The price of college textbooks continues to rise, because many publishers are pushing updated editions and creating classroom packages with software and study materials so they can make more money selling books. The bad news is that these new, improved editions cost, on average, 58% more than the previous versions. While parents, colleges and students have voiced their complaints, the practice continues and text book prices have gone through the roof.
The National Association of College Bookstores reports that text book prices have risen by 50% in the past 7-8 years. When you sign up for a course, you are at the mercy of the professor who has chosen the text she/he will use to teach that course. You have no choice but to buy the book. If your professor is not savvy enough to specify that they want the bookstore to order just the text, any expanded versions will probably be used to fulfill the order at a higher cost to the student. The average cost of a college text book today is $105.00. Many new textbooks cost $175.00 to $250.00.
But there is some good news! Most college book stores buy and sell used books from outgoing students to incoming students and you can save a bundle of money buying used books. The bookstore will rank the book to inform you of its condition. Don’t wait until you arrive on campus to order your books. Order them online through the school book store so you can get a deal on the used books before they are out of stock.
Some books will have marginal notes, and some will be damaged but usable. Your books don’t need to be in pristine condition. You just need to use them to study for your classes and you need them to be in reasonably good condition to last through the semester. At the end of your class term, you can sell your books privately to other students who are taking the class you just finished, or you can take your book to the bookstore and get a bit of money back.
Remember that the more care you take in protecting the book from further damage during the time you own it, the better chance you can sell the book for a reasonable price when you are finished using the text. If you cannot buy or sell your used textbook using the college book store as the middle man, look online for sites that provide you the opportunity to sell and buy used textbooks at a fraction of the cost of new books.
It takes a little advance planning, but you can save yourself a lot of money!