A surprising way to reduce the cost of replacing a book

When School Books Get Lost

by Kelli Workman

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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.

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. is also a site that can be checked to see if anyone is selling the desired textbook. It takes a little effort, but the search through all three websites can be completed in about twenty minutes. It can mean big savings if the search is successful.

Reviewed January 2018

Take the Next Step:

  • If at the end of the school year, you find your child has lost a textbook, take the time to search the above 3 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!
  • See why you should get your kids involved in their school lunches.
  • It is never too early to start teaching your children the importance of saving. Compare savings and money market account rates and open an account for them today.
  • 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'! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.

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