College is expensive enough as it is. You have tuition, meal plans, housing payments, and much more on top of that. While all these add up to loads of money being spent each year, there is another expense that might be the most frustrating for everyone. Textbooks. Whether you’re a chemical engineer major, accounting major, or biology major, you are going to have to buy texts books throughout college. Although textbooks for some majors cost significantly more than other majors, none of them tend to come very cheap. So how can you save yourself some extra money when textbook shopping? There are several ways to shop smart for textbooks.
Before you even think to search the web or go to your campus bookstore to buy textbooks, you should always read through each class syllabus to see what you really need. Even go above and beyond by asking the professor what materials are necessary for the course. Some professors fail to mention that their course is strictly from their lecture which leaves you sitting with a $300 textbook as a paper weight in your dorm room. Making sure that what you are buying is going to be worth your money is a smart way to save on textbooks. Asking friends who have taken the same course before if all the materials are necessary is also a good way to find out what you need outside of what the professor has told you.
If you can buy a used text book, DO IT! Most of the time you can save from 25-50% off the original price based on the condition of the book. Check out eBay or Amazon, where you can find many used college textbooks in varying conditions. Most campus bookstores also sell used textbooks for a discounted price although online shopping will most likely save you much more due to the abundance of options. If you don’t plan on keeping the book after the course, think about renting the book instead. Just like buying used textbooks, you can rent them off websites and from campus bookstores as well for a discount. Chegg is a great company that sells new and used textbooks and has the option to rent as well.
Whether you choose to buy a new or used textbook, try to sell it to the highest bidder after you finish the course if you no longer need the textbook. A great way to sell your textbooks quick and easy is to sell them to your friends who might be taking the class after you. You might sell it for less to help your friend out with a cheaper textbook than they could find online. Selling books online to others through eBay or Craigslist is a way to make your money back as well. Also, some companies, such as Chegg, will buy your books back from you and put your money on an American Express debit card that can be used time after time as you sell more textbooks back. You can also usually sell your books back to the campus bookstore directly, but you likely won’t get the most competitive price. Make sure when it comes to spending money on textbooks that you make sure you are only buying what you need at the best available price! Stay Wise!