Thursday, 8 September 2011

Tips for post-secondary students!

Hey everyone, while I'm finishing up my first week of classes, I thought about sharing some tips with some of you who might be buying books for college/university this year!

(If there are some websites you've found helpful, or any other tips you've found useful, please share it with us below in the comments section!)

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So here's my quick guide to getting the most out of your bank account when shopping for textbooks:
  • Keep an eye out for student flyers.
Older students who have taken the compulsory courses you're taking might have books you need! Also, it's easier to negotiate the price with them, since they're likely to want to get rid of the book very badly. (For instance, see if you can get some money off by noticing some highlighting or if the cover is in poor shape) Look in your residence lobby, cafeteria, and other message boards for these flyers!
  • In your school book store, try to buy used first.
In many cases, the used books are up to 30% cheaper than cover price! Also, I've found that some used books look just as good as the new books... score!
  • Wait until your first class before buying books.
In my experience, the first class of any course I've taken is just an introductory class. They won't expect you to have read even a chapter of the book, so why not hold off until buying your books? I say this because the prof might have changed a textbook (say an old edition to the latest). This will save you the hassle of returning books you don't need.
  • If you already own the book, but it's not the same publisher, ask the prof for advice.
You may find that (for example) in your English Literature class, the prof has asked you to buy Frankenstein as part of the course material. Luckily, your sister has a copy but it's not by the same publishing company. Instead of buying a new copy, try and ask your prof if the one you already have would be sufficient for the course. More than likely, the prof won't care.. just make sure you aren't missing anything too critical in the recommended edition! (example, the 1818 edition of Frankenstein versus the non 1818 version)
  • Does your bookstore allow you to rent books?
I've heard some bookstores do... ask the cashier, or keep your eye open for signs. You can even try going to their website.

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All-in-all I hoped this helped a little! Buying used books is great, especially if it's an elective or general course you're forced to take in order to fulfill a degree requirement. If it's a subject you don't care much about, then why buy new??

For instance, my 'The Riverside Chaucer' book (a collection of his works) costs $142.95 when bought new. I got it for $107.25 when bought used and I can't tell the difference between the used and new book other than the 'USED' sticker on the spine!

While it may not seem much at first, a little savings can go a long way when you also need to save for transportation (visiting the fam for Christmas?) or perhaps getting out of your dorm to see a movie with friends every once in a while!

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I’d known all this back in my first year. I remember spending so much money on textbooks alone that it made me cringe just looking at my credit card bill. Oh well, you learn from your mistakes! :D These are really nice tips though. I’m pretty sure I’ve implemented all of these tricks at one point now that I’m in third year. By the way, you should add going on used book websites (such as where students can sell books to each other online. That one’s really helped me out a lot too since you can contact more people in one go this way. :3 Really nice post though. I’m sure it’ll help a lot of the newer university students.