Textbooks: Save your hard earned money

Some of you reading my site are in college or at least like to read so this should be a great site for you. It took me one semester to figure out that the bookstore at any college is a corrupt operation explicitly designed to gouge and rip off the students they vow to be serving.

Since I pretty much pay for my own books, I have always tried to save the most money possible when I buy textbooks and get the most back from the ones I do not keep. Here’s a quick list of what I do to cut my textbook costs by up to half:

  • Never sell books back to your bookstore, sell on Half.com or Amazon Marketplace
  • Never buy books from your bookstore unless absolutely necessary
  • Find the lowest price of used and new books on the entire Internet at AddALL
  • Compare that price to your bookstore’s new and used prices, purchase accordingly
  • Take shipping and taxes into consideration, a $3-$5 cost for shipping is offset by no tax being charged
  • Make a spreadsheet to see how much you save!

I think my all time high in savings was close to $200 and I have even sold books for nearly the same or more for what I paid for them.

One thing to watch out for on books that seem to have prices too good to be true is a growing popularity of International editions of books. These are usually printed in India or somewhere and are the exact same book, but they will always be softcovers with black and white print on inferior paper to the US editions. If you don’t mind the loss in quality go for it but I’ve only bought one and will shell out the extra money for the nicer hardcover.

2 Replies to “Textbooks: Save your hard earned money”

  1. Is some good advice, especially for people working on their undergrad and they’re buying 4 – $100 books a semester. I think business and computers type majors get hit especially hard.

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