Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Woes of College Textbooks

I am playing a bit of catch up when it comes to school, and this fall I will be taking 18 hours. That is six classes at the junior and senior level. And I have 21 required books! Insane yes, because not only is that a lot of dough out of my pocket, but I have to manage to read all 21 books in one semester. I figured I would start ordering now so I could get a jump start on the reading, at least the novels. I got on to my school's bookstore site to get the new and used prices of all the books I needed. Then I researched prices on the internet and found most of my books at exceptional prices on sites such as Ebay and TextbooksRUs. I did have a hefty order at AbeBooks, but they cancelled my order without explanation after all of that searching and comparing, so I won't be dealing with them again. A few suggestions I have for the college book bonanza are:
  • Always note the publisher, year, and edition: some editions have extra inserts that you might need
  • Don't buy from your school bookstore unless it is a new edition with an required online component; they will always be overpriced
  • Don't mind the condition of the books; I used a book that someone had dropped in the tub, but it was still readable and was dirt cheap
  • Look for books with notes in the margin; the previous owner might have made a good point that you didn't think of
  • Check for students in your area getting rid of their books; they also are a great source of information if they had the same professor as you
  • When ordering from online sites, always go through Ebates to get some cash back
  • Keep all receipts in case it is the wrong book

1 comment:

thisjustin said...

You could also try using They are a textbook search engine that searches all the online retailers (including the ones you listed in your post) so you don't end up letting a better price slip by. You can also use their site to sell back your books at the end of the semester. Hope this was of help!