Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

    One of the most frustrating aspects of budgeting in college is the cost of textbooks. Nobody thinks that they will be a major expense before they go, but when they can be as high as $900 a semester, coming up with ways to reduce the costs of textbooks becomes a high priority for many.

    Paying full price for textbooks is a lot like walking into a car dealership and paying the sticker price listed on the car without even making an attempt to negotiate. While this is certainly something that you can do it, you will end up paying a lot more than you would be paying if you had done just a little bit of work. The following are ten ways that you can greatly reduce the amount your pay for textbooks:

    <script type="text/javascript">google_ad_client = "pub-8949118578199171";google_ad_width = 728;google_ad_height = 90;google_ad_format = "728x90_as";google_ad_channel ="";google_color_border = "EAEAEA";google_color_bg = "EAEAEA";google_color_link = "4271B5";google_color_url = "99CC66";google_color_text = "000000";</script>
    <center><script type="text/javascript"src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script></center>

    1. <b>Find Out Which Books Your Really Need</b>: The first thing you need to do is to take the time to find out what books are really needed for the class. Many professors place books on their lists that are rarely, if ever, used. Seek out students or teacher assistants that can tell you exactly what textbooks you will need. This is especially true for material that is listed as "optional" on the class material list.

    2. <b>Use the Library</b>: The best way to save on books is to not spend any money on them at all. Depending on where you go to school, you may be able to check out the textbooks you need or you may be able to access them in-library for a certain period of time each day. Most libraries have multiple copies of textbooks because publishing companies will send professors free textbook samples in an effort to promote their products. Many professors donate their free copies to the campus library.

    3. <b>Purchase International Editions</b>: One of the great secrets of college textbook sales is that the International edition of a textbook will usually be significantly cheaper (sometimes 90% off) than those produced for the US. While there may be differences between an international edition and a US edition, these differences are usually minimal and content is usually almost identical. Noticeable differences are that International editions may have a soft cover rather than a hard cover, or be entirely in black-and-white rather than having color images. You can search for International editions at places such as <a href="http://www.abebooks.com/docs/Textbooks/international-editions.shtml">abebooks.com</a>

    4. <b>Use an Online Book Swap</b> Book swaps allow students to buy and sell their used books directly between each other rather than through a intermediary like the bookstore. This allows students to sell books for more than they would receive from the bookstore while students can buy them for less than the bookstore would sell them for. There are a number of online book swaps which cater to textbooks. <a href="http://www.campusbookswap.com">Campusbookswap.com</a> is one run by students for students that is free of charge to use.

    5. <b>Use Previous Editions</b>: Once a new edition of a textbook comes out, prices for previous editions fall drastically and can be obtained used at deep discounts. Many times a new edition will be basically the same as the previous edition. If you see that a new edition is being used, contact the professor and ask if the previous edition is close enough to use for the class. You will be surprised at how many times it will be. If it is, ask if you can have a copy of the old class syllabus (since the new edition has different page numbers, the syllabus will likely be different).

    6. <b>Borrow a Sample Copy</b>. As mentioned above, professors often donate their sample copies to the library. In some cases, however, professors may not do this or they may keep an extra copy. There is a decent chance that the professor has a sample copy lying somewhere in his office. While the success of this tactic will depend greatly on the professor in question, it costs nothing to ask to borrow a sample copy and could mean a cost of $0 rather than $100+.

    7. <b>Use Internet Auctions</b>: Search sites like <a href="http://www.ebay.com"> and <a href="http://www.half.com">half.com</a> for the textbooks you need. You can pick up the books you need for a fraction of what you would pay at your college bookstore and often much cheaper than even the used books for sale there.

    8. <b>Use A Textbook Comparison Sites</b>: There are now a large number of Internet websites that will search for the best price on a textbook across a large number of bookstores and sites selling textbooks and give you the location where you can get the best price for the books you are looking for without having to travel to many different websites. Simply do a search for "compare textbook prices" and you will have plenty to choose from.

    9. <b>Get Textbooks In Electronic Form</b>: If you don't mind your textbooks in electronic form, getting them this way instead of a traditional book could cut your costs by 50%. Electronic versions of textbooks are available from sites like <a href="http://www.ichapters.com/">iChapters</a>. If your taking a class that requires classic literature books, you can most likely downloaded them for free (if their copyright has expired) at sites like <a href="http://www.bartleby.com/">Bartleby</a>.

    10. <b>Get Textbooks For Free By Viewing Advertising</b>: A company called <a href="http://www.freeloadpress.com/">Freeload Press</a> may provide you some of your textbooks for free. Before you download the textbook, you fill out a short survey and then advertisements within the textbooks pay for the cost. The publishers still get paid and you get your textbook at no cost. While the current selection of textbooks is limited, it's worth checking out to see if any of your required books are available this way.

    Taking the time to do a bit of research and looking at alternative sources to get the required textbooks for your classes will be well worth the time and effort with the savings you'll generate. The above options for getting your college course material alone should save you hundreds of dollars off of what you would pay at the college bookstore and that is money that goes right back into your pocket.

    #2
    Re: 10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs


    Great ideas.

    I always search local online classifieds and Craigslist for textbooks. Buying them from the school bookstore, or even online new, is a very expensive way to obtain them.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: 10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

      Oldest DD is in college and she found all but one book on line and at a much cheaper price then the book store (she works there and knew all the prices, it helped) her books only ended up being about $150 instead of $300 (community college) She plans on going there at least another year if not longer for her degree, it's close to home so we don't have to pay extra for room and board and everything else and she's home every night... But I'm sure she'll be looking on line again next year for them again

      Comment


        #4
        Re: 10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

        Awesome Ideas. My daughter and I will try these this fall.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: 10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

          in college i checked mine out from the library whenever possible. they were for a month at a time and you could renew 3 times, which was just about enough to get me through a semester long course.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: 10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

            My husband's school has found a way to get every dime out of their students. They require books with dvd or cd or some extra on them that require passwords and stuff. You cant sale these parts back to the book store or anything so students always have to buy them new. It makes me angry.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: 10 Ways To Drastically Reduce Textbook Costs

              My daughter got a job at the campus bookstore and gets 30% off textbooks which makes it great for those hard to find books she can only find on campus.

              Comment


                #8
                I was a commuter student in college. Many of the textbooks I used were available in the public library (I'm sure they were in the college library too, but I was rarely on campus). One semester, I got about 75% of my textbooks in the public library. I had a few late fines at the end of the semester, but it was still MUCH cheaper than buying the book.

                Another thing that has worked was to find someone who took the class the semester before me. Often they're willing to sell the book for much cheaper.

                3rd thing is Amazon and half.com

                Comment


                  #9
                  There are websites that now RENT textbooks - I'm not up to 15 posts yet, so I can't include a link - but if you search on google for 'rent textbooks' you'll find a few. Chegg is one that i've had success with in the past. Really saved a lot of money by using their service, and you can choose different rental length periods, and not be worried about getting a return on your book when you try to sell it back to the bookstore - because you just return it to chegg!

                  (sorry for bringing back such an old thread - but figured people still are looking for textbooks)
                  Last edited by NickLeavens; 08-22-2009, 01:25 PM. Reason: apologize for adding to an old thread

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Cheap Textbooks, College Textbook - CheapestTextbooks.com
                    This site searches all the major sites at once to find prices to compare.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      when I was in college, I just bought the textbooks, go through whole of it in shortest time, took notes and resell it the next quarter, sometimes its even cheaper than photocopying .... in addition, I usually get As simply because I went through the content ahead of others ...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi jeffrey. That's absolutely true.. Nice idea..

                        Comment


                          #13
                          For books needed in the semester after Christmas, could you put the books on your wish list so that parents, grandparents, etc might buy them for you? of course it would be good to let them know, too, where the bargain books are.
                          "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                          "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ha, my kid takes my advice. He sent a list of desired text books last week and this afternoon we ordered five of them. He said only to get "a couple," but he'd prioritized them so it was easy to know which to go for first. Some of them supposedly are available on Kindle, but I'm skeptical that they would read correctly on Kindle. I've heard math often does not display properly.
                            "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                            "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

                            Comment


                              #15
                              So nice of your suggestion. So helpful it was.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X