Amazon College Textbook Rental – Is It The Best Option?

It is common knowledge that Amazon is an amazing platform with millions of products and options! Less common is the knowledge that most college textbooks can be found on Amazon for purchase or rent, making it a great place to find the cheapest prices.

I used Amazon to rent many of my textbooks in college, but sometimes the best deals could be found elsewhere! Please use my experiences to your advantage and save some money on your books!

Before Buying a Textbook, Research to Find Out if it is Necessary

I screwed up many times. MANY TIMES. I bought textbooks (first mistake) that ended up being paper weights and never being opened because I did not check online to see if they were necessary (second, bigger mistake).

Simply Google search your course code and whether the “required” textbook is actually necessary. More often than not, all the information you will need to pass the course can be found in the lectures, PowerPoint, and online resources.

Also, it is always better to rent your textbook if it is needed. Most professors will tell you that you need the latest edition and that you will need it for years to come. These are usually lies to make them more money. Typically, you can RENT an older edition of the textbook for hundreds of dollars cheaper using a site like Amazon, and you can still easily achieve great success!


In some cases, however, a course may require you to purchase a certain software that only comes with the new textbook. In this case, you may be screwed out of a couple hundred bucks, but hope is not lost yet!

Amazon’s Options and Why it is One of the Best!

On Amazon, it is incredibly easy to find any edition or version that you would like of a textbook. Additionally, there are usually many options for renting durations and used purchases so that you can find the cheapest deal.

Writing and highlighting already in the textbook? Awesome, why would you not want that?! People that want new, clean textbooks are crazy to me, because the really used ones have the answers and critical information already outlined in them!

One of the saving graces is that Amazon sometimes has “split” products. Meaning, if a course requires a certain software that only comes with a new book, sometimes a seller on Amazon will have the two split up which is AMAZING.

In my case, I was able to buy the $68 software separately and not get the new $315 textbook. Every bit saved helps!

Two Great Options From My Personal Experience!

Sometimes, (and I would like to emphasize the ‘sometimes’), other sites will have cheaper prices to rent or purchase textbooks than Amazon. It is always worth the quick check.

One such site that I used frequently other than Amazon was Textbook Solutions! They advertise up to 90% in savings on rentals, and in many cases it was true in my personal experiences.

Another site I used a few times was eCampus! I would compare these three usually, and purchase the cheapest rental option.

Compare Prices, Fast and Easy!

While I have given you my three favorite above, there are countless other sites devoted to selling or renting cheap textbooks. Maybe you can find one that you like better, so here is a site constructed to helping you compare prices for certain books based on if you want to rent or buy them!

The comparison site is, and it was a life saver for me! I hope it helps you as much as it helped me during college to save money and get the most out of life!

Returning Your Rentals With No Problem!

When you rent textbooks in college, the entity that sends them to you will email you about your return date and will provide you with shipping labels for the return.

KEEP THE BOX THAT YOUR TEXTBOOK COMES IN. That will save you a few bucks and a headache.

All you have to do is put the textbook in a box, print the provided shipping label, and take it to your nearest UPS or post office. They will take care of the rest!

Try to make sure that you return the books a week before the required date to avoid possible late fees due to issues with shipping.

Why I Stopped Using the University Bookstore

I spent well over a grand in the University Bookstore my freshman and sophomore years! They market only the newest versions of textbooks and make the professors the most money. 

It only seems convenient, but with Amazon Prime (Huge discount for students that I took advantage of!) and other expedited shipping methods, it does not make that big of a difference.

Oh how I wish I could get back the money I spent naively those first few years… Don’t let that be you!

Save Money and Enjoy Your Life!

I hope these tips and sites will help you find the cheapest prices for your textbooks if you actually need them. More money saved means more money available for food, necessities and fun times!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Conquer College and Dominate Life!

-Hudson, LikeTheRiver





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