Buying books

Buying Books the Smart Way

Yes what you’ve heard is true: Books are expensive in college. But luckily we live in an age of rapid exchange and you can almost always find what you need for less. Below are several sites to get used or rented text books, but first I’de like to share some¬†indispensable tricks I’ve learned over the years that have saved me literally hundreds of dollars

  • Immediately after you choose your classes, email your instructor (look in the school directory) and ask what the materials for the term will be. Do this early and you can order the cheapest listings before they all get bought up
  • Often you will need the “5th Edition” of whatever edition because textbook makers churn out new editions to stay ahead of the used book market. Sometimes the “updated” versions will be identical to the old one with the addition of a new forward and one or two chapters. To combat this dirty trick, you must be clever:
    • Find a copy of the book and its previous edition on amazon or google books and look at the description and table of contents
    • Note what “updates” it lists and compare the lists of chapters
    • Are they the same except for a chapter or two?
    • Buy the older edition. Teachers must provide a reserve copy that never leaves the school library, so if they do assign reading in the new chapters, you can simply photocopy them
    • Using this trick you can find course materials for next to nothing

 

Saving money is very important when attending college because every cent counts. After paying for tuition, housing and food you still have to worry about the cost of books. Books can be very expensive but there are deals out there you just have to know where to look and be willing to buy already used books. There are many sites which provide college textbooks for more reasonable prices, here are a few:

  • Amazon.com
  • Ebay.com
  • CheapTextBooks.com
  • DirectTextbook.com
  • BigWords.com
  • SwapBooks.com
  • ValoreBooks.com

 

There is also the renting option:

  • Chegg.com
  • CollegeBookRenter.com
  • ValoreBook.com

 

It is also important remember that you can sell your books after the end of the quarter or semester to help fund the next quarter or semesters books. There are many ways to do this:

  • Sell them back to your school, most schools buy books back during the last week of their academic session
  • Ebay.com
  • Amazon.com
  • WeBuyTextbooks.com
  • Craigslist.com
  • SwapBooks.com
  • BigWords.comv
  • ValoreBook.com

A lot of these options function as a way to buy, rent and sell back books so that you only have to use one site and you just have to choose the one you are most comfortable with.
There are also school specific websites which sell and buy back books at better prices than the school bookstore. At UCSC we have SlugBooks.com and there most colleges offer something similar you just have to search the student website to find the correct resources for you.