Textbooks are VERY costly for students today. However, it is easy to save money, as long as you know how to do so. Here are a few useful tips for students, scholars and avid readers in general.
1. Plan Ahead
Talk with your instructors to see if the latest edition of a book is absolutely necessary. If only a chapter is different, maybe you can borrow someone’s book and copy that chapter, but save hundreds of dollars on purchasing an older copy. Do you need the book the first day, or can you wait a few days so that you can shop online? What classes are your friends taking? Maybe you guys can just share for the semester. Also, don’t forget about the library. This is especially true for English classes. Usually, checking a book out at a University library will allow you to keep the book for the entire semester (if not year), so just don’t lose it, and you could save TONS.
2. Go Online
First know that you should price compare on websites. There are a number of websites that allow you to do so for all the major book sellers. You can put in the ISBN, title and other information on any book you are looking for. Once this is coded in, you hit enter and the website will show you every listing for the same book on the online market currently. Make sure you double check information on anything you buy, to be sure it is the textbook you want. Next you should try shopping around on auctions. Listing on used book selling webpages are okay, but the best deals are found by playing the auction market. Many expensive books can be had for pennies on the dollar via the auction listings. These are usually higher quality books from actual book selling retailers, not just used independent sellers. A good book used is often of great quality. Again, always double check that you are dealing with a retailer of good reputation and standing.
3. It’s Classified
Next you should check the local classified ads to see if anyone is reselling their used books. If you find that no one is selling a particular textbook for a reasonable price, check for students that are reselling books on the classified ad websites. They may have highlighting, but it will be useful and not damaging. Often, these books will have little or not sign of wear at all. The students just want to make a little more money than they would be offered by their local college bookstores.
4. Down the Road
Each semester you should consider selling your used books online to make cash. You might want to sign up for an auction website or a used book webpage. As a regular reseller, you will make back more of your investment than selling them all over the place. Keep your books in good shape and you might even be able to make some real profits off of them. If you’re lucky enough to find friends in your major, ask around to see what classes people have taken. Maybe you can simply borrow books from them instead of buying new.
Always consider keeping your textbooks, as this is the best way to get the most value out of them, but that is up to the buyer to decide for themselves. The value of having your own reference library can be great, especially if you are going into a field that is devoted to scholarly work. No matter what, saving or reselling books is good for the planet and very green-friendly. Do not throw away those unwanted textbooks, but find someway to make use of them. Even donating them to your local library or thrift store can get you a tax break.