If you haven’t noticed already, textbooks are a money making scheme. In fact, thanks to the myriad textbooks published every year and the lack of regulation by institutions as to when and why a textbook will be upgraded to a new edition, students pay millions in extra just because two words were changed in the new edition and maybe one or two new visual diagrams were added.
The reason behind this is simple; a professor will write or collaborate with a few fellow professors and put together a textbook which in turn he pitches to his colleagues and other educational institutions for them to use it in their curriculum. If the textbook is accepted, students are now required to purchase the new edition and the campus bookstores will refuse to buy back old textbooks.
It might not seem like such a bad idea depending on the major you are in, but pre-medical and nursing students can testify to the fact that an average textbook for any of their core classes can cost between $300-$1,000.That figures is per semester and not the entire school year.
So if you’re looking on ways to cut down your educational bill, here are some tips that you can use to help you save hundreds, if not thousands on textbooks.
Even your campus bookstore will tell you “used saves.” If you are not doing so, than you’re spending extra money, rather wasting money which could have gone in your pocket. However, many a times, the campus bookstore will sell out of used books very quickly and thus leave students with either the option to find the book elsewhere at a discounted price, or buy the book new. For those of you who would like to go with the first option, keep reading.
Many campus bookstores are allowing students to rent textbooks instead of buying them. Not only does it save the educational institution money, because they no longer have to buy back textbooks, the student can save hundreds as well.
Just make sure to read the guidelines of renting textbooks, and most naturally they will have a policy that if the textbook is damaged, the student will pick up full price for the damaged material.
If your campus shop does not offer any renting services, there are online websites that will allow this. A quick Google or Bing search of “rent textbooks” will bring up more than a few businesses that will rent textbooks for reasonable rates.
Probably the best online resource for buying both new and used textbooks, Amazon generally has lower rates than if you bought the same used book at a campus bookstore. Thanks to discounts offered by Amazon to students, shipping can be reduced and generally books arrive within 7-14 days.
Half.com is a website owned by the online auction giant eBay Inc. However, Half.com has taken a different approach however. Instead of people bidding on products they would like, everything is a fixed price. But the prices can be ridiculously cheap. Half.com specializes in books, video games, CD’s, DVD’s and other forms of media only.
Glyde is still in beta form, but it does offer an easy way for users to sell and buy media. The process is simple and the site has many textbooks which can be purchased from people from around the U.S as well as other countries.
Borrow or buy your textbooks from classmates
Most naturally you know someone who has taken the class you are interested in and they might have a textbook that you need which the campus bookstore refused to buy back. Work something out with them, borrow, rent, swap or buy their textbook. Most naturally their asking price will be a lot less than what you would pay at any of the sites listed above or worse your campus bookstore.