By Dominique Sterling |Staff Writer|
There are many ways that we can make and save money when buying textbooks, but the most practical and economical choice is still to buy older editions of your books online.
The end of the quarter approaching presents the opportunity for students to acquire some extra money. Book buyback programs allow students to get rid of their used textbooks for cash or gift card values.
Nowadays there are a few options for students in textbooks, digital textbooks and rentals. All have their benefits, but in my opinion the earlier editions of the same textbook are a better choice. Older editions allow you to learn essentially the same information at a cheaper price.
Last quarter I was able to snag an older edition communication textbook for around five dollars opposed to the newest edition that cost $62. The book rental program at the CSUSB bookstore has been a positive addition for students.
“The textbook rental program is great! Students are allowed to write and highlight in the books. It can save students up to 50 percent off of the book,” said bookstore associate Monica Vanbibber.
I have to agree. Last quarter was my first time using the book rental program. It was surprisingly much cheaper and I was able to write in the book as if it was my own. But that’s just the thing, it wasn’t.
The CSUSB bookstore allows students to sell back their textbooks no matter where they were initially purchased.
The buyback price depends on the next quarter’s demand as well as the wholesale value of the book. The more in demand the textbook is the more money you stand to make. “The maximum percentage that your book can sell back for is up to 50 percent,” said bookstore associate Monica Vanbibber.
If you bought a textbook for $100 you could potentially end up with $50 back in your wallet.
Now again, this all depends on the demand for the book. If your book is no longer in demand because a professor chooses not to use it, a new edition has been published or there are already enough in stock, then your chance for a profitable sell back drops dramatically.
University Book Exchange’s (UBE) policy is much like the CSUSB bookstore’s, their buyback prices depend on the demand for the books as well.
When I asked how their buyback prices were calculated, they responded that their system is updated with wholesale prices and at the end of the quarter during buyback season, they buy books back at whole sale prices.
They continued to say that the best time to sell your textbooks is during finals week. That’s when you would have the chance to make the most profit. It is also at the time when there is a higher possibility the store’s inventory for your book will be filled up, you might be left holding onto your book.
The bookstores make more money off of the book buyback program by shaving a percentage off of both the person who sold it to them, and then the person who then buys it. The profits pile up higher if the student had originally purchased the book at that specific store.
Avoid this number crunching altogether by buying the older edition, it not only gives you essentially the same information for a cheaper price but you also have the opportunity to keep the book as a reference because of the great deal you scored on it.