One of the most expensive things about being a student is textbooks. Not only can it cost hundreds of dollars to invest in the required books, many are not used more than a semester. This leaves wasted investments sitting in piles in a small dorm or stacked up in an apartment or home.
In this day and age, thanks to ever-expanding technology there are a growing number of online resources that are available when it comes to buying, selling, or renting books for school. If you are tired of spending a large chunk of funds at the on-campus bookstore each semester, it’s time to consider the following alternatives.
Buying at a Discount
- Buying at a Discount: Buying a brand-new textbook is sometimes unavoidable and every so often necessary. Things like changing editions, or workbooks that are meant to be used to supplement homework are almost never available at a discount. However, online resources such as BooksRun allow access to hundreds of thousands of used or damaged books available at enviably discounted prices.
When you are looking to purchase books at a discount, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have the best deal possible. If you are looking to resell it after the semester, this is especially important, so make sure your investment will be sellable after a few months of use:
– Used books can come in a variety of conditions and you can be picky with what you choose. This is true of both in-store and online book listings. For example, it may be worth it to pay $5 more for a gently used book rather than purchasing the least expensive one that has been through a few rounds.
– ‘Damaged’ books are sometimes almost completely new. Read the seller notes to assess the extent of the damage. Sometimes a permanently damaged cover is enough to require the publisher to sell it as damaged, leaving the rest of the book in perfect condition.
Renting vs. Buying
- Renting vs. Buying: An alternative to purchasing (and hoping to resell) a textbook, is to rent textbooks. Many campus bookstores offer a number of books up for rent, and online resources such as booksrun.com (https://booksrun.com) also offer this for students.
In order to rent textbooks, you often need to pay a sum of money upfront. This is less than it would cost to purchase the textbook, often lesser than even a used copy. Assuming you turn the book back in at the end of the semester in the same condition, you won’t be charged any additional fees (and you don’t find yourself with a book you don’t need).
With this option, many places both online and instore, have a certain window of time during which you can both rent and return your book(s). A bonus for using online resources such as booksrun.com is that they will waive shipping, making books affordable to rent and return.
Selling quickly and efficiently:
- Selling quickly and efficiently: The third thing that students can leverage online resources for is the reselling of their textbooks. For students who hope to recover some of the money they invested in the books, reselling is an ideal solution. Online resources often offer two ways that students can resell their books.
– Often, bookstores (both online and on campus) will purchase books back directly from the students at a discounted cost. The benefit of this option is that there is a 100% guarantee that your book will be purchased and you will have the cash in your pocket the same day.
Bonus tip: On-campus bookstores will often buy your books back at the end of a semester regardless of where you purchased the book initially. If you buy an inexpensive book in good condition online, you can sometimes upsell your books back to the bookstore during this buy-back session.
– A secondary option is for students to list their books for sale on the open marketplace. They can list for whatever price they like, which will most likely be more than what a seller would pay. However, with this option, you do run the risk of the book not being purchased.
Having a pile of books that you no longer need can be frustrating. Often, these books also represent a good amount of financial investment too. Utilizing the online resources available to students can benefit you immensely. Before you purchase another book for school, weigh the options of renting vs. purchasing used or damaged copies. Don’t forget – You also have options when it comes to reselling your books. Turn your investment into some earnings before you register for your next round of classes!