Cheat the Bookstore

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The semester has started. Your bank account is empty, your patience has grown thin, and the schedules are overwhelming at first glance. Yours probably looking at this even though you know you're supposed to be reading the first chapter of your textbooks, or you're still thinking about what classes might also use the textbooks. I went to look and see what kind of damage I'd be looking at with textbooks this semester when low and behold it was going to cost me around 415 dollars for four classes.

Oh no, this was just not going to do. I'm a college student, working 10-15 hours a week, and in a sorority, where would I ever get the funds for books I might or might not use. There had to be another way.

I did find out another way, but it is a little more time consuming than just going to the bookstore and telling them if you want to rent or buy. If you re interested in saving 30-70% of your money on textbooks, please keep reading. If not, I'm not sure why you clicked on this link in the first place.

1. Research your material

Amazon, Chegg, your university's bookstore, wannabe surrounding bookstores are all great places for you to check out your books. Look at the prices of renting new, renting used, buying new, and buying used on all of these outlets. Write them all down if you have to.

2. Know the facts

Used rentals are the cheapest way to go at the moment, but in the long run, they're not that satisfying. Bookstores buy back books between 25-50% of the price you paid for it. If you buy new, expect to get about 50% back. Used books are tricky. Pristine condition used books are not treated evenly among beaten, used books. You get the same price again for it no matter the situation. Obviously, if the spine of the book is coming lose the bookstore has the discretion not to repurchase it. But your non-highlighted, no notes, with no water damage book is mostly the same value as the kid who highlighted every word in the first chapter.

3. Guarantee your buyback

A lot of people don't know this, but the professor has an ultimate say in if this book will be brought back or not. Shoot your professor an e-mail and ask if she/he plans on using this edition for next semester and if he doesn't ask if other professors are using the required text to see if they'll stick to that version or not. If he does not then it is better for you to rent used because the bookstore will most likely not be repurchasing it. You can always sell back to Amazon or another place too because a professor somewhere is going to be using that book, but the bookstore on your campus is where you'll get the most bang for your buck.

An example:
Let's say I need Leadership: Enhancing Experiences for my ethics class I go to the bookstore and see it listed as the following at the bookstore:
Buy New: $243
Buy Used:$182
Rent New:$158
Rent Used:$109
1. $200 for a book?! That is bookstore robbery, who do these people think they are. Now do your research
Amazon has it listed for Buy Used: $158
You're already saving yourself $30 if you buy used, and then when you go to sell your book back, lets say they give you 30% back which is another $48. Now you've just saved your self $78 and have gone below the rent used price.

Imagine all the sushi or manicures you could buy with $78 extra in your pocket.
We as students have to stand together on this textbook issue. We take out a mortgage to go to school and now they want us to pay the bills to. Enough is enough.

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