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Posted by bio_man   July 18, 2017   342 views

It's that time of year again – the time when many of us watch our summer savings dwindle away... all for overpriced, underused textbooks. Follow these tips to smarter shopping, however, and you can walk away a winner.

A wise man once told me that girlfriends are expensive. I asked him whether he'd ever met my textbook.

"This 300-page beaut," I said, "costs 200 dollars."

Suddenly a date to the local movie theatre or ice cream shop didn't carry the same weight. I felt like I'd shattered a world view.

Textbooks stare inflation in the face and never blink. And unlike with most college "expenses," students often feel they don't have a say in the matter.

But a movement is starting – albeit very slowly – to lighten the load on students' wallets every fall and winter.

On a congressional level, there is the The College Opportunity and Affordability Act, which among other things forces publishers to sell "bundled" items separately and fully disclose prices to professors before inking a deal.

And on a less-bureaucratic level, there are alternative textbook purchasing options sprouting up all over the place. Check out the following three options, including our recommendations for each:

1. Textbook Renting
 
Yes, you no longer have to buy all of your textbooks. At sites like Chegg.com, you can rent textbooks with plans that start at reasonable prices. And, by renting, you are reminded that you are doing your part to live green.

Now if you plan to keep your textbook after you finish the class, renting probably isn't for you. But let's face it: Almost all of us have visited our school's "Book Buyback" tent only to find out that our 185-dollar textbook is now worth 5 bucks. Renting can get you out of this situation.

2. Cheap Textbook Buying

Yes, "cheap" and "textbook" can go together in the same phrase. Check out Campusbooks.com if you are looking for used textbooks at reasonable prices. Old standbys Amazon.com and Half.com can also deliver the goods.

The key when using this option is to plan in advance, and plan well. As a rule of thumb, you don't want to buy expensive books before attending the first class (unless your professor has explicitly told you that you'll need a certain book or two). When ordering online, you'll have to account for shipping time; so make sure you aren't stuck without a book two weeks into class and facing a quiz the next day. Be prepared to order right after your first class.

3. Textbook Borrowing

If you're looking for the most economical option, you've found it. If you can, find a friend or peer who has taken your class before and ask to borrow the book. Offer to buy them dinner or get them football tickets in return. And if you don't know of anyone offhand, use Biology-Forums.com to facilitate the process (you can enter the textbooks for each class you list).

Really though, some enterprising student should start a business on his/her campus that pays fellow students a flat rate to be a "lender" and then charges "borrower" students a certain amount per book to rent for the semester. Seriously. Do it and let me know how it goes. Maybe we can be partners.

What strategies to you follow to save money on textbooks? Have a favorite Web site you go to? Do you think government can really rule against big business and noticeably lower prices?

Post a comment below!
renting books textbooks online buying books student trends
Posted in Miscellaneous tips
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« Last Edit: Jul 18, 2017 by bio_man »
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1. Get the course outline and start looking for the required books.
2. Check the chapters that will be covered during the semester.
3. Check online for electronic copy, if there an electronic copy or PDF copy then photocopy the textbook which roughly can cost between $40 - $80 only.
4. if there is no electronic or PDF copy online then check ebay.com or amazon.com.
5. Sell the books when the semester is finished!
Posted on Jul 25, 2017 by ChemScience
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