Essentially, she dropped $491.00 on books she can't use to prepare for the first week of class. While, I, on the other hand, still have $491.00 available in my bank account and am no less prepared for class! Pretty sweet eh?!
So here's my advice on buying textbooks
- Don't buy the textbook until after your first class once your prof has CONFIRMED you are REQUIRED to have it. This saves you time (returning books) and money (in case you can't return it)
- Don't waste money on something you can get for free. We have a Practice Teaching Handbook that is available online in PDF format. It's about 40 pages but only 20ish are relevant. So I printed them out front/back in black & white. Mine's not binded and doesn't have a pretty cover but it probably cost <$1 OR I could have bought it from the bookstore for $6. Granted it's only $5 I saved in this case. But think bigger. Online or library copies of textbooks are great. Many schools put texts on reserve so you can borrow them for 3 hours without leaving the library. Free is FREE!
- Buy used. I didn't really follow this advice until my last 2 years when I bought a text off a friend. I felt like I needed pretty brand new books to be successful. A few courses I'm still thankful I spent the money and bought new but the majority of my classes I barely opened the cover so new or used (or not at all) would have all been the same.
- Rent. This is a new phenomena that allows students to borrow the textbooks from the bookstore for the year. It costs a fraction of the price to buy and the student can write/highlight the text if they want (to a certain amount). If the text is returned in acceptable condition the student also doesn't have yet another book on their shelf. I personally love books and have a bagillion so I like keeping my textbooks but I know that many students don't like the extra clutter.
- Share with a friend. An ex-boyfriend and I had a course together and decided to buy the text together. We each saved about $80. Thankfully neither of us are highlighters and he let me keep it in the end. We made up a schedule that worked for both of our study habits (I'm a prepare ahead type/he's a procrastinator) and we both aced the course.
- Do price comparisons. It really doesn't hurt to see if you can get the book cheaper on Amazon or at Chapters. Most school bookstores have websites where you can find prices and availability so from the comfort of your living you're able to get the best deal. OHHH THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY.
That's all I got. I've only ever sold one textbook but I know you can make good money selling books back. But since I don't know any tricks of the trade I won't pretend to know and share my guesses.
Off I go to work on my price comparisons :D Hopefully I can get it under $400