I have a rather undesirable track record with scoring used homeschool curriculum deals…well until recently that is.
A package came in the mail today and I proudly help it up to my husband.
“This teacher’s manual cost almost $80!”
My husband gave me a raised eyebrow look that said, “Man, homeschool can be expensive…but what can you do, right?”
I triumphantly said, “But I got this used and only paid $20!”
It felt so good to see the shock and impressed look on his face.
You see, I’m not very good at getting deals. And definitely not good at getting used homeschool curriculum deals.
I am pretty tall so I never ever find things at a thrift store or at a clearance sale.
The size 11 women’s shoe section is pretty slim picking – if you didn’t know – which means I never get a deal on shoes.
Payless Shoes closing was a dark day for me. For real.
I have tried to learn how to coupon, but found it overwhelming and futile. All the coupons seemed to be for stuff I don’t buy.
Why aren’t there coupons for things like apples?
So when it came to hunting used homeschool curriculum deals over the past few years, I wasn’t surprised to find out I was a colossal failure at that too.
5 Used Homeschool Curriculum Options that Haven’t Worked for Me
We are a one income homeschooling family with three kids and we live in a very expensive part of the country – so we need some used homeschool curriculum deals.
It wasn’t that bad when I was only homeschooling my oldest, but the books have really started to add up now that all three of my kids are in the mix.
As a word of caution, here are some of the options I have tried to score deals…and why they failed me:
I thought for sure that Ebay was the place to pick up the best deals on used homeschool curriculum.
I did find that if I searched a curriculum, I could almost always find it – which was a plus!
BUT, I also found it difficult to keep up with the bidding. That took time and the price often rose pretty close to what I would pay for a new version of the curriculum.
Sometimes you had to wait 5-10 days for the bidding to end, only to find out you lost.
I had lost time and had nothing to show for it. What was the point?
More often than not, I just ended up buying the curriculum new. The hassle of dealing with Ebay bidding wars was not worth the $10 I might be saving by the time it was all over.
I have had luck getting some books from thriftbooks.com for AMAZING deals.
They sell at a rock bottom price with nearly free shipping rates.
I ordered a history book that my kids loved from the library, so we could have a copy to keep. I also snagged a kid’s devotional book and some Veggie Tale childrens books that my kids wanted.
BUT, when it came to real deal used homeschool curriculum – I found that just about every search led to a “currently unavailable” notification.
They do carry used homeschool curriculum, but it goes ridiculously quickly and with my track record on deals – I was never able to be in the right place at the right time.
****UPDATE 2/2020: I have found that I have more luck getting used homeschool curriculum at Thriftbooks if I shop in the “off season” and I don’t need the curriculum NOW. The off season would be anytime between November – July. As an example, I just purchased a very popular teachers manual there for less than $7 (including shipping!). They don’t have other books I’m looking for, but I’ll keep an eye out and hope to snag another great deal!
3. Friends/Swap Meetings
I have a good number of homeschool friends and I’ve heard it’s a good idea to trade or buy used curriculum from friends.
Here is the thing though: There are about a million different homeschool curriculum options out there.
The chances that your friend has the curriculum you want AT the grade level you want…is pretty slim.
Chances are even slimmer that you have something of equal value that they need.
On another note, I find that people hold on to the quality curriculum because they want to pass it down to younger kids – which makes sense.
But still doesn’t help me score any used homeschool curriculum deals.
****UPDATE 2/2020: I do want to add here that even though I’m not a big fan of swapping curriculum between friends, it is helpful to ask friends if you can flip through their curriculum before you buy it yourself. I saved myself a good chunk of money recently by asking a friend to bring some books for me to look at. They loved the curriculum….but I quickly decided it wasn’t for us after flipping through it. That was definitely a savings of money and time for me.
4. Homeschool Classifieds
Homeschoolclassifieds.com is a very popular used homeschool curriculum site that I have seen recommended in several places.
It’s kind of like a Craigslist for used homeschool curriculum.
When I went to the website, I was surprised to see how antiquated the site was and how difficult it was to navigate.
You cannot purchase the curriculum out right either – you have to email the owner and start a dialogue with them.
It was definitely a clunky user experience for me and I didn’t find any deals for the curriculum I was shopping for.
Interestingly, when I went to FAQ section of the website, I found lots of answers to questions about emails going unanswered from sellers and issues with fraud/scams/banned sellers.
Um, no thanks.
****Update 2/2020: I went back to Homeschool Classifieds recently looking for an older edition teacher’s manual I needed for this awesome math program. I used search, found what I needed, and then was prompted to email the person selling the used curriculum. She was very responsive and had a reasonable price, so I paid her via Paypal. I made sure to use the option the “Buyers Protection” that PayPal offers so that I can be refunded my money if she never ships the curriculum.
No matter what used homeschool curriculum platform you are using, be sure to use Paypal and click the lower options “Paying for an item or service.” This will protect you if you do not receive the item or if the item is not what they said it would be. All you have to do is contact Paypal and you should be refunded.
Homeschoolbooksforless.com is a lesser known place to get used homeschool curriculum. It is run similarly to HomeschoolClassifieds, but is smaller and caters to Christian Homeschool curriculum shoppers.
You will find a lot of BJU and Abeka curriculum here and what they call “everything else.”
There are also no pictures included of the curriculum – just titles, condition, and edition being sold. I also noticed the prices are lower than new curriculum…but not by much.
On the bright side, there is a checkout cart – no having to mess with email strangers and working out the sale on your own.
The lack of choices doesn’t really work for me here, but it may be worth a shot to check back on occasion and see what’s in stock.
The Unexpected Option For Used Homeschool Curriculum Deals That Works!
Call me crazy or late to the party, but the almighty Amazon is the place to be to score EASY deals on homeschool curriculum.
As we all know, Amazon sells everything, so I would always search for curriculum in order to read reviews.
Not too long ago, I noticed a tiny link on the screen that said, “x used from $x.xx”
Low and behold, that button took you to a world of used curriculum that makes a homeschool mom’s heart swell with joy!
Why Amazon is Awesome for Used Homeschool Curriculum
Like I said, Amazon sells everything, so their inventory is huge. Your chances of finding your curriculum are very high.
I have actually done a search to compare, and Amazon’s used prices are lower than anything I could find for the curriculum I was searching.
It’s fast. No need to email the seller. No need to wait to win a bidding war. Click buy and move on with your life.
It’s reliable. You can easily see the seller’s rating, but you can also contact Amazon customer service if you run into an issue. Amazon is much more likely to refund you money if you have a problem in order to keep you happy – something the classified site cannot do.
You may support a good cause! A number of used books I bought actually came from Good Will. It felt good to know that I was supporting a company like that!
Exactly How It Works to Get Used Homeschool Curriculum on Amazon
If you’re at all confused, I just want to break down the steps and make it really simple to get your deals!
- Go to Amazon and search for your curriculum.
- Click on your curriculum
- Look just below the “new” price to see if there is a used option and then click on it. Below is a screenshot as an example:
Can I brag about my used homeschool curriculum deals for a minute?
Like I said, I don’t get deals very often, so this discovery has been huge for me.
Here are some of the things I have bought lately and how much I saved.
I saved $60 on this Language Arts Teacher Manual
I saved $20 on this fantastic Spelling curriculum
I saved $17 on this Grammar Teacher’s manual
I saved $14 on our favorite writing curriculum
I saved $15 on our Anatomy science curriculum and activity book
For a woman who doesn’t normally score deals – this feels pretty great!
Besides the money saved, the best part is that it didn’t take any more time or effort than it would have to buy the curriculum new – so awesome!
Sadly, while I was searching my amazon account to pull those links for you…I found old purchases where I COULD have gotten a used copy but paid full price instead.
Oh, the regret.
But thankfully, that will never happen again!
I am now the kind of person who gets deals!
Used Homeschool Curriculum Items You Want to Be Careful About Buying
I have had no issues with any curriculum I have bought used from Amazon, but I have read a lot of reviews and wanted to give you a little bit of caution about some things.
Workbooks or other consumable items. I have heard that sometimes they can arrive with a good amount already written in them, which can be a big disappointment. Make sure you are careful what condition the book is in before purchasing.
Books with extra parts such as CDs. I have heard of buyers being frustrated that CDs or other things were missing when the item was delivered. Again, be careful to check the condition before purchasing.
Curriculum that requires many pieces. If you are trying to individually buy something that requires a teacher’s manual, workbook, test booklets, reading sets, manipulative pieces, etc. it can be very difficult to save money buying all of it used. By the time you add up all the extra shipping for buying it in pieces (if you can even find every piece), you likely have not saved enough money to make the pain worth it.
Always make sure that the editions match if you are buying a teacher’s manual and workbook separately. Nothing is more frustrating than getting excited about your deal…only to find out that they are wrong editions.
Recap Used Homeschool Curriculum Deals from Amazon
Make sure the next time you are on the hunt for used homeschool curriculum and resources – look on Amazon for a quick, painless shopping experience!
I know you will be shocked at what you can find, how convenient the platform is to use compared to other vendors, and how fast the process is.
You are a busy homeschool mom, and I know you don’t have time to track down sellers by email, wait out bidding wars, or try to sift through classified ads that are full of outdated curriculum being sold at too high of a price.
Especially if you have multiple kids and lots to buy.
Want to save this for info for later? Got you covered! Just pin this to your favorite Pinterest Board and be sure to share with friends and followers who could use a deal!