Textbooks are a major expense for college students in this day and age. Many college freshmen start planning what kind of amazing dorm decorations and furnishings they will get until they discover that their books will cost them over $500 for the fall semester alone, even if they buy them used. However, many college seniors will have figured out the secrets of purchasing textbooks at much lower rates. Here are just some of the ways that you too can save on your books before you spend a semester of cracking them.
The simplest way to save money on textbooks is to check each local book store before buying all of your books. Get the cheapest prices for your books and buy them individually instead of purchasing them all at one store. One store may have lower prices for the most part, yet they may not have the used copy of a textbook you need and another store will. You may end up buying half of your books at one store and half at another, but you can save serious cash this way.
Buy from and Sell to Other Students
Textbook stores sell used books at a considerable markup. This does not mean that they are bad people, they are just trying to pay their employees and keep their lights on. Nevertheless, the guy that you know who is taking the class you are registering for next semester does not have to pay anyone a wage. He just wants money for gas, food, or beer. He also knows that you will pay him about twice the measly rate that a book store would. So go ahead and pay him $40 for the book that would cost you $80 used and he gets $40 instead of $20. You both win. Then once you pass the class you can do the same thing but from the seller’s perspective.
Buy from Amazon
Amazon.com has great deals on textbooks. Used copies can be much cheaper on Amazon than you could get them even from another student. Amazon will take about a week to ship your books to you, but it can be much more cost effective. No one actually needs books during the first week of class anyway, and if you really do most universities have them in the library’s course reserve section.
Buy Older Editions
If a professor tells you that you need All About Psychology, 3rd Edition, odds are that the second edition will work just fine. Textbook authors and publishers get to keep selling new textbooks by giving you new statistics and graphs that have been updated for the past few years that you will not use anyway. Remember to check with the professor first, and ask them what the real difference between the two editions is if they hesitate to say yes.
These are just a few great ways to save on textbook expenses. Trying them out will undoubtedly result in you saving quite a bit of cash that you would much rather be using to be buying pizzas with anyway.