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Making The Smart Decision: Buying Used Textbooks

Aug 17, 2008
With the cost of college tuition and other college related expenses constantly on the rise with no end in sight, parents and students are becoming more money conscious. Scholarships and student loans are a great way to pay for living expenses and tuition, but students are finding that with the economy as it is today, they are not getting enough to cover the cost of college textbooks.

Any student or parent who has walked into the campus bookstore can agree that college textbooks are very expensive. Of course walking into the campus bookstore before the start of the semester is recommended. Schools will often allow students to purchase books as early as two weeks before the start of the school year. There are two hidden benefits for heading to the campus bookstore far in advanced.

If a student is lucky they will be enrolled in a class that the professor is using the same book as he or she did the semester before. If this is the case, many students from the previous semester may have sold back their books. The books are then labeled as used and stuck on the shelf. The bookstore does an inventory of the used textbooks and the total number of books needed for class, and buys new textbooks for the difference. By going to the bookstore early you could save anywhere from $2.00 to $30.00 on just a single book.

Another advantage of checking out the bookstore early is so that you can see the books and get the ISBN numbers. It's no big secret that the bookstore is more expensive than online used textbook sites. Check out sites like Half or Amazon, for great deals on used textbooks. Used textbooks are not just limited to those two sites, there are hundreds of websites dedicated to purchasing and selling used college textbooks.

Yes that's right; there are people who will buy back your used textbook. Most campus bookstores will buy back used textbooks if they are in excellent condition. If your bookstore is not interested in your book, or the professor has changed books for the following semester, there are online sites that will buy them.

As a warning you may not be able to resell your used textbook. Some publishers will change the book a great deal from one and edition to the next and if schools are requiring the new edition of the book, your copy is obsolete. If you are unable to sell back your used textbooks, you may want to consider donating them. There are organizations that specialize in collecting books and shipping them free of charge to schools in other areas of the world.

Always count the cost of textbooks into any scholarship or student loans that you may get. Even if you get enough to cover the cost of brand new textbooks, it's still a smart idea to go to the book store early and get your hands on used textbooks. That extra cash can come in handy at the end of the semester when there's only water to drink and noodles to eat.
About the Author
FreeStudentListings.com is a school specific resource where you can sell and buy used textbooks to other students. Not only can you find used college textbooks , by school, you can locate internships, jobs for students and graduates, and student housing. Visit us today for great student listings !
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