Next to tuition, the cost of textbooks is the most expensive aspect of going to college. Each teacher has a list of books and supplies you are required to have by the time class starts. Even one class can put a serious dent in your budget. If you are taking several classes, the cost can be surprisingly high. Buying used text books is the smart way to stock your book bag.
There are lots of online places to shop for used books but sometimes sticking with a local resource or partner can be more advantageous. There’s no shipping fees, no worries that it will arrive in time for class or what condition it might be in. It’s simply a matter of contacting an individual, looking at the book and exchanging money.
Check with Professors
Often, professors understand the expense involved with college. Some professors or departments will keep a listing of students from previous semesters who are selling their books. You can contact the professor through his office at the school. If your professor maintains no such contact list, then try the department head for that class. They may have a list of contacts where you can get cheap used textbooks. They are also a good resource for study materials and tutoring.
College bulletin boards are bursting with advertisements for study groups, roommates and everything in between. Sometimes you can find students who are selling last semester’s textbooks. In the weeks leading up to a new semester, check the bulletin boards frequently. As students begin to think about coming up with the money to pay for this semester’s classes, they start posting ads to sell their older books.
Find a Book Buddy
Look for someone who is going through the same college program as you. Find out what classes they have already taken and might still have books for. You can plan your school schedules so that you are never in the same classes. You each buy financially compatible books for the classes you are taking. Next semester, you swap classes and books at no cost at all. Once you have both used the books, you sell them and use the money to finance the next round of books. You can continue this way throughout your college career, basically paying for only half of the books you actually used.
Make sure you and the book buddy have compatible study practices. You will be really upset if you turn over a pristine set of books and receive a set that has been cared for, has writing on the pages or torn covers. Get to know the person a little before you pitch this idea so you don’t get any bad book surprises down the road.
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