I will never forget my very first semester of college, walking to the book store with my new friends, excited to pick up brand spanking new textbooks. The glossy covers and knowledge filled pages that lye within protected by a thin, sealed layer of plastic wrap, as if these things are worth hundreds. I gathered my 5 books, one for each class and well, $800 dollars later, the plastic wrap made sense. After paying tuition, the amount doesn’t seem all that fair for a brand new textbook but luckily over my years in college, I picked up a few tricks along the way. Here is a guide on how to compare textbook prices to get the best deals you can find, because as college students, whatever money we have left, should go towards living our best lives!
Did you know that most college and universities book stores offer a rent fee? I didn’t either until I asked. What it means to rent a textbook is that, some, not all, books are available to be rented at a cheaper price then a full purchase and must be returned by a certain date at the end of the semester in as good of quality as you picked it up in. If your textbook is available to rent, then I’d say it’s a well worth it investment for the semester and gets the book off your hands when you’re done with it.
2. Buy and Sell
Another quirk of college and university book stores is the ability to buy and sell back. Double check with your book store before making a full purchase because if you choose the buy and sell back option then you can essentially save yourself a lot of money. The way the buy and sell back works is, as usual you’d purchase the textbook and the school would agree to buy it back from you at the end of the semester. It’s a good way to come into a little money that you would have lost otherwise!
Look out for Facebook groups that advertise trading textbooks within your school or program. There are a lot more students out there then you would think who are trying to get a textbook off their hands. The way this works is when you are done with your textbook, you can post it up for sale, or trade within the Facebook group and let members know what you are looking for. More times than not, this is a great way to get a textbook for cheap or an even trade.
4. Go Splits
Splitting a textbook with a friend might sound like a really bad idea, but it actually works out really well when you both establish a schedule. Ideally, you and a classmate, both pay half each for the textbook and work together to wither find a schedule that works for you both or spend time studying with the textbook together.
Lets’ talk about the online ordering website that everyone swears by, Amazon. Not only can you order cool items to fill your dorm room, or supplies that every student needs but you can also order textbooks. The best part about ordering textbooks online at Amazon that that they are almost always discounted and will get to your door step in less than a week. Just in time for your first pop quiz!
6. Do Your Research
This point is KEY throughout a university of college career. Always, always, always do your research, no matter what. Yes, it is time consuming and at times, can be a little frustrating but finding websites, bookstores, or classmates to share with will actually make your life so much easier in the long run. I promise, if get in the habit of doing your research, you will end up saving a lot of money and being a lot less stressed!