Thursday, July 29, 2010

Buying and Selling Textbooks

One of the most dreaded things to buy in college is textbooks. Textbooks can be very expensive for every major. My textbooks cost about $500 my freshman year. They wouldn't buy back some of my textbooks, because they were either loose-leaf or an older edition. The bad part about textbooks is that they always seem to come out with newer editions every year and there you are stuck with a book that you don't want or need. Also, a lot of colleges and universities are getting into the custom textbooks market. Sometimes these books are expensive and you can only buy them from your school. After my freshman year, I began to conquer the system to get my textbooks cheaper and get most of my money back.

Tips for Buying and Selling Textbooks
  1. Buying Online
    • I have found that it is a whole lot cheaper to buy books online. My university has now started releasing the ISBN numbers for our textbooks. This is great, because now it's easier to search for your books online and you know it's the right one.
    • I really recommend looking on Ebay, Facebook marketplace, and search engines. In the search engines, all you have to do is type in "textbooks" and several websites will pop up. I have used,, and many others.
    • Make sure the textbook websites (not Ebay or Facebook) have a good return policy. Most of them will give you 30 days to return the book for a full refund.
  2. Buying Textbooks from School
    • Sometimes you have no other choice but to buy textbooks from your school. It is easier to figure out what books you need because they are divided into the classes that are given at your school.
    • Some schools will say that you have to buy the custom edition. You can get around that because the custom editions are just regular textbooks that have chapters taken out of them. Make sure that this is the case for that perticular textbook.
    • Remember to shop around at different bookstores in your town to find the best price.  
  3. Renting Online
    • Another thing you can do is to rent textbooks. I have done this twice. I usually rent the textbooks when it is cheaper to rent than buy and try to sell the book back.
    • Renting is very easy to do. You select the amount of time you need the book and you rent it. and both have good services. They will give you free return shipping and you also can return your but in about 30 days for a full refund.
  4. Selling Textbooks
    • I would definately sell your textbooks online than selling them back to the campus bookstore. Why? Because you will get most of your money back.
    • The only exception to this rule is if you bought a custom edition book. The online bookstores will not take these back. You will have to sell them back to your campus bookstore, sell to a student, or keep the textbook.
    • Make sure you search around online to find the best price for selling back your book. You can always sell the textbook on Ebay,, or Amazon, just to name a few, on your own.
    • Please take care of your textbooks, so someone can buy it back from you. Nobody wants a textbook that's water damaged, highlighting or writing on numerous pages. Always ask yourself first if you would buy the book back and that should help you with any questions about the condition.
I hope these tips have helped you save on textbooks. There is no way around not buying textbooks if you want to succeed. If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment please do.

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