How To Save Cash On Faculty Textbooks

It’s a standard trope: going to varsity is pricey. There’s tuition, the overpriced cafeteria plan, and the cramped dorm room that prices greater than your dad or mum’s mortgage. Faculty prices have outpaced inflation and wages for years, and the prices could be seen all over the place. Particularly in textbook costs.

In accordance with information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, faculty textbook costs have elevated greater than 1,000% since 1977. This implies costs for textbooks have outgrown inflation by greater than thrice. Shopping for textbooks is a essential evil, however in the event you plan forward, there are methods to spend much less.

Purchase Them Used

Shopping for used textbooks is an outdated trick and might prevent a whole bunch of dollars a yr. Sadly, most individuals learn about this technique. The secret is to begin searching for books as quickly as you get the category guide listing. Yow will discover used textbooks on-line at websites like or You can too search for books on eBay or

Take the time to check costs on all these websites earlier than shopping for your copy. Ensure to search for the ISBN quantity as a substitute of the title or creator otherwise you may wind up with a Spanish model of your Econ textbook. When you’re achieved with the books, you possibly can resell them on these websites to earn some a refund.

Shopping for Older Editions

If you get your textbook listing for the following semester, you most likely see the newest version listed. The latest editions are virtually all the time dearer and there are fewer used copies, particularly if the version was launched lately. There are sometimes little to no big variations in these new editions, apart from the value. A 2019 copy of a textbook could be 10% dearer than a 2009 model.

Right here’s a real-world instance. The fourth version of “Microeconomics” by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells prices $16.99 to hire and $27.49 to purchase from The fifth version of the identical guide prices $37.49 to hire and $50.99 for a used copy. A brand new copy of the fifth version prices $97.49.

That’s a distinction of $10-$20 or extra for what might be a couple of completely different pages. If it’s important to purchase a dozen books for all of your lessons, you could possibly save a whole bunch of dollars by getting an earlier version. Typically web page numbers could also be barely off so you’ll want to confirm what chapter or part you could learn for homework. Nonetheless, this small inconvenience could also be price it.

Contact the professor or instructor’s assistant and ask them if it’s important to get the newest version. Ask your professor what number of books you really need. It’s widespread for a professor to incorporate steered books in your listing that you just don’t really need for the category. E-mail the professor as quickly as attainable to search out out what’s essential and what’s optionally available. I as soon as had a journalism professor who requested us to purchase virtually 10 books for the category, however we solely ever learn a few them.

Renting Textbooks

Renting textbooks is normally cheaper than shopping for them used, and also you don’t have to fret about promoting them again on the finish of the yr. That is useful in the event you’re going to review overseas or reside distant and hate lugging your heavy books to the campus bookstore.

The one draw back to renting a textbook is that you just’ll be charged a charge in the event you return it late, if the guide is broken or in the event you by chance spotlight a passage. In case you lose the guide, you could possibly additionally face some hefty fines.

Renting might not be attainable for each version, and generally is reserved for extra well-liked books. Earlier than renting a textbook, evaluate the ultimate price to a used copy you could find. Then, see how a lot you will get when promoting that used copy. You’ll typically get between 30-50% of what you paid for it, relying on the guide. The price of renting could outweigh shopping for a used copy.

Sharing with a Buddy

In case you’re in the identical class as an excellent buddy, take into account splitting the price of your textbooks with them. This works finest in the event you’re in a category with a roommate or somebody in your dorm.

It is a nice various in the event you can’t discover a used copy of the guide, however don’t need to spend a whole bunch on a brand new copy.

Work out the way you’ll divide up the readings. If this can be a individual you already research with frequently, you’ll know in the event you work effectively collectively.

Utilizing E-Books

Some textbooks have e-books which you can purchase or hire. These could also be inexpensive than shopping for a brand new model, however it’s best to nonetheless evaluate costs earlier than buying. Yow will discover ebooks on Amazon or, two of the most well-liked on-line retailers for digital textbooks.

E-books are useful in case you have a pill or e-reader and don’t thoughts not having a bodily copy to mark up. If you could take notes in your guide, then utilizing e-books will solely damage your research.

Keep in mind to check e-book costs with used copies. Some e-books are dearer as a result of you might have entry by a wide range of platforms.

Borrowing them from the Library

Some faculty libraries maintain spare copies of textbooks available for college students, however they’re typically restricted and on a first-come, first-serve foundation.

If you could borrow a textbook from the library, put it on maintain as quickly as you possibly can. This technique works effectively in the event you solely want the textbook for a brief time frame or in the event you can copy the pages you want with out spending a fortune on Xerox charges. It might even be cheaper to pay a late charge to maintain the guide for the entire semester than to purchase your personal copy.

You must also examine your native metropolis library to see if they’ve any copies. These could also be extra accessible than copies out of your college’s library.

Zina Kumok (66 Posts)

Zina Kumok is a contract author specializing in private finance. A former reporter, she has lined homicide trials, the Remaining 4 and the whole lot in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Examine how she paid off $28,000 price of scholar loans in three years at Debt Free After Three.

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