Buying Used Textbooks Makes College
More Affordable

By Joe Waynick

Many Internet booksellers wonder if buying used textbooks for resale is worth the effort. After all, it's a highly competitive field.

As someone who has sold hundreds of textbooks online, I can personally tell you that not only is it worth the effort, but you get a chance to help cash strapped college students complete their degree.

There are numerous reasons students should buy used textbooks, not the least of which are to save money, early availability, helpful note taking, saving trees, and saving time. You should emphasize these advantages when you sell textbooks online. Lets look at each one.

Save Money

Purchasing textbooks are one of the biggest expenses faced by college students. Buying used textbooks is the perfect way to cut down on some of that expense.

Some students get so adept at buying cheap text books that they actually earn a second income when they sell back text books after the class is over by buying books from fellow students.

After all, why buy a new book when students can save 25% or more off the retail price of text books? For example, if the full price of a textbook is $200 and you only pay $140 for that same book, you just put $60 in your pocket.

That extra cash can go a long way toward paying for other expenses. That kind of money can really add up if students are taking a full load of classes.

And students shouldn't spend one second feeling guilty about saving money as Duquesne Professor Gary Shank would have them do.

Professor Shank believes that buying and selling used books robs publishers and authors of royalties. Is he kidding?

He thinks buying used textbooks is "participating in an act of theft," as he wrote in an eMail circulated at Duquesne University.

What nonsense! Once some purchases a textbook it belongs to them. They're free to do whatever they want with it, and that includes selling it, once it has served its purpose.

Order Early

Buying used textbooks requires a certain amount of planning to be done effectively. Students should locate the books they need at least three weeks in advance of the class start date in case there are problems.

For example, if the wrong edition of a book is ordered, time will be needed to return it and place an order for the correct one.

Most secondhand book sellers will ship books so recipients have it in hand within seven business days. However, many vendors ship books via "Media Mail," and that can take up to 14 business days to arrive. That's about three weeks.

Of course, buyers can always pay a little extra for expedited shipping and have the book within three to five business days. But with a little preplanning, the extra expense won't be necessary.

Useful Notes

Some students absolutely hate taking notes. One of the advantages of buying used textbooks is you may find one in which the previous owner has highlighted important passages and written extensive notes in the margins.

Seeing notes written by another student may help the current owner comprehend the material a little easier.

In addition, key points that have been highlighted could make studying for tests faster if a student doesn't have to do the highlighting him or herself.

So not only do students get the benefits of buying cheap used textbooks, but the books they buy can actually help with their studies.

Save Time

Buying used textbooks online is easy and convenient. Buyers save time by not having to go to a locally owned bookseller.

They avoid the crowds and high pressure sales clerks in bookstores that buy new and used books and constantly try to get customers to upgrade and buy new books.

Online text book stores save students the stress and hassle of retail shopping. They have far better things to do with their time!

Save The Environment

There are lots of book selling sites on the Internet that offer both new and used text book choices. Finding them is easy, and when you eliminate an automobile trip to shop online to buy cheap textbooks you help the environment in a big way.

Each trip to the bookstore that's avoided saves gas and eliminates poisonous automobile emissions that pollute the atmosphere. Less oil is consumed and that helps reduced our dependence on foreign sources.

Using less gas and oil and reducing the wear and tear on your vehicle is actually helping you increase your income, well, the disposable portion of it anyway.

Helping the planet is simply one more excellent reason for buying used textbooks.

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Hi, I think students selling used textbooks to each other is a great ideal. If a student purchase a book from the bookstore and sell it back to the bookstore …

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