By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new year on college campuses means new classes. For many students, purchasing textbooks can take a big bite out of the budget. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan joins us with some advice on how to save some money.
According to the College Board, the average college student spent about $1,200 dollars on textbooks during the last academic year, so hitting the books can really hit a college student’s wallet hard. But there are ways to save.
Scott Gamm, of HelpSaveMyDollars.com, a personal finance site for young adults, says that 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,” Gamm says.
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,” Gamm advises.
Gamm also recommends searching for the international editions of textbooks. These books are designed for different regions of the world but often have the same content as the U.S. edition. They can save you as much as 70 percent.