Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Textbook Time!

I have just finished ordering textbooks for my 2 high schoolers.  Woo Hoo!  I think I'm finished with the home schoolers, but I need fewer books for them and I can get to those later.

Textbook Time is one of the most stressful events since the cost can be E.Nor.Mous.

Before we went on vacation, there was a used book sale at TMax's new school.  FYI, he'll be attending a different high school from The School the older 3 attended.  Anyway, their Used Book Sale involves parents and students bringing all their used books and you have to make your way from table to table to see if anyone has the books you need.

Useful, but difficult.  Especially for people like me who are overwhelmed by crowds and noise!  I bought quite a few of his texts that night and thought I got some good deals.  The rest I had to order online and ended up spending more than a couple hundred dollars.


Fortunately, this week a home schooling friend told me about Cheapest Textbooks.   It's basically a site that finds the books from other sources.  The ones most frequently referenced are and  Since they don't sell any of the books themselves, I can only assume that they get a kickback from the sites you do order from.  Nevertheless, it makes shopping sooooo much easier.

I've been known to shop with many tabs open (to MBSDirect, the official school bookstore; Amazon; and to compare prices.  It's very complicated and time-consuming.  This time I just did it with MBS (to get the official list and ISBN numbers) and Cheapest Textbooks.

I ordered Little Princess's science book and matching workbook from them.  I was shocked that I was able to get the book itself for .44!  Yes, forty-four CENTS!  Plus $3.99 shipping, but that's no big deal compared to the $80 new book price!  The workbook cost $1.09 plus shipping.

So, today I finished up Madden's shopping and got many good deals.  Often I saved more than half the cost of MBS's Used prices.  My best deal was for his MacroEconomics text which cost $157 new.  Guess what it cost!


You'll never guess, so I'll tell you....

$0.48 + $3.99 shipping!    Can you believe that?  I can't.

I ordered everything from the Amazon Marketplace because I have One-Click shipping there and it made it super easy.  Plus, the prices at were about the same anyway.  I've been using the Amazon Marketplace a lot more recently, both for buying and selling.  But I'm really curious.....

How can sellers sell their books so cheaply?  I'd love the answer to that if anyone knows it.  I can only assume that they get their books super-cheap to begin with----like from a school that is closing----and they must get shipping deals because of their volume.  Surely the super-cheap books are not from people like me selling on the 'net.

What do you think?


  1. Well, I don't really have an answer. I've had good luck and bad luck with used books. I once got a workbook with almost all the pages ripped out and missing. They gave me my money back. But, I have bought "summer reading list" books for under a buck -- pennies actually, and they have been fine. Don't know how they do it, but I do know they make money on the shipping costs (they ship for under a dollar). Just take it when you can get it and say a prayer it's a good copy.

  2. They sell the book so cheap so If you arent happy you only get refunded the price of the book. NOT the shipping. I have had great and not so great experiences with Amazon used books. I hope it all goes well! Good job bargain shopper!

  3. Now that's an angle I hadn't thought of! I try to buy from the ones with good ratings, so I hope they're not all scammers! As long as the book is all there and usable, I don't really care what it looks like. Plus, I realize that I'm taking a risk by ordering from 3rd parties, but I hope the good experiences more than make up for the bad.


Thanks for dropping by! I would love to hear from you. Have a beautiful day! :-)


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