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How to make the most of your school purchases 2011-06-27 18:11:21
This is a guest post from Jeff Cohen, blogger at TheTextbookGuru.com and CEO of CampusBooks, the go-to resource for finding the best prices for textbooks. Search for the best prices across multiple sites, not just to buy your books, but rent and sell.

Buying textbooks from your university's local bookstore is probably the craziest thing you can do if you plan on saving money. Luckily, there are many alternatives out there for the savvy student looking to avoid sticker shock. Here are our five favorites:

 

  1. Go Online

    Steer clear of the crowded, under-stocked campus bookstore, and go online instead. Retailers like CampusBooks.com operate year-round and offer savings of up to 95% off. Some online services will offer free shipping—try to take advantage of this, as heavy textbooks can add up to significant shipping fees that could chip away at your savings.

  2. Buy old editions

    Every year publishers attempt to rip more money off impoverished college students by making a new edition when the content of the book remains essentially the same. Compare the new and old editions at your local bookstore to see if there have been significant changes, and ask your professor if it would be OK to use an older edition- you could wind up saving a lot of money.

  3. Buy used

    Buying used books is a great way to save cash. If you buy from a trusted online retailer, where you know it will still be in good shape, you can save a lot of stress (and cash) later on. And hey, you might find that the book's previous owner has helpfully provided in-book notes and annotations—a built in, freebie study guide!

  4. Take advantage of discounts

    CampusBooks.com offers exclusive coupons and discounts at certain times during the year—keep an eye out to maximize your savings. You also might want to consider eBooks and international edition formats which can be far cheaper than the traditional version.

  5. Recoup your losses

    As tempting as it may be to use your old textbooks as doorstops/kindling, selling them back can help ease the pain of some of the prices. But don't just go the easy route and drop off at your campus bookstore sell online. Campusbooks will search the web for textbook buyback prices and marketplace prices, so you can see all your online selling options. As long as your books are in reasonably good condition, you'll be able to get more back through online sellers than you will at the local bookstore.

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