When School Books Get Lost

by Kelli Workman

Related Articles

How to Save on College Textbooks

Used Textbooks

I guess it was inevitable that my son and daughter would lose their share of school and library books. At the end of each school year, I would have to pay the lost book fees before their report cards would be released. I hated dishing out the money, since several times the books were taken from their desks when they were absent.

The situation grew worse when they entered middle school and then high school. The school text books used in the higher grades are more comprehensive and more expensive. I almost fainted when my son came home and told me that we owed $69 for a lost social studies book. There was no way I was forking over sixty-nine of my hard earned dollars. I was determined to find a way around this.

My first thought was that maybe I could find a store that sold used textbooks, but then a question came to mind. I wondered if Amazon.com sold school text books. I thought it unlikely that they would carry high school books, but I decided to give it a try. I sent my son to school to get as much information about the textbook that he could get. I wanted title, author, name of publisher, and year of publishing. I also wanted to know if it was a first, second, third, or fourth edition. I asked my son to describe the colors and pictures on the cover and any special wording.

When I had gathered all the information, I typed the title into the Amazon.com search engine. I was both shocked and thrilled to see that Amazon did indeed have many copies of the textbook. They had the exact edition for which I was looking. My son was able to look at the picture on Amazon and verify that it was the correct textbook. I sent a quick email to a few of the sellers to see who was carrying the special Florida edition that I needed. Then I read the condition of the books from the various sellers. I purchased a second hand textbook from Amazon, and it was delivered to me in under ten days. The cost of the textbook and the shipping totaled $20.49. I had saved myself $48.51, and I couldn't have been happier. Furthermore, the book arrived in such good condition. It looked brand new, so the school was very happy, too. Amazon had saved me money on many books that I enjoyed reading. Now I knew that they would cut my costs in replacing lost school books, too.

Get the lowest prices on new, used, and rental textbooks at Bookbyte.com

I have since discovered that if I can't find a school textbook on Amazon.com, I do not need to give up the search. BarnesandNoble.com also sells school textbooks. They offer a nice savings on new textbooks and a hefty discount on used copies. Ebay.com. and Half.com are also websites that can be checked to see if anyone is selling the desired textbook. It takes a little effort, but the search through all four websites can be completed in about twenty minutes. It can mean big savings if the search is successful.

Take the Next Step:

  • If at the end of the school year, you find your little darling has misplaced a textbook, take the time to search the above four websites for the desired textbook. Don't forget to pay attention to the edition number. It may mean big savings for you if your search is successful!
  • Save hundreds on your college textbooks with BookRenter.com!
  • It's tough raising kids today! You need every time and money saving idea you can find. That's why you'll want to get our free weekly Dollar Stretcher for Parents newsletter. You'll find great ideas designed just for parents that will help your family 'live better...for less'!

Read about "Lost School Books" in The Dollar Stretcher Community

Share your thoughts about this article with the editor

Stay Connected with TDS

Live Better...for Less!

Join over 250,000 other subscribers who are "living better for less."

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
After 50 Finances
Surviving Tough Times
Financial Independence
The Computer Lady

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt