Don’t shop at your campus bookstore for your college books until you search and compare prices elsewhere. All of the books I would have purchased from the bookstore were only available new and the total came to $287.40. And I’m only taking three classes. I can’t imagine what it costs for a full course load.
At the risk of sounding like an advertisement: I used Campusi to search for textbooks and compare prices from loads of booksellers. Smartest time I’ve spent so far in college. You can search by ISBN, title, or author. Then it will display the results in ascending order of price including shipping costs. There are often coupons available for discounted shipping on larger orders or for new buyers from a given site. When you click your chosen item to purchase, you are then redirected to the site hosting that item –, Alibris, Amazon, etc. Then, you can search that seller for the rest of your books because sometimes it’s cheaper to buy more from one seller (shipping is usually discounted) even if the initial price of the book is more. It’s not always better that way, but often combining at least a few of your books to one seller will get you better rates for shipping which of course lowers the total cost of the book.
Shipping prices are where you can really get screwed. If you’re not careful, you’ll think you’re getting a great deal, but then shipping on your $7 book costs $10. So the important thing to consider is the total price of book and shipping. It’s for this reason that I’m actually purchasing one of my books through the campus bookstore. Turns out, even if I can only buy it new, it’s still a better price than what I found online. Plus, I won’t have to wait for delivery.
So thanks to the convenience of Campusi, I’ve spent $169.53 on 11 books, and I saved $117.87. This is a great deal for me because I plan on keeping several of the books that are pertinent to my major and other interests. So it’s money I won’t be making up later.

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