Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a returning student, the question of buying versus renting textbooks probably has crossed your mind. This blog will highlight some pros and cons of buying vs. renting your textbooks.

Pros of Buying

  • You can keep the books and use them as a reference for your future classes and career
  • No worries about highlighting too much – it is YOUR textbook
  • You can sell your books and get some money back
  • Used textbooks and eTextbooks could be an option – more affordable than buying a brand new book.

A photo of books stacked on shelves.Cons of Buying

  • Usually the most expensive option
  • You may not use the book that much, so it may end up being an inefficient use of money
  • If you buy and don’t sell, you’ll have to worry about storing the books
  • If you sell it back, you may not receive a fair amount of what you paid for it
  • The hassle of selling may not be worth what you get back

Pros of Renting

  • Probably the most affordable option
  • Easy returns – online or in store
  • If you think your book will be a useful reference in the future, you could possibly buy it

Cons of Renting

  • Cannot mark in the book as much as you may like
  • If you end up finding the book useful, you may not be able to buy it
  • If you don’t return the book in a similar condition, you may have to pay an extra fee or even be charged full price for the book

You can rent/buy your textbooks from many websites, including:

· Amazon.com · Chegg.com
· eCampus.com · CheapTextbooks.com
· CampusBooks.com · Textbookrentals.com
· AbeBooks.com · Barnesandnoble.com

Consider the pros and cons of buying vs. renting for each book required by your classes. You may want to buy some books to help refresh your memory later, but books for basic courses may not be as useful in the long term. Whatever you choose, make sure it makes sense financially and academically.

Photo of Financial Coach Liz.About Liz

I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) coach with an educational background in personal finance.  I recently obtained my Master’s in financial planning from Texas Tech University, where I also gained practical experience in coaching students.  While at Texas Tech, I coached my peers about their educational and financial concerns through individual coaching sessions and presentations.  As a first-generation and minority graduate, I understand that succeeding through college can be difficult at times.  I believe I can relate to what you are going through emotionally, mentally, and academically. Having recently graduated myself, I hope that with my education, experience, and empathy, I can provide you with the right tools to help you achieve your educational and financial goals.

This service is not intended to constitute any tax, investment or legal advice. If you need investment, legal, tax advice, and/or credit counseling, please consult with a professional within those areas.

Links to third-party financial resources are provided as a convenience for informational purposes only. Trellis Company does not endorse or approve any of the products, services or opinions of the entities or individuals associated with these links.  Trellis Company bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of any external site associated with the links provided or any subsequent links.

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