August 27, 2011

How To: Buy/Sell Textbooks

A few semesters ago, I walked into the bookstore with my list in tow, and picked out the fresh textbooks I needed for the new semester. When the cashier rang up my purchase, the register glared back in green an angry $700! I went home and was almost in tears. I did not understand why the these people (publishers? The bookstore? Witches?) were taking away my weekend-drinking-money. There was no way I was keeping these books. I can’t even imagine taking my International Business textbook out of its packaging since that precious little thing cost $265! So then I went searching online for more cost-effective alternatives. By the end of the week, I returned all those books back to the bookstore, bought them used, and saved a whopping 70%. Here are a few tips for buying textbooks on a budget for struggling college students because c’mon, beer doesn’t come free.

Buy/Sell Websites

There are many websites that have sprouted within the last five years dedicated to helping students buy and sell used books. SaveOnBook, LocazU, and BCBookWorm are my favourites since they are easy to use. Though whenever I list my textbooks for sale, I get the biggest response on Craigslist, as it is one of the most common buy-and-sell websites in Canada. What’s popular about buying and selling is that not only would you usually find books priced for a lot less than even a used textbook at your school’s bookstore, but you would also get more money in return selling for selling to another student than back to your school’s bookstore. In addition, when meeting with the students for the book exchange, it is the perfect opportunity to ask for old exams for you to study off of, or tips on the course/Professor.

Rent a Textbook

Sometimes, you may not want to fork out a large sum of money on books even if it’s a used one, so renting a book is a more affordable alternative. Websites or bookstores that allow students to rent textbooks lets you borrow books for the semester for a fraction of the price than if you were buying it used. At the end of the term, you would then send back the books to the website or bookstore. This isn’t as cost effective as buying the textbook used and then selling it to another student when finished, but it’s better for those who can’t spend a large sum of money at one time. Chegg and CampusBookRentals are two great sites that you can check out. Amazon has also recently announced that it you can now rent textbooks for your Kindle.

If you have the time to travel around the city, make a few phone calls, and possibly feel like a drug dealer for a week, then buying and selling textbooks with other students is well worth the time and effort. You don’t want to be throwing your hard-earned burger-flipping money on full priced books when publishers are spitting out new editions every semester.

Make sure that when you’re emailing around about purchasing a textbook, include the listing’s link within the message so that once the seller replies to you, you know which listing he or she is from, as it can get really confusing when you are messaging multiple people about multiple books. Also, use common sense when you’re meeting up to buy/sell textbooks. Dealing with anyone online can be dangerous, so obviously don’t go to their house, give out your address, meet in an alley, or take candy from a stranger.

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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