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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Since we’re talking all about Back-to-School this week I thought I’d share with all of you some great resources to snag textbooks on the cheap!  As a college student I know how expensive textbooks can be that’s why I’ve switched to renting, you save a ton of money and don’t have to worry about not being able to sell the books back at the end of the semester…the list below offers a ton of great tips to help you get the most for your money this fall!image

 

Textbook prices tend to rise at four times the rate of inflation for an average of $900 per year. It doesn't take a college education to figure out there are alternatives to traditional outlets, but incoming freshmen don't always know the ropes. Here are 11 ways to save this fall -- none of which include shopping at the college bookstore.

 

1. Wait Until After You've Seen the Syllabus
Professors must submit their textbook lists far in advance of the next semester, which means they may never require you even open the book. Talk with your professor in the first few days to determine whether it's worth shelling out cash for something that may become a paperweight.

 

2. Rent
Chegg.com, the Netflix of textbooks, started a trend several years ago by allowing students to rent their books. You'll pay roughly half the purchase price and shipping is often free. Other similar dealers include BookRenter.com and CampusBookRentals.com.

 

3. Watch Daily Deals
The aforementioned Chegg announced in late May they'd begin offering daily deals targeted at college students. Scheduled to start in July, the program will begin with offerings from HP, Capital One, MTV, Microsoft and Dr. Pepper. Also keep an eye out for offers tailored to students by location -- possibly even your local bookstore.

 

4. Buy Used Textbooks
Used textbook companies have proliferated and even traditional booksellers now both buy and sell used textbooks. The selection has greatly increased and the prices are far superior to exorbitant college bookstores. Check out Half.com, Textbooks.com and eCampus.com.

 

5. Download
Few classes require students read every page of a textbook, so why not download the necessary portion from such websites as CourseSmart.com and Open Courseware from MIT? Project Gutenberg also has scanned in hundreds of free-domain books for use on e-readers.

 

6. Don't Purchase the Whole Package

Federal regulations no longer allow publishers to combine textbooks with add-ons, such as CD-ROMs and workbooks. Check with your professor or teaching assistant before you buy the whole bundle.

 

7. Buy Online
If you want to physically own a new book, buying online often means free shipping and reduced prices. Grab a coupon code from CouponSherpa.com and shop online at new textbook sellers like Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and AbeBooks.com.

 

8. International Or Older Versions
Non-traditional editions are usually significantly cheaper. There may be some slight changes, but many of these tend to be cosmetic or minor and won't greatly impact use.

 

9. Share
If you carpool, you know the advantage of splitting the cost of high-ticket expenses. Sharing is easier if you're in the same study group and/or see each other frequently.

 

10. Swap
Some schools now hold swap meets, where students can trade their old textbooks for the ones they'll need next year.

 

11. Compare Prices
You wouldn't buy a Porsche without shopping around, so do the same with textbooks. Websites such as CampusBooks.com, BigWords.com and AllBookstores.com make the process much easier.

 

 

Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc.. She is available for in-studio, satelite or skype interviews. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured on NBC Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ShopSmart Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

2 comments :

  1. This is an excellent post. To reiterate the point of waiting until the syllabus is out... I have a Math Prof. this semester who is only allowing us to purchase an online text. If I'd have purchased a hard copy, I'd have been out of a lot of money because the latter is a $200 book. I don't like the online version only, but it is what it is, and thank goodness I checked my syllabus first.

    Happy schooling to all of us starting a new semester. It (Summer Break) was sure nice while it lasted. :)

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  2. I thought these tips were pretty good considering I've been the one to get my books first and look at the syllabus later and seriously pay for it!

    Summer Break was heaven for me (and Im sure it was a nice break for you as well)! Good luck this semester!

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