College bookstores, in my opinion, should only be visited as a last resort. College bookstores not only overprice textbooks, but they also trick you into buying things you don’t need such as t-shirts, travel mugs, and overpriced school supplies that can be bought cheaper elsewhere. Here’s exactly why, you shouldn’t buy textbooks from your college bookstore, unless you absolutely have to.
1. College bookstores overprice textbooks. The biggest reason is because they can. They know students have to buy textbooks and will pay what the bookstore charge, because they think they don’t have a choice.
2. Most people don’t know that their college bookstore isn’t the only place to buy textbooks. You can buy new and used textbooks from thousands of sellers on the Internet. When I say sellers, I mean people that sell on places like EBay and Amazon’s Marketplace. You will not believe the deals you will find. I bought a textbook through Amazon’s Marketplace for $5 and that included shipping, plus the book was NEW. Used at my college bookstore the book was $55, new $77. Talk about a savings. I could have got a used one for $0.35 plus shipping, but couldn’t pass up a new one for $1.98.
3. Other than online sellers, regular online bookstores offer better prices than a college bookstore. The savings aren’t as huge as the ones you will find from online sellers, but they are still cheaper. I suggest you search for the best deals, using a search engine like Froogle.
4. Used textbooks can be found everywhere and most of the time they are a lot cheaper than the used books from your college bookstore. If you’re lucky, you’ll find fellow students who want to get rid of their books and will sell them cheaper than the college bookstore. You can also check used bookstores for more great deals.
5. College bookstores don’t always carry used textbooks. You may have a set budget and look over your college bookstores prices; only to find out they are out of used books. You can only spend the amount of money that you have, so try the above mentioned places to find used books.
6. College bookstores will sucker you into to impulse buys almost every time you go in there. You go in there thinking you’ll pick up your books and get out, but does it ever work that way? You get in there and are bombarded with items that have your school’s logo on them. It’s all stuff you don’t need, but it has your school’s logo on it so you think you just have to have it.
7. Walking into your college bookstore will also tempt you into buying school supplies that you don’t need, plus they are overpriced. Every time I have to go to my college bookstore I am suckered into buying gel pens. I have hundreds of them scattered around the house, but always buy at least two more.
8. College bookstores do not carry older editions of textbooks. This is important to know because some instructors allow you to use older editions. For example, my biology teacher told us that we could buy a previous edition of one of the textbooks we needs for the course. I found the older edition for $6 on Amazon’s Marketplace. The new edition at my college bookstore was around $70.
9. College bookstores don’t always allow refunds. Sometimes it’s because the textbooks were wrapped in plastic and have been opened, sometimes it’s because it’s after the drop/add period, whatever the reason, you are stuck with that book. Other bookstores usually accept returns.
10. College bookstores only have room for so many textbooks. This means they usually won’t carry a lot of used books. If you go online, however, you will be able to find hundreds of copies of the book you are looking for, plus you will able to read about the description of the book to see what the condition is. When shopping at a college bookstore you usually don’t have time to thoroughly check the used textbook you are buying and when you get home you realize that there are pages missing.
I realize that there are times when you can’t avoid buying your textbooks at your college bookstore, due to financial aid, lack of information on which books you need, etc. All I’m saying is when you can avoid your college bookstore, it’s best to do so. I have financial aid and was able to find several of my textbooks online for under $10 each. If you can’t avoid your college bookstore, at least avoid the school supplies and items with your school logo, these items are overpriced and the school supplies can be found for much cheaper at Wal-Mart.