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Here are Some Ways You Can Save Money on Textbooks

Last updated on October 8, 2019

As a DCCCD student, you have many options to save money on textbooks, and you’re not obligated to buy your books from DCCCD-affiliated bookstores. You can buy them online from any source, purchase them at a campus bookstore — both new and used — or you even can rent them.

Here’s what you need to know about getting the best deals:

New in 2016: Textbook Price Matching

Here’s the deal: if you find an identical in-stock textbook for rent or purchase priced lower elsewhere, make sure to tell your campus bookstore. Starting in 2016, the Follett bookstores on DCCCD campuses will now match prices at the register.

Before you do that, however, you should know there are a few stipulations. Price matching is only offered against Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chegg or a local competitor. Peer-to-peer marketplaces, Amazon’s warehouse deals (Gold Box), aggregator sites, digital books and publisher-direct prices are excluded from this offer.

These price adjustments will be provided at the time of purchase to customers with a printed screenshot or ad shown via mobile device of a competitively priced textbook or within seven days of the original transaction with the original receipt. If the book is rented, the rental period must be the same as the bookstore’s. This offer is only good on in-store purchases.

We Don’t Make Money on Textbooks

It’s true: as of 2015, DCCCD’s new contract with the textbook company Follett does away with a commission on the cost of textbooks. This helps ensure you get the best deal possible when purchasing your textbooks on a DCCCD campus.

Based on a review of textbook costs in 2014, a full-time student at one of the seven colleges of DCCCD who took 15 credit hours per semester, over four semesters, paid about $1,965 for books. The contract will save $536 to $670, or a cost reduction of more than 33 percent. Savings will vary, based on whether you buy new or used textbooks as well as how many semesters and credit hours in which you’re enrolled.

Rent Your Textbooks

Renting a textbook often saves you the most money. You can rent through your college bookstore, in person or online. When you rent online, you pick up your textbooks at the bookstore, where you’ll later return them. Generally, you can’t rent course material such as workbooks or editions of books at the end of their lives.

Buy Textbooks Through eConnect or Directly From a Campus Bookstore

Buy your textbooks online through eConnect by clicking on the “Buy My Books” link after you log in. You can choose to have your books shipped to you, or you can pick them up at your preferred location. You can also buy online from your campus bookstore.

Buy Textbooks Online

There are many retailers, including online retailers, who sell textbooks. Some of the most popular sites include Half, Amazon and ValoreBooks. If you do buy online, it often pays to compare the prices offered by different sellers. It should also be noted that buying textbooks through this method usually means buying from an individual seller rather than from a company, none of whom have any affiliation with DCCCD. As such, no guarantees can be made by DCCCD regarding the condition or quality of books, information like when they’ll ship, or pricing and refund policies.

Protip: Know Your ISBN

Know the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) of your textbooks. If you know the ISBN, you can easily search the Web and local booksellers for the best price. The ISBN is the unique number that identifies a book. When you search for the ISBN on the websites of different online booksellers, you can be assured that you are comparing the exact same book.

Here’s how to look up the ISBNs of your textbooks on eConnect:

  • Go to the eConnect Current Credit Student Menu
  • Under “Prepare to Register,” select “Find Credit  Classes”
  • Select Term, Location and Course
  • Review “Find Credit Classes Results” — you’ll find a link to textbook information under the “Class Features” column

You can also find ISBNs if you’re looking up credit classes via the browsable class schedule. Once you’ve found a class that you want to take, look at the right-hand-side information for that class. You’ll see a link for “Textbook Info.” Click on that link, and you’ll get both new and suggested used prices, along with the author’s name, the edition of the book and the publisher’s name.

That’s  it — that’s everything you need to find the best deal on textbooks for your DCCCD classes!

Published inBooksDiscounts