College textbooks add some serious weight to your credit card bill. Because of this you should invest some time exploring your options. If you follow these guidelines you can limit your losses when buying textbooks, and in some circumstances, even make money.
DO YOUR TEXTBOOK HOMEWORK
- Find out who your teachers are and EXACTLY what books they would like you to buy …OR
- Go to your bookstore and collect the ISBN numbers of all your textbooks.
- If you can, email the teacher to see how often the book will be referenced, and if he or she will allow an older edition to be used. (Professors sometimes mandate a new edition and then never use it for anything more than light reading)
- Determine if it is cheaper to buy your books online or at your bookstore (Consider shipping costs).
- Figure out if any of your books include a CD or other supplementary material.
- Explore the idea of sharing a textbook with a friend or roommate.
- Consider renting a textbook. If renting is not your style, then use the following guidelines.
You CAN buy used books at your bookstore. These books have the potential to save you 50% or more on your final textbook bill. However, bookstores still markup these used versions to make a profit. Instead of buying from your bookstore you should purchase from one of the many online book retailers. This leads to the next rule…
BUY BOOKS ONLINE
There is an army of online retailers and peer-t0-peer lending communities dedicated to solving your textbook problem. A few online retailers that offer low textbook prices are:
SELL YOUR BOOKS ONLINE
At the end of the semester don’t forget that you can sell textbooks. Take good notes while you’re in a class, and you’ll have no reason to keep your book at the end of the semester.
Again, avoid selling your book back to the college bookstore or flotilla of book stands that bud out of nowhere towards the end of the semester. They are exploiting your laziness and make quite a large profit from it. Instead, list your books on amazon marketplace or another online site. Even after you pay for a flat rate postage box to ship your book you’ll still make more money than if you sold it back to the bookstore.
Another perquisite of selling your books online is that you can sell books that your bookstore may not be buying back but are perfectly good.
Buying books for your classes is a process that you should invest some time into. If money is no contest this article may not be helpful. However, if you have some extra time and money is tight, you can use this article to help you save vast amounts of cash.