An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks

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While college is a wonderful thing, college textbooks are not. Students are often charged way too much for textbooks and publishers often put out a new edition every year, even though it isn’t needed. The following tips will help college students not only get a good deal on their textbooks, but it will also give them some information that only the insider’s know about.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #1: Cheaper Prices Online

Many students don’t realize that they can get their books cheaper online. In fact, you can actually get college textbooks for under $1! I have found many deals at Amazon and Half.com. Over the past two semesters I’ve probably saved around $300 shopping online for my books. Do a little comparison shopping online before buying your textbooks.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #2: New Editions

Many people don’t realize, but textbook publishers put out new editions in which all they change are the page numbers. They may move the sections around a little, but that’s it. It’s always a good idea to talk to your instructor about the book that will be used, if it’s a new book.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #3: Campus Bookstore

Avoid the campus bookstore like you would the plague. Campus bookstores charge outrageous prices for college textbooks. Books that you might find online for $5, you will pay $50 for in the campus bookstore.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #4: Bookstore Buyback

One good thing about the campus bookstore is the ability to sell your books back to them at the end of the semester. Most campus bookstores will not care if you bought the book from them or not. You will usually get half or what the bookstore originally charged for the book.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #5: Online Buyback

If your bookstore will not be selling the textbooks you have, during the next semester, you can always go online and sell your books. These companies usually provide the shipping labels, so all you have to do is mail them the books and they’ll send you a check.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #6: Highlighting and Other Marks

When you plan to sell your college textbooks back to the bookstore or online, you will get more money for books that are free of blemishes. So avoid writing in your book or using a highlighter.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #7: Used

If you can get used textbooks, that’s the way to go. You can get used textbooks in the bookstore or from students who have already taken the course. Also check online stores like Amazon.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #8: Not Always Necessary

A college textbook is not always necessary. In fact, some courses never even use the books that they make you buy. Talk with students who have taken the course before and see if the textbook is used and how often.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #9: More Than One Course

Sometimes there are textbooks that are used for more than one course. This means you will be able to use that book for more than one semester while only paying one price. Check course descriptions and find out which books will be used for future courses.

An Insider’s Guide to College Textbooks #10: Other Editions

If you talk with your instructor you may find out that you don’t need the new edition of the book that the older edition will do just fine. This will save you a lot of money.