Every year tuition at colleges throughout the country gets more expensive. College textbooks prices have also gone way up. A freshman attending school full time can expect to pay from $300 to $600 for books for just one semester. What can be done to buy the required books without going broke in the process? Let’s explore a few options that could save you some money.
Buy Early. The bookstore at your school may have used books available for purchase. Going to the book store in person will allow you to look over used books and select books that are used but are in good condition. If you do not buy early there may not be any used books available or the used books may be worn with lots of highlighting and writing inside.
Comparison Shop on the Internet. There are many web sites that sell new and used textbooks. Popular sites include Amazon.com, BiggerBooks.com, eCampus.com, TextbooksNow.com, Half.com and many others. Campusbooks.com is a great site that will do the comparison shopping for you. Just type in the ISBN number of the book that you want to purchase and campusbooks.com will show you the price of the book including shipping costs at over 20 web retailers.
Bid on Your Books. Ebay.com is a great place to find book bargains. Just type the ISBN number of your book in the “Buy” column and you will see all of the books that are available.You decide how much you will pay, and if you are the highest bidder, the seller will contact you regarding how to pay for your book. If you do not care to bid on your books, many sellers offer “Buy it Now” at a fixed price. Be sure to check the cost of shipping, because each seller sets their own price. Paypal.com is the most convenient way to pay for your Ebay purchases, but many sellers will accept a check or money order.
Get rid of your books when you are done with them. At the end of the semester when you are all done with your books, you can also try to make a little cash. Sometimes, you may be able to successfully sell the book back to your school, even though you didn’t buy it from them in the first place. If you’re a real slickster, you might be able to get more money back from the school for selling them the book than you actually paid for it. I was able to pull that off a couple times, but it can be tricky depending on your school’s buy back policy and procedure.
If your school won’t buy the book back for whatever reason, you can also try the old fashioned way of reselling your book by posting up a flyer on a bulletin board. This still actually works, and someone who is taking the class next semester can get a good deal on the book themselves, while you regain some of your hard-earned cash.Alternatively, you can try the high-tech method of reselling your books online. You can put it up for auction on eBay, or do a listing on Half.com, or sell it to a number of online book buy back websites. Online book buyback websites don’t often pay as much as you can make on eBay or Half.com, but if you are looking to get rid of them quick this may be the best route. If you are listing your books on eBay, the best time to list them is about 2 to 4 weeks before the start of classes. If you put them up for sale in the middle of a semester, they aren’t as likely to be bought.
You won’t get rich selling back your college textbooks, but hey, if you can buy yourself another pack of beer, a couple more pizzas, or that cd you’re just dying to have, you’ve succeeded. Every dollar counts when you’re a poor student.