Shop Around for the Best Prices on College Textbooks

Physician's Money Digest, January 2006, Volume 13, Issue 1

Wall Street

Journal

As a medical school graduate, youknow how outrageously expensive textbookscan be. According to the , these pricey primers aren't gettingany cheaper, with costs going up anaverage of 6% a year since 1986. But ifyou have children in college, there areways they can cut down on textbookspending. Online shopping is the easiestway for students to find the books theyneed and compare prices among differentstores. Web sites such as AddAll.com andBestBookBuys.com search dozens ofonline stores at once to find the best price.Students with similar course loads can alsoswap textbooks through SwitchTextbooks.com. But keep in mind that although aWeb site may have the best price for onebook, it may not be the lowest for another,so you should shop around for each textbookneeded. One drawback to onlinebook-buying is that the student has to waitseveral days for the book to be shipped tothem, so they'll have to know exactly whatthey need long before classes begin, whichisn't always the case at many universities.College scholars can try to locate usedtextbooks at their local bookstores, butmost of the time professors require the latesteditions, which come out frequently.When it comes time to sell the books back,eBay is a better bet to get maximum valuethan the campus bookstore, which usuallyonly offers a refund of roughly 50%.