I think that it's a well-known fact that your college bookstore is ripping you off. You can sometimes pay over $100 for a textbook at the beginning of the semester and receive $10 when you go to sell it back to them after finals. Something isn't right there.
There are a few different ways that you can get your hands on cheaper textbooks. You'll be able to save yourself a few hundred bucks by the time you graduate:
- Buy your textbooks on half.com - If you haven't done this yet, give it a shot. I've saved up to 50% and more on used textbooks through half.com. You can even sell your textbooks here once you're finished with them and make much more than your college bookstore is willing to give you. If you have an Ebay account, you can easily sign up as it's all the same company. Rating systems are the same as Ebay too so you can sift through the sellers who might potentially rip you off. Facebook also has a marketplace that you might want to try, but I have never used it and I don't know anyone else who has.
- Trade textbooks with people who have taken the class - Yes, it sounds silly, but I have traded textbooks with people so I didn't have to buy them. This is particularly useful if you have a good amount of friends in your major.
- Don't buy the textbook - No, I'm not telling you to skip the work that is to be done in the class. What you might want to do is ask someone who has taken the class before if the textbook is an essential part of the class. I've wasted money in the past by buying a book that was wrapped in plastic and unwrapped it for the class, only to realize that I didn't need it (my bookstore wouldn't take any returns on books that were opened after being shrink wrapped).
- If you have to buy from the bookstore, always try to buy used- This is kind of self-explanatory. It can still be expensive, but at least you can save a little.
- Ask mom and dad for money - Why not? Some people like new, shiny books.