Save Money on Your Textbooks

As if tuition costs weren’t high enough, the amount of money you spend on textbooks alone can equal up to two months worth of rent. Depending on which classes you take, especially core classes like science and math that require massive-sized textbooks, expect to pay as much as $100 per book. But you don’t necessarily have to spend a small fortune on books to jumpstart your education. Here are some tips on how to save money on textbooks.

If you purchase your textbooks early enough, most university bookstores will offer both new and used selections. Try your best to always go for the used option. They are usually offered at a highly discounted rate and are in decent condition. There are some used books that may have excess highlighting or a ripped spine and or pages, so make sure you flip through the book to check the quality before purchasing it. Want to buy a used book that’s offered even cheaper than the official bookstore? Try scouring online stores and resale book shops like Half Priced Books for better deals. Just make sure to check the store’s return policy. You never know, you might order or select the wrong book or drop the class and want to be able to return it.

Another thing to consider is e-books. While e-books aren’t available for all classes, this option is starting to gain a lot of popularity. Check to see if the textbook you need is offered electronically before you purchase a hardcopy. E-books are sold at a fraction of the original cost and it’s a little more convenient since you don’t have to tote around heavy textbooks all day long. You can download your textbook straight to your laptop or even your smartphone.

Reserving a book can cut down on costs too. Most likely your school will have a copy of the textbook you need at the library. While you can ideally scan and photocopy every single page in the textbook, it can get tiresome and tedious. Most libraries won’t allow students to actually check out textbooks if there is only one copy available, but they are allowed to reserve it. This means that you can go in at anytime and if no one is using it, you can read it and use it for an allotted time.

Finally, consider selling your book back. Official college bookstores will purchase your book back, depending on the quality and if professors will use that same edition for the following semester. The best time to sell back for most schools is during finals week because the most money is offered during this time. Other stores will also offer to buy your books back. Compare and contrast the amount offered before deciding who to go to get the most amount back.

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