Skimming Textbook Prices

At every new start to a school semester, many of us are practically forced to buy textbooks that we know are way too expensive, and more often than not, are also out of our budget. Some of the worst things that could happen is that you buy a textbook listed under your class as a required text, but you never actually open the book. You bought it for $300, but it rendered useless. Another terrible situation you could come across is that you bought a textbook at full price, and only use one single page in it! We've all been there, and it's understood as being a very aggravating and frustrating position for us, as students, to be in. Fortunately, for all of us students, we are not the first, nor will we be the last generation of college-goers. Many textbooks that are needed throughout your entire college career are, more likely than not, located around the entire globe, and are sold for various prices. But, before you can purchase just any textbook that seems to be a good fit, there are a few things to consider, the most important being the actual condition of the book. Another would be the price range and where, or who, to buy it from. Then, there is the seller information and all the nuts and bolts of the product. 

There are a number of ways to tackle your textbook purchases, here's how it can be done the easiest and possibly quickest way: 

1. Find The Book Online Using The ISBN Number 

This number will help you locate that specific book and all the copies of it. You could type in the title of the book you are searching for, but with search engines like Google, you will find your textbook, what may be your textbook, and what is definitely not your textbook. It's better to lower the number of search results, otherwise, you'll be stuck looking for the textbook long after the semester ends. 

2. Choosing Which Textbook You Actually Want To Purchase 

When searching through all the refined results for the textbook needed for class, there is always an option to buy electronic versions, hardcovers, paperbacks, audiobooks, even spiral-bound textbooks. Along with these options, there are options to buy new or used books as well. A helpful tip is to avoid collectibles because they can be overly priced, and you really won't get your money's worth. Same goes for any texts with an option called "Mass Market;" there is practically no difference in buying a book from this category than it is to buy a used one, the price is the same. 

3. Choosy Students Choose Cheap! 

Yes, this is definitely no secret, every undergrad will want to buy their textbooks at the absolute lowest price possible. While that holds true, there are instances where the textbook that normally would cost closer to $30, but was bought for $2, ended up being a book missing 80 pages, had water damage, or was practically illegible due to damage or excessive notetaking. The word of advice here would be to buy cheap, but not too cheap. 

4. Read The Notes! 

Yeah, I know, you have to read the textbook AND the information about it.... believe me, this will help you in the long run. More often than not, the used books that are being sold online offer a brief description other than the book summary. These descriptions given usually pertain to the condition of the book, as well as any additional original media, such as handouts, original prints, CD-Roms, among other materials that the textbook may have originally been packaged with. All this information becomes very useful before making your final purchase.  

5. Selection 

When you have finally chosen which textbook you want to purchase, it's always a good idea to keep in mind the amount of shipping tax that is being paid. Yes, the book is listed as 94 cents, but the shipping cost could be an additional $3. While you are truly saving way more money by purchasing used textbooks, it's always important to remember that these are not brand-new materials, so always keep in mind that the packaging may not include everything the original one did. 

Attending college is expensive, there are many tricks and tips to creating a budget that works for each individual. Whatever is planned, be sure to always be smart with the money spent on all necessary expenses. There are always cheaper options, it just takes some practice to get used to doing things differently than traditional. 

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