December 26, 2012
I can say with all honesty that what surprised me most about college was how expensive textbooks are. Now I understand why public schools hold onto theirs for so long; buying hundreds of copies is outrageously expensive. But since college students only need 1, we can’t take advantage of any price breaks for buying in volume. In my first semester, I bought my textbooks from the CU Bookstore because I didn’t know about anything else. This was in the 2008-2009 school year, and the Bookstore didn’t allow students to rent textbooks yet. I spent more than $1000 on books that first year, but I barely needed to crack them even when they were “required”.
As you can imagine, I got tired of spending so much money on things that I barely used pretty quickly. After my first year, someone told me about the website Chegg.com, which would rent textbooks for one semester at a very cheap price. I used the website for my second year, and saved a ton of money. And when professors required a textbook that they didn’t use, I wasn’t as annoyed since I paid significantly less money.
That same year, I had to figure out what to do with all of the textbooks that I accumulated my first year. They were covered in dust, and I didn’t want them piled up in the corner of my room anymore. I first looked to Craigslist, but that market didn’t look very promising. Since professors here usually require the newest version of a book, it’s hard to sell old ones locally. So I looked for a market-place on a larger scale, and I realized that lots of people sell books on Amazon. I was able to sell my old ones for better prices than I would have gotten at the CU Bookstore, and I also saw that I could buy used books for cheaper than Chegg and the CU Bookstore.
Since I’ll be buying books for yet another semester soon, I will check Amazon first, then Chegg, and then finally CU’s Bookstore. I know that I touted Amazon’s used-book market last week too, but I will say that their books are often in worse shape than Chegg’s and the CU Bookstore. If I wanted to keep a textbook, I probably wouldn’t buy it used off of Amazon. But if you only need a book for one semester, and you don’t want to keep it, I would check out Amazon and Chegg.
-The Greenback GuruShare on Facebook