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Tips for Finding Affordable Textbooks in the Digital Age
Whether you decide to enroll in a traditional college or university or would rather opt for distance learning, textbooks are almost always going to be a part of the equation. The good news is that society’s fascination with and demand for continuing advancements dealing with the Internet has produced convenient alternatives to many college related situations. Finding affordable college textbooks is one of them.
By using online resources, students of all grade levels have the ability to benefit from purchasing cheap textbooks. Make note of the following tips to find out how to simplify this part of your college life.
Go for Digital Versions Instead of Hard Copies
While there are still many traditional courses that require hard copy textbooks, many are beginning to switch over to digital versions. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, it is also easier for students to gain access to. Oftentimes, digital college textbooks can be found online for free if a student knows where to look. Before shelling out your hard earned dollars, spend some time doing a search for a free, digital version. There are even specially designed websites that help students find free ebooks for school. Why spend one dime if you don’t have to?
Check Out Specialized Search Engines
Instead of relying on a regular search engine, turn to more advanced versions to find the cheap textbooks you’re in need of. By entering basic information about the textbook you’re looking for, the site will use its search function to compile a list of search results, displaying the price, seller and other important information. This is a great way to easily do price comparisons without browsing through multiple sites. Because the results list contains direct links to the info you want, this method also saves you time.
Consider Used Over New
This tip may simply require common sense but is still worth mentioning since it also applies to searching for college textbooks on the Internet. Your priority should be to search for used books since this will secure the most affordable prices. However, it is important to double check that the used version is also the correct one you’ll be using in your class. Popular textbooks are often updated and contain newer content. If your instructor requires you to use the most recent version of a textbook, you may not be able to buy it used.
When looking for used, cheap textbooks online, check the quality of the actual book. This is possible, even though you’re conducting your search on the Internet. Only consider buying your books through a site that is reputable and known for providing items in good condition. If the products offered on the website are from individual sellers, read through seller reviews to find out what other students’ experiences have been with receiving items. Stick with highly rated sellers first then consider newer sellers who have either no reviews or just a few.
Look for Goodies
Online shopping has exploded in popularity for a reason. There are many perks that online customers tend to receive from the sites they purchase items from that traditional retailers are often not able to offer. Check out websites that advertise not just the best prices for college textbooks but other benefits, such as free shipping and discounts. New customers tend to reap the best rewards so keep that in mind as well if you’re considering purchasing your books from a site you’ve never used before. As with any business, it is important to browse through the entire website and check that it is a legitimate and trusted site. Remember, you’ll have to enter your financial and personal information to place your order. Again, this is where customer reviews come in handy, as well as making sure there is more than one way to contact customer service in case you run into any problems. Also find out what the site’s policies are in regards to returns, refunds and exchanges.
Ask for Help
Need the inside scoop on where to find cheap textbooks online? You can turn to any number of forums targeted towards college students to submit your inquiry. Because there are many others in the same boat, chances are you’ll receive a fast reply and the most relevant information as to which sites are offering the best deals. Chances are you may even score info on how to find free versions of the books you want instead.
There’s An App for That
These days there is an app for just about everything. College related apps are cropping up all over the place and there is definitely a handful to choose from that target students in search of college textbooks. With a basic search, you can download the app for free and receive alerts as to when affordable versions of the books you need are available. The alerts will provide you with all the information you need to know. Some apps even come with their own shopping carts and wish lists, as well as the ability to share your results with other friends that also use the app. Having such alerts handy at a moment’s notice is especially helpful when it comes to books that are hard to find.
Make Your Money Back Afterwards
Although the tips above deal with locating cheap textbooks online, don’t forget to also use the Internet to sell your textbooks once you’re done with them. Avoid long lines and crowds at the campus bookstore and instead place your books for sale either through the site you originally purchased them from (if they accept buy backs) or a different website. To make sure you’re getting the most money back, it is a good idea to compare various textbook buy back sites, as well as read user reviews to find out which site is rated the best for this service. Or you can opt for simply selling your textbooks on your own to friends or other peers who are planning on taking the same course you’ve finished for the next semester or quarter.
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