Ways to Stop Buying Expensive College Textbooks

Textbooks are getting more expensive day by day. They seem to consume more than what they give us. The nightmare is worse for those in Computer Science, Engineering and Business. Textbooks of those fields can be as high as $300. Yes, it is insane. However, there is always a way to avoid paying such a high price. Just see below:

1. Verify with the professor: Syllabus or bookstore probably will always show you a textbook for your class. But you truly need to figure out whether it is even necessary to buy it. Some professors actually don’t use any textbooks at all. Hence, it is completely useless to buy them. So before everything else, talk to your professor. Ask them if you are actually using the textbook in the class.

2. Buy used textbook, but not from the school bookstore: During my freshman year, just like an unaware person, I religiously bought my textbooks from the school bookstore. They were used, but their prices were not so low. But then came a time, when I decided to check out what was out there online. To my surprise, Amazon was selling the same used text books at a very lower price. So I ended up becoming their "half and half" loyal customer. I say this because I learned that on eBay similar books were cheaper. So sometimes I used that store too. Buying books online can save a huge amount of money.

3. Look for international edition: After some research, I came to know that it is far better to buy the international versions. They probably have newsprint pages, but contents remain the same. So do your research well. If the international version is available go for it. Usually, eBay is a good place for it.

3. Check for older edition: Yes editions change, but contents can still remain the same with a slight difference in page numbers. Amazon usually allows interested parties to see what is inside the textbook. If you find two or three editions of your textbook there try to compare them using this feature. You will be surprised how you can actually save a lot by ditching the new edition for the old one.

4. Check for PDF format of the book online: Many sites like Slideshare carry the PDF format of textbooks. They are downloadable and most often free. So before everything else, try doing a search online. I got my Human Resources textbook once online. The entire semester I used it.

5. Renting is not bad: You have to be very smart with this. Some places charge higher prices. So you need to research a little before you make up your mind about who would want to pick. The renting version is available in two formats: digital and hardcopy. Chegg, most often, offers both. Coursmart has only digital versions. They tend to offer coupons sometimes or normal discounts. Some universities also have started doing the same. Their prices, sometimes are very reasonable.

6. Do an exchange: Have friends in college. It can benefit in millions of ways and  one of them is book exchange. It is even best to be friends with those who are in your major.

7. Send out an email to students: It is possible that some students in your current class already finished a course right before you. They may have the textbook you are looking for. Since there is no way to know who has it, you have to send out an email to entire class asking for it. However, for this, you will require your university email address and access to blackboard.

8. Place a wanted ad at Craigslist: First of all, do a search at Craigslist to see if anyone is selling the book you want. If no search result appears place the wanted advertisement asking if someone would sell it to you.

9. Bulletin board: Bulletin boards can have ads of textbooks you are looking for. So do check it. If find nothing there add your wanted to it.

10. Get the Xerox copy: Some former students will not hesitate to lend you their book if you wish to photocopy it. But most often they will try to sell it to you. This is not that bad. Only problem is that they might charge you something higher than the market price. The problem of going for the Xerox copy is that some professors state clearly in their syllabus that it should not be brought to class as they believe it is illegal. But sometimes the books are so expensive that we basically have no other option left. That said, never forget to calculate the amount you will be using on photocopying each page. Compare it with the actual price of the book. If buying saves your money more do not head to copy machine. By the way, if you cannot find a former student of your new class you can photocopy the book from the school library. They usually keep one or two copies for students.

11. Participate in Book buck contest: Not many students are aware of the fact that schools hold book buck competitions. This is true mainly for community colleges. Problem is that they end up getting no participants at all. If you take part in it you will have a high chance of winning. According to contest rule, we simply need to write an essay on our financial hardships. If you wish to know about this contest try going to your college office.

12. Check libraries: This is one secret some students will never leak from their stomach. University and public libraries usually are parts of bigger networks. If you just search for your textbook in in their online catalog you would be surprised to find them in libraries of other universities connected to them, making it easy for you to request it for your use.

13. Your learning style can overrule textbooks: If you are an auditory learner you probably will not even require buying a textbook at all provided you get no homework directly from it and your professor explains a vast number of details in the class. So research on your learning style. Many students actually do ace exams without reading the textbook. When they are asked how they do it they answer that they can remember everything they hear from the professor.

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