Students today have many options when shopping for textbooks. With so many options, the question is no longer “can I get a better price?” but “ is it worth my time?”
Returning student Lucy Winslow often compares costs for books online, said she has good luck finding lower prices for loose-leaf books when they are not available in the bookstore.
Winslow found an inexpensive solutions manual online for her Elementary Algebra class, which the bookstore currently lists at $120. “The teacher said we didn’t need it, but it was really important for me,” she said.
When Winslow became confused on where the deal was online, she ended up buying through the bookstore. Winslow found online sale for other textbooks, but the original confusion is common for students shopping online for books can be.
A search through dozens of online sources yielded a convoluted array of options from online retail shops.
Retail shops are often close in price to the campus bookstore, roughly $10 more or less on average without shipping. When a retail shop is offering a sale it is usually on one book at a time.
Shopping retail sales can be easier when choosing cheaper formats, renting or finding digital downloads.
Student to Student
The majority of deals on books can be found on Craigslist or the Clark College Textbook Exchange on Facebook. Books found in the exchanges are often around 30 percent less than the retail price. Students will often find that the best savings on the Exchange are for the more expensive textbooks.
Many books are available through course reserve, a program which instructors can use to put a book on hold for their students to use at the library. The books are restricted to use in the library and cannot be checked out by students, but photocopies of the pages can be made in the Library.