Buying Textbooks Without Breaking Your Wallet
Find out how you can save money on textbooks from student contributor, Ann.
January 10, 2013
When deciding to purchase textbooks for next semester, you have a couple of options:
1. Buying books online
For most students, purchasing textbooks online is their primary option at the start of a new semester. The most popular website to buy and sell textbooks is Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/). When searching for a book on sites such as Amazon, here are a few tips to make your online experience as easy as possible:
• Most school textbook listings will give you the ISBN number of the book your professor requires. Consequently, most online sites will allow you to plug the ISBN number into their search bar to ensure that you receive the exact edition you are searching for.
• However, you may find that different editions/publishers of the same book are cheaper. In my experience, unless a teacher specifically emphasizes the importance of having the same edition, buying a different edition doesn’t really make a difference. (Note: For large textbooks with many different editions, it is best to use the exact ISBN. For paperback books or novels, it shouldn’t matter.)
• If you are purchasing books from a third-party seller, be sure to check the company’s customer feedback. These reviews will ensure that you are purchasing from a valid third-party seller that ships books on time, sells undamaged textbooks, etc.
• If you are on a time crunch, check the location of the seller you are purchasing your books from. If the city the seller is located in is relatively near you (ex. Both you and the seller are on the East Coast), the textbook will probably ship faster. There are usually several options of sellers who will sell the book you are looking for, so if you’re on a deadline, choosing the seller in closest proximity to you may ensure that you receive your textbooks earlier.
In addition to making the purchasing and receiving of both new and used textbooks at a decent price easy and hassle-free, Amazon has promotions that specifically apply to college students. Amazon Student is a free membership program that allows college students benefits such as six months of free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime.
This membership also includes deals for discounts and promotions exclusively for students, as well as free release-date delivery on video games and DVDs. To be eligible, all that is required is a valid .edu email address. Keep in mind that the Amazon Prime two-day shipping does not extend to third-party sellers; thus, depending on the book, it may be cheaper to buy a used book from a third party. Alternatively, if you need the book immediately, you could buy the book from Amazon and receive your purchase in two days.
Amazon will also allow you to either trade in your books after you have finished with them or sell them back on Amazon.com. Amazon pays for shipping if you decide to sell them back, and an Amazon gift card will be deposited into your account after the receipt of your item. You can then use these gift cards to purchase anything on Amazon; you may want to save the credit for textbooks for the next semester. Find out how to sell your books back on Amazon HERE.