several money saving alternatives to becoming an individual bookseller. One option is to sell your textbooks to an online textbook seller such as Amazon. Amazon will pay up to 70%
of the textbook value and
pay for shipping. Payment will be made in the form of an Amazon gift card which you may use to buy more textbooks.
Rent Your Textbooks
Online textbook rentals from a company such as Chegg
can frequently result in the smallest initial outlay of money. The textbook rental companies attempt to undercut the lowest used
textbook price on the Internet. You rent textbooks for a fixed period of time, typically 60, 90 or 120 days. You are responsible for returning the textbook at the end of the rental period. Shipping is usually
free both ways. FindersCheapers always displays the semester rental rate (120 days). If you are on the quarter system, your rental cost will be less than the displayed rate.
Finding Your Books
Search By ISBN
It is important to uniquely identify your textbooks when searching online because there may be many different editions with the same title.
The best way to find your textbooks is to search by 10 or 13 digit ISBN number. ISBN numbers are usually provided in the list of required course materials via your university website. ISBN numbers are also visible at the top and bottom of the barcode on the back of textbooks and near the title page. 13 digit ISBN numbers always begin with the digits
"978". Sometimes ISBN numbers have dashes for readability. FindersCheapers can deal with both dashed and non-dashed numbers, but prefers the 13 digit numbers without dashes (or any other text). For example:
Campbell Biology 9th Edition
has a 13 digit ISBN of 9780321558237
and a 10 digit ISBN of 0321558235
Finding Supplemental Materials
When you purchase used or rental books, the supplemental materials are not guaranteed to be present. You may purchase most supplemental add-ons separately. For example, "masteringbiology" provides online account access and comes with some editions of Campbell Biology
. MasteringBiology access is available as a "standalone access card
" for students who have
purchased a used textbook.
You may want to ask your professor if supplemental materials are
Who's Selling Textbooks
Used textbooks are most frequently purchased via online marketplaces. Online marketplaces will list book inventories from 1,000's of individual sellers. These sellers could be brick and mortar bookstores, online sellers,
individuals, or foreign companies. Examples of online marketplaces are Amazon Marketplace
and the Textbooks.com Marketplace
. It can be a little confusing because some online retailers
have their own textbook inventory and also list other book seller inventories. Amazon muddies the water even further by having their own inventory, 3rd party seller inventory on site (fulfillment by Amazon
) and 3rd party
Who's Renting Textbooks
Textbook rentals have become very popular over the last few years as entrepreneurs realized they could make more money by renting a book multiple times than by selling it once. Textbook rental companies attempt to
undercut the lowest used textbook price by a few dollars. Some of the major online rental companies are
and Barnes & Noble
. Some textbook marketplaces such as
Half.com and Alibris will list rentals from websites such CampusBookRentals. As with used textbook purchases, rental customers should be aware that supplemental textbook materials may not be included
in a rental, but may be purchased separately.
Making a Purchase
Know Your Seller
Before you make a purchase, it is important to understand who is responsible for shipping your book and where you should direct purchasing questions. As we mentioned previously, FindersCheapers.com is a search engine
with price comparison. We are not involved in the payment or the delivery of merchandise. Textbook marketplaces process payments and then transfer the money to 3rd party sellers once delivery has been confirmed. Textbook
marketplaces are not responsible for shipping. It is important to read seller feedback so that you may choose a seller with a strong track record of timely and accurate textbook delivery.
Know what You are Buying
Make sure you read the item description and condition description prior to purchasing. As a general rule, the better the bargain, the more time you should spend examining the item details for potential problems.
Potential problems include pirated textbooks, international textbooks, unreliable sellers, incorrectly categorized books, and textbook condition issues.
Textbook marketplaces require their used book sellers to describe a textbooks condition in greater detail than just "used". Some marketplaces have pre-defined grading system for used books. For example, Half.com and
Amazon Marketplace have the following used conditions, in order of best to worst: "Like New", "Very Good", "Good", "Acceptable". Books designated "Acceptable" may have a creased or torn cover, damaged spines, or more
than 10% of pages highlighted or underlined.
Coupon codes are a great way to save additional money when you make a purchase. There is usually a text input area for coupon codes during the checkout process. You typically type in the coupon code and then click a button to
update your price with the discount. Less frequently a coupon code is automatically "encoded" within a link. When you click the coupon link a cookie is dropped and the discount is automatically applied during checkout.
Should a dispute arise, most marketplaces will side with the purchaser over the seller. So for instance, Amazon's excellent customer service extends to items purchased via 3rd party sellers. Likewise, eBay's payment
processor, Paypal gives buyer protection and dispute resolution.
Other Things to Know
When shopping for textbooks on textbook marketplaces, you may encounter much less expensive "International Versions" of textbooks. International textbooks are usually paperback, made of cheaper quality paper and
may be limited to black and white illustrations. You may think of them as having roughly the same quality as a phonebook. They are designed for sale in 3rd world markets. These textbooks are not intended for sale
in the US market and the sellers generally reside outside the US. If you do decide to purchase international versions, make sure you check out the seller's feedback, seller's location, and the estimated delivery time. An international textbook shipped from
Central Asia might take a very long time to arrive...
Arbitrage Drop Shippers
There is a certain type of textbook seller called an arbitrage drop shipper. These sellers will list books on a textbook marketplace that they do not own. The arbitrage drop shipper finds inexpensive books for sale in one
marketplace and lists them in another marketplace with a slight markup. For example, a drop shipper might list books on Amazon Marketplace that they find for sale on Half.com. When you purchase from the drop shipper,
they will turn around and buy a book from Half.com, using your delivery address for the textbook. It is hard for an arbitrage drop shipper to maintain a favorable seller rating due to the level of indirection involved
in their sales process. You can generally spot them based on the very large volume of textbook sales in a short period of time and also by the wide variation in their seller feedback. Some buyer feedback will be very
negative and some will be very positive due to the fact that they are acquiring their textbooks from a wide variety of sources. You should avoid buying from an arbitrage drop shipper because they tend to have a much
lower level of customer satisfaction. As always, reading the seller feedback will steer you in the right direction.