Part of student life is finding the funds for those very expensive university textbooks.  You might be lucky and be in a course with relatively cheap textbooks, but most of us will find ourselves in a course where there are more than one textbook with a 4 digit price tag, or close to it.  It is here where we need to get creative in finding where to buy your university textbooks.

General Online Stores:

A couple of generic online shop you can check-out.

 

Gumtree and OLX and Anazi.co.za:

It might not be fancy, but Gumtree, OLX and Anazi has shown to be worth a check out more than once.  If you are a picky book chooser then be extra careful of these sites.  The quality of the merchandise can be questionable.

Pros:  

  • Secondhand Textbooks: You can find really good bargains.

Cons:

  • You are still dealing with individual sellers, making the merchandise and service unpredictable.

 

Bid or Buy:

I have never used Bid or Buy so I can’t speak to the service, but I have been told this is a valuable option.  And, no credit card payments are needed, they have several payment options.

Pros:

  • Several Payment options.
  • Secondhand Textbooks: You can find really good bargains.
  • The vendors are rated, so you can try and ensure you get the best possible service

Cons:

  • You are still dealing with individual sellers, making the merchandise and service unpredictable.

 

Loot.co.za and Takealot:

Both of these online shops delivers with excellent service.  I can recommend both without a doubt.  They however only sell new textbooks, so changes for bargains are slim.  However you can always try and get a discount voucher off the web.

Pros:

  • Several Payment options.
  • Both have free delivery options
    • Loot – For anything over R250
    • Take a Lot – For anything bought off the app.

Cons:

  • The only sell new textbooks, no second hand bargain options.

 

Textbook Online Stores:

Pimp My Book:

I LOVE pimp my books, simply because it seems like a well oiled and honest machine.  The shop explains well how their service works, being reasonable with all their terms from the buying to the selling.  The principle is that the shop buys your old textbooks and the shop sells the secondhand textbooks.  You never have to deal with an individual buyer or seller again, yet you get the benefits of both new and secondhand online shops.

From the days of hustling in Res, we are now accredited merchants and proud members of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Eduloan and the South African Booksellers Association (SABA).

Pros:

  • Several Payment options.
  • They have some delivery options, including a free option.
  • Get the benefits of cheap secondhand textbooks and the excellent service of a well oiled machine.
  • They buy and sell, so get cash  back both ways.
  • They not only have an online shop, they have several shops close to university campuses, check their website.

Cons:

  • I can’t think of one, maybe a bit too pink:P

 

Educated Books and SloppySeconds:

Both of these online shops buy and sell secondhand textbooks.  However both of these website are far closer to the idea and service of Gumtree-like sites.  You deal with the individual seller and buyers, not the store.

Pros:  

  • Secondhand Textbooks: You can find really good bargains.

Cons:

  • You are still dealing with individual sellers, making the merchandise and service unpredictable.

 

Big Bookstores for University Students

Jutta

I always find what I was looking for at Jutta’s, their service I find to be slow but good.

  • Free delivery for orders over R350

 

Van Schaik

Generally I find them expensive and the service is questionable at most of their branches.  But they are an option if you need that textbook now, they have several branches across country.

  • Free delivery for orders over R750 (Until End March 2016)

 

Protea Book Store

They are situated in Pretoria, but I know deliver nationwide as well as international.  I always received excellent service, especially with their language department.  The staff understand the differences between their books, making recommendations has always helped me from them.  

 

Other Handy Book Finding places:

 

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 Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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