10 Steps to Saving Money on Textbooks

Jan 06, 2010, 12:13 ET from National Association of College Stores

OBERLIN, Ohio, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Textbooks and course materials provide college students with vital information that they need to do well in class. However, many students come to college unprepared for this expense.

Smart shopping strategies can have a big impact on your final textbook tally. The National Association of College Stores (NACS) offers the following suggestions:

  1. Buy used books when possible. They can save you 25% off the cost of a new textbook. College stores strive to provide as many used textbooks as possible, but they often sell out quickly. Shop the store early or buy directly from your college store's web site to take advantage of used book sales.
  2. Consider renting or purchasing electronic texts. More and more college stores are offering these options, which give cost-conscious students temporary access to course materials for about one-third to half the price of buying a new text.
  3. Find out if your campus bookstore has a page on Facebook; become a fan and follow them on Twitter. Often the store will give advance notice of moneysaving specials to followers or fans.
  4. Be cautious of hackers, spammers, and phishers when purchasing course materials online from outside/unknown sources. Items might not arrive on time, causing you to fall behind in class. Also, don't forget to include shipping expenses in the total cost of the textbook. To avoid delays, check your college store's web site for ordering convenience and peace of mind. Your local college store guarantees the correct title and edition chosen by your instructor.
  5. Know your store's refund policy, especially deadlines. This way, you won't be disappointed if you drop a class.
  6. Keep receipts. Most stores require them for returns. Also, textbook receipts are helpful during tax season when filing for the new American Opportunity Tax Credit. For details on what to do and how to apply for the credit, go to www.textbookaid.org.
  7. Don't write in or unwrap books until you're certain you'll be keeping them. Most sellers won't offer full credit for books that have been marked or bundles that have been opened.
  8. If you have a choice between buying a textbook by itself, or packaged with a study guide or software, make sure you need both parts.
  9. When buying locally, consider paying cash or by check/debit card to avoid credit card fees and interest. But use a credit card when buying from online sellers in case disputes arise.
  10. If you have questions, ask! Your college store professional is the course material expert, dedicated to helping you obtain all of the educational tools you need for academic success in the format you desire - including electronic texts.

For more go to: http://www.nacs.org/public/nacs/press_releases/081408-Myths.pdf

About NACS

Headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) is the professional trade association representing the collegiate retailing industry. NACS' 3,100 member stores serve America's college students while supporting the academic missions of higher education institutions. Additional information can be found online at www.nacs.org.

SOURCE National Association of College Stores