Text books don’t have to be expensive

As I have blogged in an earlier post, I’m going back to school for a MBA.  Tuition is crazily expensive.  On top of that, the cost of a single text book can be as high as two hundred dollars.  Serious money dropping episodes like that can make a person think twice about going back to school.  I was in this situation a couple of weeks ago.  I want a higher degree but do not want to be in debt because of it.  Luckily, I found some ways to buy cheap textbooks. Here are a few suggestions:

1.  Advertise – ask your friends and colleagues at work if you know they have taken the same class before and used the same book. This worked for me.  I emailed a few coworkers and they graciously loaned me some books. But, be sure to return the favors when someone else asks you.  And, as loaners of these books, you need to keep the borrowed books clean.

2. Check your school’s bulletin board – Some school have book swapping cohorts that sell and buy books at low prices.

3. Search the web – Amazon is great place to go buy used books.  Sometimes, a gently used book can be 75% off from its original price. Be careful, however, ,when you buy online books.  You need to check the edition.  Your professors may want to use the 5th edition, not the 4th.  And, some times, these books are printed for international use so make sure the text is the same.  When I buy books online, I use more caution.  I read every fine print to ensure what I get is what I buy.

Another tip is to buy books early.  Don’t wait until the first day of class to get the names of your books. By then it is too late to realize any savings because it is going to cost you a LOT of money to ship the books on time.

I hope this blog helps parents of college students and college students themselves save a few hundred bucks.

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