Monday, February 18, 2008

A Tip for You College Kids

I learned in college that I was brilliant.

Being brought up in a family that never had all of the newest stuff (but never lacked anything important), I have always had a bit of a frugal mindset. Even when I went to college and was on my own for the first time, I didn’t really have a problem blowing money, because my parents had taught me how to be responsible with it. I was SHOCKED though the first trip I made to the bookstore. What was this? My calculus book* costs $120.00 USED?!?! Why?!

Of course I always purchased used books (unless forced to do otherwise), but I had a plan when reselling (this is where the brilliant part comes in). I would keep my books at the end of the semester instead of immediately reselling them. Then at the beginning of the next, I would scout the bookstores during “peak” book season (you know…the first day of class after everyone has gotten a syllabus and needs to get the books). I would go to the aisle of the book that I wanted to sell and find someone eye-balling that book. Having the book in my bookbag outside the store (we were required to check them at the door), I would sell it to them and we’d both make off like bandits! For example: A chemistry book costs $80 used. However, after I used it and tried to sell it back to the store, they would only give me $25 for it and then resell it for $80 again. That’s how they make money. However, if I sell it to the person in the aisle for $50 or $60…we both win! Don’t be obvious of course, as I doubt the store would appreciate you doing this. =) It worked like a charm, as I typically then had a lot of money to put toward the books that I then needed to buy for my classes.

So there is my “brilliant” advice for starving college students.

*By the way…that calculus book took me through 5 calculus classes, so it was really a bargain in the end.

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  1. I never thought of doing that. Of course now, there's places like Facebook where you can advertise things like that on any specific college's network. This past semester I had no trouble selling my books back, and I even had enough that I left with my two lab manuals and another textbook I needed and only paid a dollar out of pocket. I'm also putting off any that I need to see if I don't use them, as it's happened to me before and I'd rather not spend the money on books and never use them. So far I only had to pay $135 for this semester's books. =]

  2. WOW! That IS a great idea!!!!! As a science major at a private college, I easily spent $500 a semester on text books. I re-sold many of them, but like you said you make almost nothing back :(

  3. Lol that isn't a bad idea :) I used to buy mine of and sell them back. The most I ever had in my "rental" was $10. I did this with 90% of my books :)

  4. That is a great idea. I use to do something similar when I was in college, I would post a sale flyer on the bulletin board with the books/classes I had books for. Could typically sell a couple of my books for much more that what the bookstore would buy them for.