GREady: Get Ready for Graduate School

Do you want to attend graduate school? If the answer is yes, shift the gear in drive. This blog will help you 1) stay informed about graduate programs, 2) decide on graduate schools, 3) apply for graduate schools (including the GRE and personal statements), 4) prepare for interviews, 5) find funding and lots more. Although this site cannot guarantee a masters or doctoral position, it does promise that you will be a very competitive candidate for your desired program!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Best Buys for Textbooks!

As any graduate student knows, saving on the price of textbooks means more money to pay the rest of the bills. Check out this article I found on Markdownmom:The Bargain Diva, which lists the best ways to find great condition textbooks without getting a hit in the wallet. Thanks Markdownmom!

Textbook Tribulation-How To Save On The Costs of Books
Another semester begins in the life of the college student and among the many necessary expenditures are class textbooks. Here are a few sources MDM recommends for finding bargain textbooks:
Check the Campus Bookstore. Now you may be saying here, "dah-uh, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out." However, the store does sell used books at a cheaper price, usually $10-$2o off and the advantage is that you will have your book for the first day of class, usually. Also, campus bookstores will offer a sale on textbooks if you buy them a month or two in advance.
Check Student Bulletins and Campus Information Billboards. The buyback price of student textbooks by university and college bookstores reflects the greatest depreciation. Therefore, students attempting to recover a bigger share of their investment, will post textbooks for sale at these sites. This is a win/win situation for both parties because the price is more than a buyback by the campus bookstore for the seller, and less than purchasing the book from there by the buyer. The seller should include besides the title, the class number, price, condition, contact phone number and/or email address.
Send Out a Campus-Wide E-mail Alert. University and college servers have a campus-wide email address that faculty and students can use for assignments, events and other notifications. You can send out an S.O.S. message that you are in desparate need of a textbook and are willing to pay x amount of dollars for it. Most likely, you will receive a reply in 1-2 days.
Surf the Net. Textbook Warehouses, Stores, and Auction Sites usually offer better prices for your textbooks since they they increase the pool of potential buyers/sellers. Be sure to keep in mind when buying the cost of shipping and any possible delays that may entail in receiving the book. Here are a few sites to get you started:
Half.com. MDM loves this site. I once bought a zoology textbook for $10, yes that includes shipping, that was $50 used at the local bookstore. Half.com which is owned by ebay works similar to the student bulletin. Sellers list the textbook for sale by typing in the ISBN number, author and/or title in the categories button and the price with shipping options. Be sure to check the seller's feedback rating prior to purchase. Any negative feedback should be checked out to see what the actual complaint was, often times it is the disparity in the stated condition of the book or that the book never arrived. In a hurry? Then do not select media mail for shipping because that can take up to 2 to 3 weeks. Instead choose ground or expedited shipping if offered. Remember to always calculate shipping into the final cost of the textbook!
Barnes and Noble. This is more $$$. One way to lessen your costs is to have a B&N membership (fee is $25). Members save $10 to $30 on books, DVDs, tapes, calendars, cds and Starbuck's Coffee. Shipping is usually free for textbooks of $25 or more. Following the lines of half.com, B & N now features a used textbook section with private sellers listed. The used textbooks are generally $5-$10 cheaper than the regular B & N price. Again, check shipping costs and delivery dates.
Amazon. MDM gives this site a mixed review. Amazon works like Barnes and Noble, but with better prices; items usually are $5-$20 cheaper. However, delivery typically takes longer and unless you do not need your books in a hurry, click on FREE super saver shipping (for purchases over $25) and add "group my items into as few shipments as possible." Before purchase check on when the item ships. If it is usually within 24 hours, you are good to go; however, if it states item will ship in 6-11 business days, watch out! You can face not receiving the book until two weeks into the semester!!! Amazon also features individual sellers for used books.
CheapestTextBooks.com. Cheapest TextBooks acts like a server that will find you the store that is selling your textbook for the best price. Simply type in the name of your book or ISBN number and click "find the cheapest price." A number of stores with a range of prices for your textbook will appear and this will give you a good idea of the best price.


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