Spending on books is one of the major drains of money while in college. You could however save a small fortune by adopting some super wise tips, without compromising your studies.
Seek the Best Price Before You Buy
Do not rush in and purchase the first copy you find of the book you need. Wait. Shop around. Compare prices in the neighborhood you live. Go on the Internet and look up the book you need. Determine the lowest price offered and only when convinced that is the best offer should go forward with purchasing the book.
Soft Copies Are Cheaper
Before you purchase a hard copy (a printed, hardbound copy) check on the Internet whether there is a soft copy available or an e-copy that you could download to your computer/ laptop for a fraction of the cost. It costs a lot to print a book, therefore a hard copy’s cost is much higher.
An online edition provides all of the same information, without draining monetary resources. When buying online, be careful with some very common pitfalls that defeat the purpose unless the necessary precautions are observed from the beginning:
1. Time – sometimes the books you order online take “forever” to arrive.
When possible shop for the required books at least one month before
your course starts. Therefore, allowing sufficient time for the book to
arrive for the first day of class.
2. Error – mistakes happen. It seems that the more important the book, the more likely that an error will occur. Check, check and again check that you are ordering the right book. Here is a small checklist of
commonly overlooked details:
• Same title, two different authors
• Correct shipping address
• Proper zip
• Same title, two different editions
Alternatively, if you have the means and the time, borrowing and scanning the book can be an attractive option. This is a great option if the book is not available or simply unaffordable. What are computers there for after all?
Book Garage Sale
It is a good idea to sell your used books as the next semester begins in college. There will always be people who look for the best deals and
therefore welcome the idea of buying relevant books at half the price. By doing so you can get a percentage of your investment back and at the same time, help someone save on expenses as well.
There are times when a professor may change the book after the current semester. You can still sell your old college books – maybe not at your college, but online. There may still be many colleges out there using the book. Check into online marketplaces that let sellers post items that are for sale in exchange for a nominal fee.
Use the Last Edition
Before buying the college book prescribed, check with the instructor as to whether the previous edition is acceptable. Very often, the differences between the editions recently introduced are minimal. The differences may require Xerox copying a few pages here and there; however, the price difference between the two editions can often be quite drastic therefore amounting to huge savings.