It might be difficult to find a textbook you need at the beginning of the semester. Finding the one you can truly afford may be even harder. College bookstores tend to run out of used copies pretty quickly, and everything that’s left for the unlucky ones (which are the majority) is new full-price books. But fear not, you might be even luckier after all. Online bookshops can always provide you an opportunity to find a used textbook needed for a reasonable price.
Comparing the prices
Cover is nothing; content is what counts
The condition of the cover of a textbook might be depending on a previous owner. But you know, it's what's inside that counts. Worn-out cover isn’t the reason to think of the whole book as useless. Besides, the condition of pages is usually much better than the cover after many months of usage, and if you can read and understand the text, do a few bent pages really matter?
It’s really lucky of you to get a book with marked sentences and key words. The previous owner does a favor to you twice: first, by doing a job for you of highlighting the main sentences, and second, by selling this used book to you!
Sell-back price stays at the same level
Buying a new textbook is a lot like buying a new car: the cost decreases right after you take it out of the shop. And after the end of the semester, all the books, no matter new or used, become quite identical and may be sold for a similar price. Why pay more?
Used book value is estimated by its circulation period
The more a certain book title has been used, the bigger is the amount of used copies on the market, which causes the prices to fall.
Saving more money for expensive titles
If a new textbook costs $10, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a used copy, if taking into account the shipping and selling costs. However, the new copies which cost more than $50, for example, do make buying the used ones worth it. And save you more money.
Due to established way of conducting book reselling and high level of competition between online bookshops, the shipping procedure is adjusted to meet all the time requirements. Also, to make sure that the delivery is quick, the buyers might use the services located the closest to them.
“Used” is not an equivalent of “dirty”
Basically this. And used books can sometimes look exactly like the new ones, just without the “hot off the press” smell.
These kinds of editions are intended for the market outside the US. The price is usually lower, and some differences in design may exist – i.e. monochrome pictures instead of colored ones, soft cover instead of hard one, etc. They are fairly rare, but still sometimes can be found at the online bookstores.
The instructor editions usually contain all the homework explanations at the end of the book, and the chapters include deeper interpretations of the subject in order to be able to teach it. These publications are somewhat common in the reselling area.