Tips for College Freshmen
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Some of the new students are used to buying textbooks for their studies, and some are not; that depends on whether their school was public or private, and if they have taken the AP courses. Former public school students might lack experience and flexibility when searching for the necessary books, as they would be usually provided with materials needed by the school district. These schools are generally compelled to purchase books from a small variety of retailers due to bureaucratic regulations instead of opting for the cheapest alternative.
Nevertheless, after the start of the semester acquiring books becomes a personal burden for each student instead of parents or government, and a search for a cheaper option becomes a logical objective. High school graduates who had to purchase their own books and didn’t have a school bookshop are obviously more used to looking for textbooks on the websites. What every student needs to know is that a huge variety of different web sources that sell affordable options exists.
Fast delivery also makes buying a used book from a third-party seller a beneficial deal, contrary to what is thought by the students who are afraid of missing some important information on the first weeks due to slow shipping. Therefore, they tend to buy much more expensive textbooks in the university bookstore. What the students don't consider is that the long-term experience of the reselling companies in this area makes the delivery process quick and streamlined. However, you should still learn about the books you need as early as you can and leave some time for delivery in order not to rush to a college bookshop.
- Be careful when buying textbooks from the college bookstores, as in order to sell more and prevent students from looking for other places with better prices, they might use these tricks when selling books. When comparing different prices on the official university bookstore website, you might be offered prices for various products, i.e. not only for a used copy of a textbook that you were specifically searching for, but also for new or digital editions, which could be significantly higher. Such a manner of presenting books makes you think that you’re getting a good deal when purchasing a used book for the lowest price stated, but it can be much more affordable in other places (like BooksRun).
- “Online price matching” statement on the college bookstore websites does not always guarantee that the prices from the third-party sellers are included, benefits from which might outweigh all the offers at the campus shop. When seeing such a claim on the website, check if it is plausible first.
- When seeing an opportunity of a buyback from a college bookstore, do not be 100% sure that it may actually happen. The store might refuse to take your book due to the fact that the newer edition was published, or the number of the textbooks they needed was exceeded. Read more On Textbook Buyback.