By Gabriela Gomez
When this Spring semester ends, many students will be left with textbooks they will no longer need. In addition, they will have the expense of purchasing new textbooks for the upcoming Summer and Spring semesters.
During this time, many students sell their used textbooks to the campus bookstore or stores like Text Mania in return for a small percentage of their original investment. Students also buy used textbooks from these stores to get a better deal.
Plenty of students have walked into a book store with old textbooks in hand ready to take whatever cash offered for them. Then, students take that money and hope to strike a deal when trying to purchase used textbooks for the next semester.
It seems like a win-win situation, make money and save money all in one stop. The problem is that students always end up feeling ripped off because they don’t get back half of what was originally spent when they sell a book back to a bookstore.
This method of getting rid of textbooks in exchange for cash and buying used textbooks to save money may be the easiest method because students can get it all done in one place, however, it is not the most profitable method.
It is also not the best choice, especially because in this down economy all are looking to maximize students dollars and savings. A great way to do so is by eliminating the middle man when selling and buying used textbooks.
Even though it takes a little bit more foot work, I have found better results when selling or buying my books independently. For example, last semester I walked into a bookstore and asked for the used price of a book I needed.
After I was given a price of eighty dollars, a girl behind me told me she was there to sell the same book. We both walked outside and made a deal for fifty dollars. Eureka, I got an excellent bargain and she got more cash than the bookstore was willing to give her for the book.
The little bit of extra effort is definitely worth it, especially when students are dealing with several books. It is easy to spread the word of a person’s inventory through friends and by posting flyers throughout the school.
The same goes for buying. A student can find posters posted all over campus of people seeking to unload used books. The campus is always a convenient place to meet to exchange books because usually both parties visit it frequently.
One thing to keep in mind though, is to always meet in a public and well-lit place like the library or a coffee shop.
It is also a great way to meet other students. I met my husband through the acquisition of a used textbook. He likes to joke and say, “That book ended up being very expensive in the long run,” but I know we both ended up with a great deal.
There are benefits to reap from buying textbooks from a person who has already taken the class pertinent to the textbook. For instance, a student can receive valuable insight from that seller about the class a student is taking.
Students can find out what the professor’s expectations are, how strict or lenient he or she may be and how difficult the exams and assignments will be.
Students may have the opportunity to keep that person as a contact in case you run into any difficulty in the class during the semester.
When the semester ends, don’t settle for less money or a bad deal at a bookstore. Resell your textbooks independently. Students should go out and find a buyer for them and when they need to buy textbooks they can get a bang for their buck and find an independent seller to sell them.