When it comes to higher education such as college, textbooks are a heavy expense that students find themselves spending hundreds of dollars on. Before you purchase that brand new textbook, consider the following options!
Check the Library
While this would seem like an obvious first step, it is often overlooked! Libraries may have the more common textbooks for core classes, so be on the lookout. However, make sure you take a look early, as other students may have the same thought and try to snag the textbooks first. It doesn’t hurt to try!
Find Digital Textbooks Online
If your class does not require solid proof of a physical textbook, an online version that you can view on your phone or computer for free is definitely the way to go. With a quick Google search, you can save so much money! Some useful sites to check out are Project Gutenberg, OpenStax, and Open Textbook Library. They are not only limited to textbooks; you can find other ebooks and documents that may be useful to you as well! If you cannot find a digital textbook for free, buying a digital version online is usually cheaper than a physical copy, so it is something to consider.
Another simple solution is to split the cost with a friend, or share with a friend who may already have a textbook. If both of you need one textbook, it would not be the most financially effective path to buy two at full price. Consider establishing a schedule for textbook use depending on classes and use the ability of taking screenshots of pages and sharing notes.
Is it really the best idea to go all out on a brand new textbook? Look online for textbooks that have already been used so you can save! An efficient way to find specific versions of used books online is to use ISBN numbers. Each textbook will have a unique ISBN number, which can be searched on shopping sites like Amazon and eBay to find a potential seller. Look here for more information about buying cheaper used textbooks!
Buying Older Editions
While it may not be the most ideal sometimes, buying older versions will definitely lower the cost of a textbook. While cost is almost guaranteed to be reduced, it may not be the best thing to do in harder classes where pages do not match up and you have to struggle to find information. Make sure that the two versions do not differ too much if you consider doing this!
If You Must Buy a Brand New Textbook…
Sell them when you no longer need them! Though you may not get the full price of the textbook back, it would be ideal to get at least some cash back for a textbook you would not use anymore. Selling textbooks on popular sites like Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay would likely be your best bets. Or selling them in person to students around your campus who you know might need it would be a great way as well.
With all these options available, try your best to avoid spending too much on textbooks! Unless it is required, or you would really like a brand new textbook, cutting down the prices of these books can save more than you think!
Written by Brian Caballo