Second Hand or New School Textbooks? What to Consider when Buying
Purchasing textbooks for school is a significant investment that many students are unaware of. It can cost upwards of $100 depending on your major, especially for scientific majors, where a single textbook can cost half that.
When it comes to purchasing textbooks, college students are fortunate in that they have a few options. You have the choice of purchasing new or second hand textbooks and saving money. You might be wondering why someone would pay more for new textbooks when second hand textbooks are available. You might also be interested in learning how to save money while purchasing new textbooks.
We've put together a guide to show you the benefits and drawbacks of buying new and used textbooks, as well as how you can recoup some of your costs at the end of the semester.
Why Should You Purchase New Textbooks?
Why would someone buy new textbooks if they are so much more expensive than second hand textbooks? There are several causes for this. One reason could be that your professor has given you the most recent edition of the textbook, which provides crucial and up-to-date information for the class.
Many textbooks now include online program codes with exercises or homework assignments, as computers have become such an integral aspect of our lives and education. These codes are unique to each textbook copy and are usually only good for one year. This means that students will be unable to purchase a second hand copy of the textbook because they will be unable to complete homework and other tasks without the online code.
Personal preference is another reason to purchase new textbooks. If you're a scientific or math major, it's a good idea to maintain your textbooks to refer to throughout your academic career because the content builds from a foundation. If you're a senior and you're having difficulties grasping a subject, you might want to go back to your freshman year chemistry book to refresh your memory.
Where Can You Purchase New Textbooks?
Because most bookstores will likely have it in stock, new textbooks are easier to find than second hand textbooks. Before purchasing a book, it is a good idea to look it up online and compare pricing. While your school bookstore is likely to have the new textbook in stock, due to the convenience of purchasing it on campus, they are more likely to raise the price.
How to Get a Discount on New Textbooks
You should try to save money on textbooks even if you wish to buy new ones for the semester. While they will be more expensive than second hand textbooks, these strategies will help you save a few dollars.
When purchasing a textbook, always compare costs at multiple retailers. As previously said, your campus bookstore is more inclined to raise prices for the sake of convenience. Comparing book costs is simple and quick; simply type in the ISBN and wait for the results to appear. You might get a great price!
Obtain New Textbooks for Rent
Consider renting a textbook if you know you won't use it for longer than a semester but still want a new one. Students can rent books from Textsurf, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble for a fraction of the cost of buying them. Simply place your book in a package and return it using the free mailing label provided. It doesn't get any more straightforward than that. Check with your campus bookstore to see if they rent out books as well.
Buying an eBook edition of a textbook instead of a paper copy can save you a few dollars if you have a tablet or Kindle. Not to add that the eBook is light on your backpack and environmentally friendly. No more wasting time flicking through pages of material you don't need; with an eBook, you can simply search for the term or chapter you're looking for instead of wasting time looking for it in a large book.
You could also be able to rent an eBook version from Amazon, saving you a lot of money.
With a classmate, split the book.
Consider splitting the cost of the textbook with a friend who is in the same major as you and will be taking the same class as you but in a different semester. This means you'll only have to pay for half of the book, saving you a significant amount of money. It also means the textbook won't be lying on your shelf collecting dust for months. You can share the price and gain some money if and when you sell the textbook after you've both used it. It's a win-win situation for all parties involved!
Request Gift Cards
When it comes to going through school and buying textbooks, as a college student, you should not be embarrassed to ask for support from family and friends. Request gift cards to your school bookstore or other bookstores where you can buy textbooks for birthdays or holidays. This can be really beneficial, especially because the funds are not coming from your own pocket.
Making Money on New Textbooks
It's the end of the semester, which means it's time to declutter. You see the textbook you believed would be useful throughout your academic career, but it turns out it was a letdown and possibly a waste of money. So, what are you going to do with it? You are the one who sells it!
Your school shop will almost certainly buy used books back, but for the cheapest price feasible. It's the convenience factor once more. Selling your new textbooks to classmates or online is the easiest way to recoup your investment. Because the textbook is new, you may charge a higher price for it than you would for a used textbook.
Why You Should Avoid Purchasing New Textbooks
Now that you've heard all of the advantages of purchasing new textbooks, here are some reasons why you shouldn't. They could be a complete waste of money. Why would you pay more for a new textbook when you may save money by purchasing one that has some wear and tear? The majority of textbooks today are costly, particularly when purchased from a bookshop. Save some money for pleasurable activities and do yourself a favour.
Why Should You Purchase Used Textbooks?
Why should you buy used textbooks? Of course, to save money! When you compare the cost of second hand textbooks to the cost of new textbooks, the savings are incredible. Not to add that you are assisting someone else by removing a book from their hands and assisting them in recouping some of their investment. For the college textbook, it's the end of the road.
Where Can You Find Used Textbooks?
Used textbooks can usually be found wherever new textbooks are sold. This includes the bookstore on campus. When it comes to old books, you might be able to get a better deal at the campus bookstore than on Usedbooksfactory, Amazon or eBay because you won't have to pay for delivery.
Another good location to hunt for used textbooks is on social media or among friends who have previously taken the course. Many colleges and institutions have Facebook groups where students may sell textbooks or just talk about what's going on campus. Search for the textbook you require by scrolling through the feed.
Visit a local used bookstore close to school. Thanks to a kind donation from a past student, they will be able to carry a copy of the book. It will require some browsing, but if you are a book aficionado, it will not be too taxing.
Finally, you can inquire with your lecturer about any spare copies of textbooks that past students may have left. They recognize that textbooks might be expensive, and they want to assist you as much as possible.
How to Get the Best Deal on Used Textbooks
While purchasing used textbooks can save you money immediately when compared to purchasing new textbooks, there are certain additional strategies you can employ to ensure you save the most money possible.
You should always compare pricing, just as you would with new textbooks. Because you must hunt for classmates selling their books, this may take a little more effort than simply utilizing a website that compares prices for you. It's always a good idea to compare prices before going in and buying a second hand textbook if you have the time.
Purchase from your classmates
Buy used textbooks from your peers to help them out. Not only will this assist them in recouping part of their costs, but you will also receive a discounted textbook. Because you're buying from a person, don't be afraid to bargain a little on the price, especially if you spotted it cheaper someplace else online. You can also avoid the shipping price if you buy a used textbook from a classmate because you can pick it up on campus.
Look into the library.
Nobody ever considers borrowing a textbook from the library. Libraries are often free to use and allow you to check out a book for the duration of the semester. The only disadvantage of using the library for a textbook is that you must go early in the semester.
Downloads for free
Check to see if you can download it for free if you're an English major or taking a General Education subject that requires you to read classic novels or books. The copyright expires after a specific number of years, allowing you to download the eBook edition for free! To see if a book qualifies, look it up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Google.
Used textbooks can be rented for a fraction of the cost of new textbooks. To acquire the best deal, check the bookstore and other online stores once more. After the semester is through, you'll have less clutter on your bookshelves.
Getting Paid for Used Textbooks
You can resell your old textbooks for a profit, just like new textbooks. Textsurf or Amazon can be used to sell them to classmates and online. If Amazon runs out of a popular textbook, they may give you credit against your account if you submit it to them.
Avoid returning used textbooks to the school bookshop. They'll offer you the bare minimum, which won't feel like much in your pocket. Selling old textbooks is the easiest way to recoup your investment.
Why Should You Avoid Purchasing Used Textbooks?
Isn't all of this fantastic? There are, however, several reasons why you should avoid purchasing old textbooks. For your class, you might require the most recent edition of the textbook. To complete homework for the class that comes with a new textbook, you may need an online code. It could simply be a matter of personal taste. When they notice notes or highlighted text in a used textbook, some people become side-tracked. Perhaps you have some money left over from a scholarship and want to use it to treat yourself to a new textbook. Not everyone is a fan of used textbooks.
Buying New Textbooks vs. Buying Used Textbooks
There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to purchasing new and used textbooks. It ultimately boils down to personal preference and financial considerations. If you have the extra cash and would prefer a new textbook versus a second hand book, go for it! Just keep in mind that there are strategies to save money while purchasing a new textbook. Used textbooks are the most cost-effective alternative for college students, but you may not have that option. It's possible that your lecturer will want the most recent edition.
Whether you're buying new or used textbooks, there are ways to save money regardless of the type. You can potentially recoup your costs by selling them to classmates or on the internet.