How to Save the MOST Money on Textbooks – College Info Geek

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Hey, what’s up guys? So, today we are gonna
talk about textbooks. And I wanna bring to bear all the knowledge
that I’ve gained, both as a recent
college graduate and also as a quite
adept user of Google, if I do say so myself,
to help you pay as little money as
possible for these things. And before we get
into the thick of it, I just wanna mention
that I wrote an article a little while ago that goes
into more in-depth detail on each of the tips that I’m
gonna go through in this video and also provides links to many of the resources
that I talk about. So, if you wanna check
that out after watching or maybe just right now,
you can click my face or the card or the thing down
in the doobity-bibbity-bop, or if you have
telepathic powers, you can just go
to it with those. Either way, let’s get into it. So, in my experience,
the process to getting the best possible
deal on your textbooks starts by getting the
list of the books you need as early as you possibly can. As with most things in life, giving yourself
ample time to prepare will result in the
best possible outcome. By getting the list of
the books you need early, you give yourself time
to hunt for bargains, but you also give yourself
time to e-mail your professors. And this is what I
did as a student, what I recommend doing,
just e-mail them, introduce yourself briefly and ask them two
different questions. Number one, how often is
the book going to be used? And number two,
is it okay to buy an old edition of the book, or do you absolutely
need the current edition? And when you e-mail, just
make sure you’re polite and let ’em know that
you’re just trying to be budget-conscious. In my experience,
most professors
completely understand. And once you have these
two pieces of information, you can start doing a
couple of different things. Number one, if the book is
not gonna be used very often, then you might actually be
able to just go to the library and find a version
they have for free or you can decide to
share a copy of the book with somebody in your class. Secondly, if it turns
out you don’t need the current edition, then that means you
can buy an old edition. And in my experience,
I’ve gotten old editions of textbooks that cost like $87 for the newest edition
for $1 on Amazon. So, it really can be worth it. And let’s face it,
a lot of textbooks do not need a new edition
every couple of years. Like, if you’re taking a French
history class as a gen-ed, then you don’t need to know
about all the minute discoveries about the Napoleonic Wars
that have happened since 2013. If you’re really that curious, you can just go to
the Wikipedia page and look at the
citations for new books. But, you’re not that curious. Now, the alternative to
e-mailing your professors and asking about books or the plan of action
if they don’t reply is what I like to
call book gambling. And this is the act
of simply waiting until the semester
begins to buy your books to figure out if you
really need them or not. And as a student, my policy
with book gambling was this: if I could get the
book within one day if I really needed it, then I would go ahead
and book gamble. Otherwise, I took the safe
road and bought the book as cheaply as possible
before the semester started because some classes really
get into the thick of it during the first week. And, to me, it really
wasn’t worth the stress of falling behind just to
save a couple of bucks. All right, for the next
step of the process, let’s talk about the library. If you go to a big
enough university, there’s a good chance that
some of your textbooks can be found at your library. However, I really wouldn’t
trust copies of the book that can be checked
out by other students because, when it comes test time or when it comes time that
you really need the book, it’s likely to be gone. So, what you wanna look
for are reserve copies, which are copies of the book that the library
will let people use in the building,
but not check out. And with those, you have
a much better chance of getting your hands on
one when you do need it. Aside from using the library, the other way to
absolve yourself from at least some of the
financial responsibility of buying books is to share
them with other students. And the best way to do this is to wait until
the semester starts and to find a group
or partner in class that you can share with, but
this requires book gambling. So, one thing you can do if
you don’t wanna book gamble is to use Facebook groups
to potentially find students who you can share books with. To do this, you
can just search for your university class of 2016 or whatever your
graduation year is and then you can probably find many different official
groups for that year. And in there, you
can make a post just asking if anybody
is taking your class and would like to share a book. Also, it’s a good idea to search
for other graduation years, since lots of different
students from different years might be in your class. All right, so now we
have finally made it to the point in the process where you actually have to
start buying your books. And in a moment,
I’m gonna talk about several different websites
and online resources you can use to get
the best deals. But before that,
I wanna talk about what might be the absolute
best deal in your area, getting books from
other students. There are probably a lot
of students on your campus who have already taken the
classes you’re gonna take. And the ones that still
own their textbooks might be willing to sell
’em to you for cheap. If you can make these
kinda deals happen, they’re usually win-win
for both parties, since, on their end,
they’re gonna get more than the campus bookstore
would give them, which is two pennies
and a pile of leaves, and on your end, you’re
going to pay less than that campus bookstore
would charge you. If you live on campus
and you happen to live around a lot of people
with the same major as you, then these deals are usually
pretty easy to put together. Otherwise, Facebook groups
are, once again, a good option. And if you have any
specific sort of on-campus messaging
system or bulletin board, then you can try those as well. In the case that
older students refuse to sell you their textbooks and instead they
give you a swirlie and steal your lunch money, well then, here are
your other options. And I wanna start
with the oddball ones, starting with one
called Boundless. Now, this is actually kind of
the wrong section of the video to put boundless in, but it
fits because it’s a website. Boundless doesn’t actually
charge you for their textbooks. Instead, they make open
source online textbooks, which use open source
Creative Commons data, but they structure it in the way that many popular textbooks do. So, if you don’t need a specific
textbook for your class, but you do just need
a general outline of the information in detail, then a lot of their subjects
may be suitable for your needs. The second oddball
site I wanna talk about is called Packback Books. And this is gonna be
useful for those times when you have a textbook
that’s required, but is not used very often. Basically, what Packback does is allows you to rent digital
textbooks for $5 a day. So, instead of having to rent
it for an entire semester and pay like $40
or $50 or whatever, if you just need the book for two different tests
throughout the semester, then you end up paying just
$10 for two days of renting. Now, if those sites
don’t work for you, then there are plenty of traditional textbook
sites out there. And the ones that
I used as a student include Amazon, Chegg
and TextbookRush, but there are plenty of
others like AbeBooks, BookRenter,,
and many, many others. And because there
are so many of these, I recommend using a
price comparison tool to compare the prices
across all of them. And the ones that I
know about specifically include StudentRate Textbooks,
SlugBooks, and BigWords. With any of these tools, you can just put in
the book’s ISBN number or the title or the author and
then it’ll pull up the book and query all of the
different sites out there to figure out which one
has the lowest price. It’s also good to note that you have several
different options for the formats of the
books you wanna get. For instance, you
can buy or rent, you can go physical or digital, or you can get
combinations of both. For instance, as a student, I made use of digital
rentals a lot. And you also might be able to
find international editions of the books you need. These are often black-and-white
instead of color or a paperback
instead of hardcover, but usually they have
the exact same content and are much cheaper. Two last things to know here: number one, don’t discount
brick and mortar stores. If you have a secondhand
bookstore in your area, or if your campus bookstore
sells used editions, then you might actually
find a better price there than you can online. And secondly, if
you’re gonna plan on selling your textbooks at
the end of the semester, then go on Amazon and see what the buyback
prices are right now because you might
actually come out ahead if you buy and subsequently
sell than if you rent. All right, so that is the point where we’re gonna
wrap this video. Now, I know you might
be in a weird situation where maybe your school
forces you to buy new books or maybe you have to
buy one of those books that comes with an online code
that can only be used once, which I absolutely hate
those kind of books. But, in any case, hopefully
you’ve found a least a couple of useful tips in this video
that can save you money on at least a few of the books you have to buy in the future. Once again, if you’d like
to dig into the article I wrote for this video
that has even more detail, you can click the card or link down in the
doobity-bobbity-bibbity-bop. And if you have tips that I
didn’t mention in this video, share ’em below in the comments so other people can
benefit from ’em. That’s all I’ve
got for this week, so if you enjoyed this video
and you found it helpful, then give it a like to
support this channel and I will see you
in next week’s video. Thanks for watching. (upbeat electronic music) Hey there guys, thanks so
much for watching this video. Now, if you wanna get new
tips every single week on how to be a more
effective student, you can click that big red
subscribe button right there. And also, if you want
a free copy of my book on how to earn better grades, you can click the picture of
the book and I’ll send you one. If you wanna check
out the article that goes along with this video, click the orange
logo right there. And, if you missed
last week’s video, we talked about how you can
bounce back from failure, so check it out
if you missed it. Lastly, if you wanna
connect with me, I’m @TomFrankly on both
Instagram and Twitter, or you can leave a
comment down below.

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