Tips to save money on textbooks

September 3, 2012 6:46:53 AM PDT
Bay Area college students are heading back to school and a new year means new classes -- which means new, expensive text books. But, being prepared doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. Here are some tips to save money.

Hitting the books can really hit a college student's wallet hard. According to the college board, the average college student spent about $1,200 on textbooks during the last academic year.

Scott Gamm of HelpSaveMyDollars.com, a personal finance site for young adults, says even though the college bookstore may be the most convenient option, it's not a student's only option.

"The books there are typically top-dollar. So you want to check those online sites. A lot of those online textbook search engines will find the cheapest textbook retailers," said Gamm.

The re-sale and exchange of previously used textbooks has become easier than ever thanks to specialized websites like Amazon and BookFinder.com. And students should tap into their own personal social networks too.

"What better way to trade books or purchase books than to do so by people you know? So you want to use your social networks. Use the folks you know on Twitter, on Facebook," said Gamm.

Gamm also recommends searching for the international editions of textbooks. The books are designed for different regions of the world, but they often have the same content as the U.S. edition, and can save you as much as 70 percent.


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