Given the average cost of postsecondary education, it often becomes imperative for students to cut costs in any way they can. One of the easiest ways to do so is to look for alternatives to buying text books brand new. Purchasing the books you need for your courses right out of the campus bookstore can cost hundreds of dollars, and the same can be said for buying them brand new from other brick and mortar stores. Though it may require a little extra effort, searching for cheaper textbooks can save you a large chunk of cash that you can then put towards other important things.
Look for Earlier Editions and Volumes
Content in university and college textbooks is frequently altered to reflect the changes made in course material. Because of this it’s common for there to be several editions or volumes of one particular textbook. Many students will be looking to sell their old textbooks, and if the editions they are looking to sell are outdated, you’ll likely be able to barter them down until you reach a very reasonable price. Additionally, you can search for earlier volumes both in brick and mortar stores and in online stores. If the older books are in stock, you’ll be able to purchase or even rent them for a fraction of what you would pay for them brand new. However, it’s important to realize that earlier editions will have differences in chapter orders, homework problems, and page numbers, which means you’ll have some things to figure out when it comes time for class.
One of the best ways to find used textbooks is to scout around campus for ads. Bulletin boards in the dorms, offices, and classroom facilities will contain ads posted by other students looking to sell textbooks that they can no longer use. In addition, you can check the college website or online student forums for similar ads. Though these students will be looking to generate cash by selling the books, they’ll likely also be selling them for far less than what you’d pay for them otherwise.
You can also check out online retailers for cheaper textbook alternatives. These retailers will likely have a large amount of stock, which means you’ll probably be able to find textbooks that are used or are older versions. Through an online book store you may also be provided with the opportunity to rent a textbook, new or used. The rental period will often be long enough to cover a semester or even two, and the cost will be insubstantial compared to what you’d buy the textbook for.
If you find that you have good fortune when it comes to finding cheaper textbook alternatives, you’ll likely consider using an online retailer to sell your books once you no longer need them. This can be a more expedient way of doing it than placing ads around campus. Selling your old textbooks can give you funds which you can put towards the textbooks you’ll need for courses in your upcoming semesters.