Buying textbooks can feel awful, especially after looking at the receipt total. No one knows if the book is even going to be used enough to justify the small fortune paid in exchange for it. Luckily, there are a variety of options to know if the books are required and to get the best price in town and online.

To find out if one needs a book for a class, there are many options. 

On the one hand, you can wait until the teacher says if a book is required. To get more information on if the book is necessary to be successful in the course, either ask an upperclassman or go online to read class reviews. A great resource for this is the website Rate My Professor. On this site, there will be information about if the book is needed, how much homework will be distributed and overall information of the class and professor.

Campus Bookstore is one of the three options in town to get books. They sell textbooks and a limited inventory of supplies and merchandise. This bookstore is one of the only two in town who price match. If a student finds a cheaper option online or anywhere else, Campus Bookstore will match the price. 

They have an excellent, friendly staff who assists in the purchasing process. If a student has their schedule ready, the staff will find all the books for every student to relieve the stress and time of searching for each textbook in their large inventory.

Also, Campus Bookstore has an option to buy now and pay later. While waiting on financial aid, there is an option to defer payment for a couple of weeks. 

Campus Book Mart also has this option to defer payments. This student-focused store has a large inventory of any supplies students may need, ranging from binders to art supplies. In the lower level, they have MSU decorations, clothing and everything else one could think to put an MSU logo on.

Kelly Rucker, a junior accounting major, prefers Campus Book Mart due to a great first experience.

“The only place I’ve gotten my books from is the Campus Book Mart. It was the first place I went my freshman year, and I liked them so much I kept going back.”

Barnes and Noble has the largest inventory of MSU merchandise as well as a large variety of books, all while being conveniently located on campus. Barnes and Noble also price matches. They carry leisure books, all types of MSU merchandise, textbooks, school supplies and dorm room essentials. Inside their store is a Starbucks for students to enjoy coffee before, during or after their shopping experience.

If a student needs another option, there are plenty of online stores. Amazon, Chegg, Cengage, Facebook groups and many others have textbooks options. 

Chegg has a special subscription program which allows students to to rent books at a lower cost and offers assistance with solving math equations.

Cengage has a subscription for access codes. For engineering and math majors, this is a great resource. For the price of two access codes, students can have access codes to all classes for a year. Also, Cengage partners with Chegg to give students a trial of the Chegg subscription.

Goo Brown, a senior computer science major, mostly uses Chegg due to the low prices and quick shipping.

“I usually get my textbooks from Chegg because I can rent them. It’s easy, its free shipping and usually cheaper,” Brown said. 

There are also some people who try to sell books on Facebook Marketplace. It is possible to land a better deal by bargaining with a student rather than a company.

Additionally, Amazon has free Prime membership for students up to six months, then the price is half of a regular membership. Students can opt to rent or buy and receive the book within two business days. 

Thomas McBride, a sophomore accounting major and a theatre minor, compares the prices in town and online to find the best price.

“I get all my books online. I window-shop to see prices around town, but after that, I usually find a nice price on a used Amazon textbook,” McBride said. 

The best way to see where to get the best prices for textbooks is compare the prices of each store. For example, buying a used textbook for Management Information Systems would cost $88 at Campus Book Mart, $75 at Campus Bookstore, $129 at Barnes and Noble and $87 to buy a kindle edition on Amazon.

Each store has a unique feature, making all of them a great option for different needs. By analyzing one’s individual needs, there are many resources to get all school essentials for a great price and experience.

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