College Textbook -Sticker Shock And Solutions!!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by decaff38, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. decaff38

    decaff38 1/2 in the World - 1/9/05!!

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    My daughter and I went to the bookstore to get her books for college. WOW!!! For 4 general classes and labs her textbook total was 485.00 and 3 of the 4 texts were used!!! I refuse to accept that as normal!! I wrote down all the ISBN#s, titles, editions and authors . I came home and spent the last 6 hours searching for alternative places to buy. I have one more book to buy and my total is right about $$ 220.00! They are not new but are the correct editions. I remember how, when I was in college and I bought books and barely used them then sold them for 1/3 the price at the end of the quarter. I did a textbook search and found:
    campusbooks.com, eCampus.com, didrecttextbooks.com, bookbyte.com, valorebooks.com, half.com but my favorite was bigwords.com. they compare all the sellers and list all the places to purchase. Be careful you are using the correct ISBN and then check the edition # to make sure you are ordering the right one.

    Good luck with your searching!!!
     
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  3. dsanner106

    dsanner106 DIS Veteran DVC Gold

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    Be very careful about editions, even send them a confirming email confirming editions and that they are not international editions or teacher editions. Some teachers will not allow them in the classroom and they cannot be resold at buyback.

    Drew
     
  4. Blueeyes101817

    Blueeyes101817 <font color=blue>Diehard <b>Cowboys</b> fan!<br><f

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    i just spent a couple hours tonight working on my books for the semester..i got 8 of them for 161 from half.com...i refuse to buy them from the bookstore!
     
  5. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    Sadly, it is normal, even a bit on the low side. This is one cost you are never really prepared for when your child starts college. My youngest will be a senior this fall, so I've spent years buying textbooks. We have been buying his texts for the last few semesters on Amazon, which means we pay no sales tax and since I am an Amazon Prime member, free shipping. That saves us a bit.
     
  6. PenguinWaiters

    PenguinWaiters Mouseketeer

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    I work at a college and one thing that I have found that students don't take advantage of enough is textbooks on reserve in the library. Many professors will have the current edition on reserve in the campus library that you can read there for free.

    Of course, you can't mark it up, but most students honestly do not do themselves any good with all of the highlighting that they do :artist: - taking written notes is a much better way to assist in recall.

    This doesn't always work for all books - obviously you need to purchase your own workbooks, etc... but it can save on buying a few books each semester, and gets you into the library on a regular basis - another good habit to get into.

    I also encourage students to ask their professors about this service. I think all textbooks used in a class should be available this way, and many professors can get additional **free** copies of the books from the publishers to do this, but just don't think about it until someone asks.

    Hope this helps! Good luck to your student. Encourage them to visit their campus Academic Services Center to meet more helpful people like me :thumbsup2

    Terri
     
  7. petrymom

    petrymom DIS Veteran

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    How funny - just did this on Sunday. I am waiting for 1 more book and I am done. I saved a little over $50 IF I could get used at the bookstore. In the nursing program, many of the books are NOT sold back and you end up buying new books every semester. I love the internet. :thumbsup2
     
  8. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    Question:

    When I was in college in the 80s, I used to go to the campus bookstore and buy used books for my classes as soon as the lists were posted -- always before classes began. Why? Because they had so few used books available that they disappeared in no time. Then I'd scour all the bulletin boards on campus trying to buy a really cheap used copy from an individual (we had only one on-campus bookstore, no off-campus competition, so we were really at their mercy). IF I was lucky and found the book for less money, I could return the used book to the campus bookstore for a refund. There was no penalty for returning a book -- as long as you had the receipt, of course.

    Is this still a viable choice today?

    Now that you have great internet resources, what percentage of the books are you able to find used?

    It'll be years before my daughters are ready to buy college textbooks, but I was always interested in beating the bookstore at their own game.
     
  9. M 'n C

    M 'n C DIS Veteran

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    careful on some of those websites. I bought through text book exchange (not sure the exact link) and I never got my book!!! So just make sure you pay through a Credit Card because that website was not going to help me any but discover fixed it in 2 days. Also make sure shipping is covered so you have it in time for the first week. Sometimes its best to wait until the first day of class to buy because the teachers will tell you if you need the book or not so you could save $$ there.
     
  10. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    I did this frequently -- especially during a few semesters when I really couldn't afford to buy books. Those books really saved my butt, but they're not convenient to use. You cannot leave the reserve room with the book, you never know whether someone else already be using the one book you need, and you have to go during library hours. Still, sometimes you have to do what you can do, not what you wish you could do.

    A couple times I had professors who'd require us to buy 2-3 books for ONE CLASS, yet when I looked over the syllabus I'd see that they only wanted us to read two chapters of this book and three chapters of that book -- THAT was when I really appreciated the reserve room!

    Another thing I did occasionally, when the opportunity arose: I shared books with friends. It wasn't convenient the night before a test, but it meant we could actually have the book in the dorms -- much more convenient than the library.
     
  11. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    What if you get the wrong book, or if you drop the class? Can books from internet sources be returned? I mean, if I buy a novel that I don't care for, I can toss it. I'd be pretty upset to find myself stuck with a $60 math book.
     
  12. sbpuckett

    sbpuckett Imagineer Wannabe

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    The most recent class I took was 2 summers ago and money was very tight. I actually went and talked to the professor and she let me borrow a copy of the text she had. Saved me something like $60... just a suggestion!
     
  13. M 'n C

    M 'n C DIS Veteran

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    that is why I usually chose to wait until the first day because the book store is usually accurate (not always though) but the teachers that are nice will let you know if the edition before is ok to use or if they won't use the book at all since the department heads dictate which books they get to use and which editions. Most the time the edition before was ok all that changes are the pictures for the most part.

    If you buy directly from amazon or something you can return but not to a seller.
     
  14. branv

    branv <font color=blue>The safety feature in my parents

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    Of all the websites I've gone through to buy textbooks my favorite is Amazon used books. I always get the best deal there and it's guaranteed.

    One more important thing...sell your books on Amazon! I get WAY more money for my textbooks then what the school bookstore will pay me. I bought my Spanish book, barely used, on Amazon for $32 (our bookstore was charging $55), and sold it for $27 :) Bookstore was giving $10.

    I have mentioned this to several students and they always say, "well it will take me too long to get my books!" At Amazon for about $3-$5 extra they can get priority shipping, still cheaper then the college store textbooks - or - most campus bookstore's have the class book list available for student viewing at least 2 weeks to a month before classes start so that you can "reserve" them. All these students would have to do would be to make a little effort to check it out before classes (especially if they have a website like my school's does ;) ) and they could start ordering in advance in time for class. But it just seems like it goes in one ear and out the other..some of them don't mind spending their parent's money I guess :teeth:
     
  15. decaff38

    decaff38 1/2 in the World - 1/9/05!!

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    These are basic core classes with about 300 kids in each lecture, not an option to ask the teacher for a copy of the text. I also used the reference copies when I could and it worked okay for me occationally. I checked over all the info on the books and made sure they were correct. THis is a state college and I doubt she will even have her texts(4 inches thick) with her in class. Most often it is just a frantic note taking session. For a third of the costs she will get through the basic core classes the same as someone who is paying full price. I pride myself of being resourceful and find the best deal for a decent price. I got 3 off of half.com and 3 more from valore.com. We will see how it goes. There are many on line at full price so if we run into difficulties we can send for them quickly. She will need to have her own copy because she is workin g3 nights a week from 12:30am to 6:30am and will be using most of her time to study and read. I'm sure it will work out. Hope someone else finds some great deals too. We will be reselling on half.com in Jan.
     
  16. denecarter

    denecarter OKW 2003

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    My friend swears by abebooks.com. I didn't have ISBN numbers or editions, so I couldn't get DD's that way. She is using the off-campus bookstore.

    My best book snag in college... bought a brand new (new edition) biology book, Professor told us we could use previous edition if friend or relative had one, saw previous edition at campus library book sale, took back $70-ish dollar book (yeah, it was a while ago) and got all my money back. And my library sale book... cost me a quarter! :cool1:
     
  17. grlpwrd

    grlpwrd <font color="orange">I'm here for the mouse more t

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    ::yes::

    My school bookstore has books in packets, too, with a text and workbook or solution manual which seem to have a different ISBN number compared to when they are separate and listed on the bookstore website. :confused3

    I have had a luck on half.com .
     
  18. dementia412

    dementia412 DIS Veteran

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    My first semester back to school I had no money before classes started so I bought all of my books at the school store... ack, used geology book for like $65 was my best deal.

    I know that at my school you can only return a book for full price either 1, before schools starts (still in package if it was wrapped), or 2, after classses start IF you have proof you dropped the class or it was the wrong book/teacher changed texts AND it's still in the package.

    My three biggest problems with internet cheap book buying
    1. teachers who don't list their books untill two days b4 classes
    2. editions, how can there be so many @$* $^&! editions of one book?!
    3. having the books returned because I have a lazy mail... person

    other than that it's a great bargain :teeth:
     
  19. Barbers2005

    Barbers2005 DIS Veteran

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    I just graduated from one of the larger NY state universities, and the campus bookstore is the biggest rip-off in town when it comes to books. There are two other bookstores less than five miles away that are both cheaper than buying books at the college and they have larger stocks of used books. Competition for student business is so fierce that one of the bookstores rents a limo to give students rides from campus to their store the first week of classes. I know not every college will have alternative bookstores nearby, but I bet a lot of them do, especially in cities with more than one school. Check the local phone book or look in the ads section of the student newspaper.
     
  20. dizcrazee

    dizcrazee DIS Veteran

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    I'm a college professor and I have had many students get burned by ordering books from these discount sites. I always put my textbooks on reserve in the library, but that is really not a very effective solution, unless you plan on spending a lot of time in the library - they can't be checked out. I recommend biting the bullet and buying the ridiculously overpriced ones in the bookstore. It really makes me mad that these publishing companies are charging such outrageous prices for college textbooks. :furious:
     
  21. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    That reminds me to get on the stick for my classes. I have two classes at two different campuses, so its a bit of driving.

    Yes, going used is the way to go. However, you do have to have to make sure that the colleges are using the exact title. Some colleges are sneaky and bundle it together with specific text/workbooks/cds and such and they say you need it all.

    Good luck.

    I've been lucky and as a mid junior, I've only had to pay new for just my teaching courses (general ed classes easy to find used). Now I'm taking specialty courses, its trickier.
     

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