It is fall, which means that school is just starting up again. Thousands of new college students are now being introduced to the dirtiest secret about college life, which is that college textbooks are the biggest rip off on the face of the earth. Not only do you have the privilege of paying thousands of dollars per year in tuition, you now get to spend upwards of four hundred dollars per semester on college textbooks. Many times, these college textbooks are not even utilized during the course, but you will never know until the semester is well underway and it is too late to return it to the college bookstore.
My personal favorite little college scam perpetuated by professors is that they decide to write college textbooks and then make them a requirement for purchase for their courses. These college textbooks are awful and are never used, but the professor is most likely making money off of each sale. Another favorite is that the professors make some workbook a requirement for a class, so you immediately think that you will use it because it isn’t just reading. Well, you are most likely wrong, and again you will never use the book. And forget trying to sell these college textbooks back at the end of the semester. You will make back about three dollars for every one hundred you spent, and that is if you are lucky and the professors have decided to use the same book again the next semester.
If you are looking to save a little money when purchasing college textbooks, one of the best options is to purchase used books. This gets a little tricky if you tend to buy your books the day before class starts because the book store will sell out of used books quickly. If you can, make it to the book store at least a week before class starts and you should be fine. Used college textbooks tend to sell for about 2/3 of the price of a brand new book, which can quickly add up. The cheapest way to get books is to buy directly from someone who had the same class the semester before you, and you can feel better knowing that your money is financing some poor college student’s Friday night partying rather than lining the college book store’s pocket.