Byline: Mary Gail Lee Ayos, Staff writer
Purchasing over priced textbooks every semester is one of the most exasperating things college students go through. Along with tuition, textbook prices are increasing at a steady rate; students must be informed on cost-efficient ways to purchase textbooks. Buying books through college bookstores may be convenient but expensive; the difference in price range for textbooks at a bookstore and online sources may range from forty to seventy percent off.
“College textbooks prices are 812 percent higher than they were a little more than three decades ago,” the American Enterprise Institute reports.
From purchasing used textbooks, renting, or even downloading eBooks, these options allow Valley students to save some money. Retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, eBay, and local bookstores, offer great deals for new, used, and rented textbooks. With access to sign up for coupons via e-mail, store deals, and promotions, students can add additional savings onto their purchase.
When purchasing books, it is best to research and compare prices from different retailers. Sites such as bookfinder4u.com, cheapesttextbooks.com, bigwords.com, campusbooks.com, and dealoz.com, compare online sources and retailers that provide the same textbook for different prices. They also provide the total value and quality of the textbooks to determine the cost, whether it is a rental or a purchased book.
A majority of the books accessible for rentals are marked down from forty to ninety percent off; retail prices are accompanied with low to free shipping. Companies that allow rentals lend students the textbooks they need for a set period of time and give a specific deadline for when the textbooks must be returned. Renting textbooks allows students to use hard cover textbooks without having to worry about buy backs for multiple textbooks and high prices every semester.
According to PR Newswire, “[students] saved $16 million in 2008 by renting books from chegg.com.”
Technology buffs will benefit from the new eBooks many retails offer. Students can directly download their textbooks onto their mobile devices, iPads, Kindles, and any Android devices for a fraction of the cost. Amazon and textbooks.com are just two out of many retailers that are offering e-textbook purchases and rentals. The Kindle company states that students may be able to save as much as 80 percent off of textbook prices.
Some retailers may charge a shipping and handling fee as well as a minimum day rental fee. Students may extend their rentals to a maximum of 125 days per textbook.
If students are not able to find the required textbooks through different sources, the college bookstore is more than likely to have it. Whether buying or renting, the bookstore is sure to have the materials accessible to all students.