Last updated on January 28, 2018
College is an expensive time in every students life. With college fees, tuition, and school supplies it can be a rather large and scary number. Textbooks tend to be a main component to the stress students face when paying for school. But what is the best route to saving a few bucks on textbooks? Is it better to buy brand new books, old used books, or to rent textbooks? Is it cheaper to shop for them in stores or on online on websites such as Amazon? Students are given many options when it comes to their academic career, but which one benefits them the most?
At Volunteer State Community College there is a bookstore you can find in the Wood’s center. After asking them a range of questions over their books, Dianne King answered them in confidence. King said that there was not an average price point of books in the bookstore, that some books could be around ten dollars and others around two hundred and fifty. She also confirmed that they do rent books in their store and they allow students to write, highlight, and take notes in the textbook they have rented out as long as it comes back in good condition. While asking her which one she thought was more of a money saver, renting or buying new textbooks she said in assurance renting. On top of that the bookstore also buys used textbooks off of students. King stated; “If there is a need for them in the store we will buy up to half of what you paid, but we will not buy workbooks that have work done in them and books that have had pages torn out, they must be in sellable condition.” This is helpful for students that may choose to buy textbooks, you can surely make a few bucks to save up for your new set of books for the next semester.
Nearby the campus there is a bookstore called Textbook Brokers. Michael Moghadam answered all questions with certainty that Textbook Brokers was the cheapest route to the school year. They sell a range of new and used textbooks and their average price point is about one hundred and twenty dollars for a full schedule student. Textbook Brokers allows students to rent books, in fact over 70% of what they do at their store is rentals. Moghadam stated; “Students can write, highlight, and take notes in our rental books, and they can rent the book out for the entire semester.” When asking Moghadam which did he think saved more money buying or renting he stated; “Renting definitely in most cases.” Textbook Brokers also buys used textbooks off of students as long as they are still current. Moghadam continued on saying that Textbook Brokers also price matches and checks daily market prices twice a day. “We don’t check campus prices anymore we check Amazon and Chegg so we are always the cheapest for students.” Moghadam expressed.
Another way students can get textbooks is on online stores such as Amazon, eBay, and Chegg. Chegg’s policy on the website boldly says; “Never pay full price for textbooks, save up to 90% on books.” On Amazon, you receive a range of prices depending on who is selling it. Prices can be between forty dollars and nearly one hundred dollars, but Amazon also offers “Your Rental Cart” through you Amazon account. Students may receive new textbooks or used textbooks from Amazon, but unfortunately Amazon does not guarantee all materials that may be needed with the textbook, such as CDs. Amazon also asks students to limit their writing and highlighting in the books so that they can reuse them for future customers, unlike the bookstore and Textbook Brokers. eBay is another online website that students can hunt for books. Most of the time eBay can be rather difficult when searching for a good deal. Prices may be higher then the actual price of the book itself, or they may have a good deal but the book may be in terrible condition. eBay is normally a fifty fifty chance, you either find a great deal or you don’t.
Overall, buying textbooks is completely up to how the student may want to do it. Sometimes it is best to rent books, and other times to buy. Either way students need to be wise about the decisions they make when buying textbooks, what will benifit them in the long run and what will benifit them now. Hopefully when so many options the stress of buying textbooks can be reduced and not so much a hassle, but a joy.