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Monday, May 2, 2016

How to get Cheap Books

Textbooks: finding cheap used textbooks

If you thought that the price of classes were expensive, wait until you get a load of the price of textbooks for those classes. It sure would be nice if you could find a way to get the books for classes at a cheaper price. Free textbooks, cheap textbooks, renting textbooks, and selling your used textbooks (some type of buyback plan) have been ideas for a long time. As far as we can see, there are four options to try in order to get those books at a better price.

OPTION ONE:
See if your local college library has the book. Most libraries have policies restricting the purchase of textbooks. There are good reasons for this, but the economical cost alone of trying to keep up with purchasing each professor's class textbook is enough of a good reason. Still, some college textbooks find their way into the circulating collections, so you need to try to see if the library has the book.
Many college libraries have a "reserve" collection where teachers place materials on the shelf for their students to access during the semester. Many times the textbook is included in these materials that are placed on "reserve." Often, the student can check the book out of reserve for a couple of hours. It is a way to access the textbook for free, if the book is on reserve. It is inconvenient because you cannot check the book out from reserve for long BUT the book is available for free.
Interlibrary Loan is a possibility. Your local college may not have the textbook but another library somewhere in the country may have the book. You can ask your library to check to see if your textbook is available from another library. Usually, interlibrary loan is a free service.
Using the library is an option but this option has its disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that if you check the book out of the library, usually, you need to return the book within three or four weeks. You can try to renew the book but it is likely that someone else (from your class) wants the book, too. The same is true for interlibrary loaning the book. If you receive the book from another library, the loaning library is NOT going to want to loan the book out for ten to fifteen weeks for a semester.

OPTION TWO:
Sadly, purchasing the book may be the best option. However, it does not mean that you have to pay a high, retail price for the textbook. You have options as many bookstores now offer used textbooks and cheap textbooks. Many stores allow students to sell their used textbooks to them and through this buyback option, many bookstores will offer used, cheap textbooks:
  • You can try to purchase the book at a lower or used price at a number of very good online bookstores, which we will list below. When you purchase the book, you NEED TO MAKE SURE that you purchase the RIGHT book that your professor wants you to have for class. Be aware of the title, author, ISBN number, YEAR PUBLISHED or EDITION of the book. If you purchase the book used, make sure that you know the store's return policy IF the book is not what you want or it is damaged in some way.
  • We have seen some professors allow students to use a later edition of the textbook. This means that you can search some of the following online book stores to find a used book that is a later edition. The later edition should be much less expensive than the most recent edition. You HAVE to check with your instructor, though. Do NOT go ahead and use a later edition unless your instructor gives you permission.
  • Another factor in purchasing a used textbook is that some new textbooks come with a special CD, DVD, or access code to find more information on the publisher's website. We have seen a few teachers want the students to use the special code to access some of the information at the publisher's website. The problem with purchasing a used textbook is that you may have to purchase a separate code from the publisher in order to access their website. We have NOT seen a lot of teachers demand the use of the publisher's website, but this is something to remember when purchasing a used textbook. When you sign up for a college class, often the textbook and teacher are listed someplace. You can contact the professor with any questions that you may have.

Amazon.com will sell used textbooks to you.

eCampus will sell used textbooks to you.

Half.com will sell used textbooks to you.


OPTION THREE:
RENTING textbooks. Can you believe it? You have the ability to rent science textbooks, math textbooks, and a variety of college textbooks. The idea has been around for decades, but some companies are now doing this. They are renting college textbooks. It is a relatively new practice so we will present just three links to three companies. If you use any of these services, we would like to hear your feedback on how this worked for YOU. We picked these particular companies because of reputation and popularity. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • We checked each of the companies for five textbooks. They had only one of the textbooks. Availability of YOUR textbooks might be a concern.
  • Pick the correct time for loan / rent. You are given several rental times as options.
  • Make sure that you are asking to rent the correct book for your class. Check title, author, edition, and etc.
  • Each of the following companies that rent books will have a rental agreement document / "Frequently Asked Questions" that we recommend that you read. It will inform you of what happens if a book becomes lost or damaged. There are risks to renting, and these documents will keep you up-to-date on their policies. 
  • Another factor in renting a textbook is that some new textbooks come with a special CD, DVD, or access code to find more information on the publisher's website. We have seen a few teachers want the students to use the special code to access some of the information at the publisher's website. The problem with renting a textbook is that you may have to purchase a separate code from the publisher in order to access their website, IF the access code does not work. We have NOT seen a lot of teachers demand the use of the publisher's website, but this is something to remember when renting a textbook. When you sign up for a college class, often the textbook and teacher are listed someplace. You can contact the professor with any questions that you may have.

Chegg.com Textbook Rentals for renting textbooks.

CampusBookRental.com for renting textbooks.

eCampus.com for renting textbooks. 


Chegg.com Textbook Rentals will purchase some textbooks from you.

CampusBookRental.com will purchase some textbooks from you.

eCampus.com will purchase some textbooks from you.

Amazon will purchase some textbooks from you.

Half.com will purchase some textbooks from you.

http://www.valorebooks.com/YourAccount.do

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