Categories: Academics

What To Keep Your Eyes Peeled For When Buying Textbooks

Your college textbooks can really add up over the years, costing you hundreds of dollars. When thinking about buying textbooks, there are a couple of insider tips you need to keep in mind, especially if you want to get the best deals! So read on and learn what to keep your eyes peeled for next time you’re buying textbooks. 

1. WAIT to buy your textbooks!

I cannot stress this enough: You need to WAIT until you’ve had your first class meeting before you buy your textbooks! There are many reasons why you should wait to buy your textbooks, from financial reasons to accessibility reasons, and this article will explain all of them. 

2. Don’t fall for your college classes’ “preordered book bundle” scams.

One of the many things you need to watch out for when purchasing your college textbooks is the “preordered book bundles” that swear you’ll save money if you order now. “But hurry,” they tell you, “you’ll miss this deal if you don’t wait.” I can see you now, squirming in your seat, your computer mouse hovering over the “add to cart” button. Stop! Avoid these scams at all costs!

Things can change at the drop of a hat, and another reason why you need to wait until you’ve had your first class meeting is that your professor might not follow the online syllabus. So although a class calls for specific books, your professor might change that. I can’t tell you how many times I showed up on my first day of class and my professor told us that he posted pages of the textbook for FREE online for us already. 

3. Do you really even need the textbook?

Another important thing to consider when purchasing textbooks, is finding out if you even really need them. Maybe your professor gets all of the exam questions from the lecture slides, and so spending $50 on the textbook is pointless. 

Take this tip a step further and go find someone who took the class before, and ask them to give you the scoop. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you found out you don’t even need the textbook?! 

4. Is your textbook offered in the school library?

Something else you need to consider is finding out if your school library has the textbooks you need. If this is the case, then consider only using the school library books. There are ups and downs to this. On the downside, you can’t mark the book and it might even be checked out when you really need it. But if you plan accordingly, you not only will save a ton of money, but you can dedicate study time for that class in the library as well. 

5. Is there a cheaper version on Amazon?

Amazon is truly the way to go. If you are a Bachelor of Arts major, then 9 times out of 10 your textbook is on Amazon! Amazon is a great choice because you usually have the option to choose new textbooks or used ones. The used books are usually a couple dollars cheaper. Just don’t get carried away with online shopping!

6. Have you already checked for eBooks at B-ok cc?

A great website to check is B-ok cc for free pdfs of your textbooks. This might not be for you if you like to physically hold your textbooks, but hey, we’re living in a digital world! And if you have to choose between dropping $50 dollars versus a free textbook, I think choosing the free option is better! Plus, eBooks have the control F feature, making them a prime tool when it comes to studying or taking quizzes. 

7. Do you know someone who took the class and will give you their textbook?

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help! Call your bestie or that classmate you partnered up with, and ask them if they are willing to sell you their textbook. If you’re really lucky, they might just give it to you for free! 

See Also

8. Check for rented books first.

If you do decide to purchase textbooks at your college store, then always head for the rented section first. The downside to this is you’ll have to return it at the end of the school year, so no marking up your textbook! However, rented books are always cost-effective, and you can just use sticky notes to get the job done!

9. Don’t get your books the very first week of school.

While it is customary to purchase your textbooks early, at least wait until the first week of school has passed. During that first hectic week, the campus bookstore will be flooded with clueless freshmen and many marketing scams. So, wait until the crowd dies down and avoid those unnecessarily long lines! Besides, you’re supposed to wait until AFTER you have your first class meeting, remember? 

10. If your textbook is out of stock, your college bookstore will order it for you.

Although this might seem like a no-brainer, many college students don’t know this. So don’t panic if you see that all of the textbooks you need are missing! Take a deep breath, and ask the clerk to please put an order in for whatever it is you need. It’s your college’s job to make sure you have all of the resources you need to succeed, so they will put that order in no questions asked. 

11. Know your college’s return policy BEFORE you buy your textbooks.

Once you buy your college textbooks in the campus store, regardless if they are a hard copy or eBook, you most likely will not be able to return them. So rather than find out on the first day of class that you purchased a $100 lab manual that you don’t need and can’t return, find out your college campus bookstore’s return policy. It will save you time, money, and a headache!

Did any of these tips help you when you purchased your textbooks? Are there any tips that you live by? Share your thoughts below!

Feature Image Source:
Amber Reinhart

Author | Poli Sci & English Major | Chihuahua Fanatic | Avid Soccer Player | #QueenToStephenKing | “Be brave, Bright. Do your best.” |

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