College is one large expense, there’s dorm life, meal plans, school supplies, textbooks, textbooks and even more textbooks. If you want to eventually graduate you’re going to have to invest money into textbooks which can cost a fortune. So, your new mission, should you choose to accept it is: get cheap textbooks.
I will never forget, freshman orientation. I was told to buy all my textbooks brand new at the campus book store. I was given a syllabus and was told I’d need every book on that list. EVERY LAST BOOK! The list had about 15 books. That is a lot of money on textbooks.
While at orientation I met a friend, a friend who forever changed my life. He looked at me and said, “Did you go to the bookstore and buy all your books brand new?” I was taken back and said, “Not yet.” he told me in front of my mom, “Go to the bookstore, by your books brand new, get the receipt from mom, go and return them and walk across the street and buy them for 1/2 off.” I was stunned.
Come to find out, there are many options for buying textbooks that will save you money.
Once you get your syllabus, wait until the first week of classes before you buy your textbooks. I suggest this in case you drop the classes, the professor wants different textbooks or, in some cases, the professor might provide textbooks.
Online: There are many great online websites that sell books at a discounted rate. I personally love bookrenter.com because you’re renting your textbooks and the price includes shipping both ways. And, for every book rented, they plant a tree. Also, Chegg.com is a great website to buy textbooks. If you can’t find what you need there, check out Amazon.com, abebooks.com and even half.com
Community bookstores: There are always community book stores around, check their pricing before you buy from the campus book store.
Social Media: Turn to social media when it comes to your textbooks. Most colleges set up a freshman class Facebook page. Try to join the group one year above yours and ask them for textbooks or just post it as a status update on your page. You’d be surprised at how many people have those books and would be glad to get rid of them.
Buyback: When you get a buy back option on your books… take it! Set a reminder date in your calendar and be sure to sell the book back. If there is no buy back option, you can certainly sell most textbooks at neighboring book stores. Be sure to go following your exams so that you don’t get stuck with a book. If you wait too long before you sell it back, a new edition might come out and then yours is not sellable.
Online: Use the internet to sell back your used textbooks. The same sites listed above will buy back your textbooks at a reduced rate. You won’t ever get the same amount you paid but hey, it’s something. Also, share with friends on social media the textbooks you have, who knows they might be taking that class next semester.
Community: Use the community, network with clubs and organizations, post flyers around campus and talk to your previous professors. Let them know you are looking to sell textbooks and have them ask their current students. Who knows, someone might not have bought a textbook, they don’t want to pay shipping so they will buy your book right then and there.
Textbooks don’t have to be the biggest expense when it comes to college. There are many ways to keep from paying full price! If you have other ways please share them with me so I can share them with our peers!