So far, textbooks have been the most expensive part of my college experience. (Besides college itself…duh) However, throughout my time spent in college and my experience of loosing a bunch of money on textbooks that I never even opened up during the semester, I’ve learned a few different tips and tricks about what to do when it comes to buying textbooks.
“We highly recommend you purchase these books from the college bookstore!”
There are so many alternative ways to purchase your textbooks other than the college’s bookstore. When you are enrolled into your classes for the semester you’ll most likely be notified that your college “highly recommends” that you purchase your textbooks from the college bookstore- The college isn’t highly recommending you anything other than setting yourself up to be robbed of your money. All college bookstores are super overpriced, and, most of the time the books they recommend you purchase aren’t even needed for the class….
That leads me to my next point-
Mandatory vs. Recommended:
I’ve figured out that most of the time, the textbooks shown for classes are usually separated into two different categories: “Recommended” and “Mandatory”-
****DO NOT BUY THE RECOMMENDED BOOKS. I REPEAT, DO NOT BUY THE RECCOMENDED BOOKS******* -really though, don’t buy the recommended books.
Most of the time you’ll barely even open up the “mandatory” textbook that is needed for the class, so paying for the books that are recommended for the class is just throwing money in the garbage. I don’t know about you, but at school I barely even had time to open up all of my mandatory textbooks when I was studying in my spare time, let alone having time to look through the “recommended” textbooks.
I’ve also learned that going to http://ratemyprofessor.com is super helpful when it comes to textbooks. If you type in the name of your professor, a bunch of student ratings will pop up based on all of the different classes that professor teaches. If you look closely, some of the ratings show whether or not the textbook was needed to pass the course/how much it was opened during the course. I rely on this a lot now because the first semester of college I wasted a hundred something dollars on textbooks that I didn’t even open up once during the course.
As far as buying textbooks goes:
Companies such as:
I’ve rented from Chegg and Amazon and have purchased from Slugbooks and each time have had successful, cheap and stress-free orders.
Renting textbooks is also a really good idea when it comes to college. Unless it’s a course that is required for your major, I repeat a course that is required for your major (not any of those stupid gen eds) you should totally rent your textbooks. Renting textbooks saves a lot of money and companies such as Chegg and Amazon make it super easy to return the books after the course is over. (I’m sure there are a bunch of other companies, which rent out textbooks, but these are the only ones that I have used so far.)
Another perk of renting textbooks is that it’s just one less thing you’ll have to pack to go home at the end of the year. You need to bring a lot of things to college, and textbooks can easily be one less thing that you have to worry about squeezing into your jam-packed car on your way up to school.
Another way to save money on textbooks is to sell them back- that is, if you didn’t rent them.
Whatever you do, stay away from your college’s bookstore when it comes to selling your textbooks. Just like how they rip you off when it comes to purchasing textbooks from them, they rip you off just as much when it comes to selling textbooks back to them. I once tried selling my textbooks to my college’s bookstore and I was offered one dollar for each of my originally 100 something dollar textbooks that I had to purchase at the beginning of the year. Yep, 1 dollar.
The same companies that you can buy and rent textbooks from allow you to sell them back your textbooks as well.
Another awesome way to make some money off of textbooks that you bought is to go into your college’s Facebook group. Most colleges have Facebook groups for each club they offer and each class of students studying at the school. (You know, like class of 2015 etc.) A really easy way to utilize these groups to make some money is to post about the textbooks you’re selling in the group. After all, you’re not the only student who’s trying to save some money on textbooks. Advertising the textbooks for a bit less than what you originally got them for is a great way to help your fellow students out, as well as get some money back.
Welp, that’s about all I got when it comes to saving money on textbooks. Hope you enjoyed this post- be sure to look out for the next post coming up in this series:
Saving Money Throughout College PART 2: Food.