How to Save Money on Your College Textbooks

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When thinking of expenses for college, your textbooks are probably one of the biggest ones. College text books can easily cost as much as $200 when you purchase them new. When you are taking 4 or more classes every semester, it is a large expense. There are ways, however, to reduce the cost of your college textbooks to save money.

Never Buy New

In order to save the most money possible on your college text books, never buy new. The mark up on new books is huge, and because you will only be using the book for a few months it is also unnecessary. Even if the class you are taking just switched to a new text book doesn’t mean you have to buy it new. The majority of the time, you can find the same textbook online in used condition. There is just no excuse.

Shop Online

The internet is a great place to get used textbooks for your college course. Amazon, and Ebay offer a very large range of textbook that you can buy, all you need is the ISBN number for your required textbook. Because the internet allows many people to sell the same item, the prices are much less expensive than what you would pay at the campus book store. It is supply and demand. If you increase the supply and demand remains the same, then prices will drop. Take advantage of this and save money.

Buy an Older Edition

Did you know that most textbooks have several different editions? Whenever a new edition comes out, the older edition tends to drop in price. The changes that are made from one edition to the next are usually minimal, so it usually does not present a problem in the course. Consider this approach for courses that do not heavily rely on the textbook.

Sell It Back

When the semester ends, so many students keep their college textbooks when they could easily sell them back to the college bookstore. Most bookstores will buy back textbooks that are in good condition, helping you save money. Take advantage of this way to easily make some money back.

Occasionally, bookstores will not buy back a book because of condition or they have bought as many as they can. If this happens to you, do not give up. Post a 3×5 card to bulletin boards around campus advertising your book for sale. Make sure to price it for less than the bookstore has it for used but slightly more than they would have paid to buy it back. This gives your potential buyer a good deal, while maximizing your profits.

If you follow these rules every semester you will save hundreds of dollars by the time you graduate. If you are smart about how you use these tips, you can actually make money on your textbook purchases when it is time to sell them. Shop smart, you will be glad you did.


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