Textbooks: get the best bang for your buck!

Textbooks for classes can add up very quickly. However, there are ways around buying new, sealed textbooks from the bookstore. UNCW Bookstore is a great facility, but college students live on a budget. Here are a few tips to avoid paying a pretty penny for your class materials.

1. First, you need to obtain a list of books that would be required by the classes you are registered for. You can do this by going to uncw.bncollege.edu. Click the "Textbooks" tab, then the "Find Textbooks" tab from the drop down menu. Once you are on that page, you will need to enter information about the classes you are enrolled in. After all the information is filled out, a list will be produced of the books that the professors have either recommended or required for their courses.

2. Now that you have a list of the textbooks you would need for your courses, you can start to search for the best buy! There are many different places that you can go to find the books that you want. Typically, the prices vary depending on where you obtain them from. These are some of my favorite places to check when I'm buying my textbooks:
-UNCW Bookstore

These sources allow you to either purchase or rent your textbooks. I personally favor chegg.com because the return is very easy and typically you can rent your textbooks if you get them early enough.

3. Timing is key. I prefer to get my textbooks before class starts. This allows me to make sure I have the right textbook and to start the assignments as soon as I receive them. However, many students are hesitant to buy textbooks before the professor talks about the book in class. I have found that finding cheaper textbooks earlier and then returning them if I don't need them is easier than trying to buy a textbook when the stock is relatively low. Chances are that if you wait to get the textbook, so did a bunch of other students.

4. Once the semester is over, I typically like to sell my textbooks somehow and then use that money to get textbooks for the upcoming semester. I have found that timing is also key to getting back the most money for your textbooks. This process is for the textbooks that you purchase, not for those you rent. Generally, I find that websites that specialize in textbooks will give you the best quote for your textbook. For example, chegg.com offered almost 5 times the amount of money for my textbooks that the bookstore did.

Buying textbooks doesn't have to be stressful and cost a fortune. It just takes time, preparation, and research!