As of 2015, about 15 million people were enrolled in US colleges. While those students are different in that many are studying unique things and live in unique places, a common denominator that unites them all is that they pay too much for textbooks.
Anyone that has been to college knows that there are whole enterprises built around overcharging students for reading materials. While annoying, there are clever methods like knowing when to buy college textbooks that you can use to bring down your cost burden.
Below, we share five stellar tips that could save you thousands throughout your collegiate career.
Buy When the Semester Is Over
When to buy college textbooks is when demand is at its lowest. That means avoiding doing your book shopping when the semester starts and being active when things are winding down.
You’ll need to do some homework before buying post-semester because you won’t have a syllabus yet that will tell you which books to purchase. If you have a friend that has taken a course you know you’ll be enrolling in or other sources of information you can tap, you can get the insight you need to get ahead of the shopping curve.
If not, never be afraid to email your professor and explain your situation. They’ll appreciate your forward-thinking.
Always Buy Used
If there’s a good condition, used textbook available and you’re going to save 5% or more on it over a new one, go with used. Good condition used books will have the same resale value as new books at the end of the semester.
Go With Third-Party Stores
Do not start your book-buying at your college bookstore. They charge retail prices for everything and you will almost certainly save by going to private textbook businesses that operate both online and off.
Rent If the Deal Makes Sense
One of the most common textbook savings tricks people suggest is that you should rent instead of buying books. Sometimes, that suggestion makes sense while other times it doesn’t.
When you buy a book, you have the opportunity to resell it. So, if your book purchase was $70 and you resold for $50, you’d only end up paying $20.
With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure the price you pay for a book rental is lower than the final price you’ll pay after buying and reselling. Many times it’s not.
Now You Know When to Buy College Textbooks and Other Tips, Start Saving!
Strategies like knowing when to buy college textbooks or how to save by buying used only work if you use them! Take the extra time to implement the tactics we’ve shared and enjoy the tremendous savings you’ll rake in over your collegiate career.
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