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When do you buy textbooks?

BrightRedBrightRed Registered User Posts: 508 Member
edited June 2009 in College Life
I have already received the textbooks list for my classes, and I plan on buying them either from friends who took the class last fall or get used books online.

1) Do you wait till classes start before deciding whether you need a book? In some classes I barely had to read the book and tests were over lecture materials.

2) If you buy your books early, how many weeks earlier do you typically get them?

3) Also, how reliable is it to buy books online on sites like half.com? Do you get the edition you ordered?
Post edited by BrightRed on

Replies to: When do you buy textbooks?

  • JackMJackM Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    I rent my books from chegg.
  • chickenboi8008chickenboi8008 Registered User Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    I usually wait until the week before classes start or even the weekend before classes start to get my books to make sure that I can return them if it happens that I don't need them for the class. I either buy them from friends who have taken the class previously or I use amazon, ebay or half.com. I haven't had any problems from these online sellers and they've provided me with the books I needed. I highly suggest just buying them online because it's so much cheaper than your on campus bookstore, unless they are custom made for your class/school only.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,199 Senior Member
    I wait until after the first few days of classes because I don't know which classes I will be taking until then. I am still undecided between 10+ classes. Luckily none of them have enrollment caps and I can change my registration anytime until halfway through the second week of classes.

    Most likely I won't be buying many textbooks though. Usually I am lucky enough to get a copy of the textbook from the library :)
  • BigredmedBigredmed Registered User Posts: 3,731 Senior Member
    You should never buy books until AFTER you've been to the first class. Get the syllabus first and listen to what the professor says is important. Professors can change their mind, add books, drop books, or tell you that 95% of the material tested will come from lecture, so by waiting, you have a much better idea what you need and if you are going to spend your money...
  • EjdehaEjdeha Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    I always order them as soon as the lists go out. I usually get my books from amazon so I give myself plenty of time to let the books get here without having to pay for the expensive shipping.
  • juba2jivejuba2jive Registered User Posts: 1,001 Member
    I've found that books are usually cheaper if you order them in the summer before the big rush in late August/Sept.
  • Muscle7Muscle7 - Posts: 214 Junior Member
    1st week of classes, after the 1st lecture
  • PurdueEEPurdueEE Registered User Posts: 705 Member
    Don't buy books before classes if you can help it. I have had a few classes where the professors have said things like "the books assigned for this course suck, we won't be using them" or "the books are an OK reference, but we won't really be following them."
  • kansasdemocratkansasdemocrat Registered User Posts: 436 Member
    Email your profs- it takes 5 minutes, and you'll save hours of headaches down the road.
  • EjdehaEjdeha Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    In my experience, the money saved when buying books online is about the same as waiting until you know which books to buy. Then there's book buyback.
    This summer, the bookstore was selling the textbook for my computer course for around $80. I bought mine on amazon for $13 after shipping. :) It was the exact same book and edition. It even had the CD that came with it too. It said used online, but if they said it was new I would have believed them.
  • tenisghstenisghs Registered User Posts: 3,955 Senior Member
    Always buy your textbooks AFTER you visit the first day of classes. Then you'll realize if you should keep or drop the class.
  • BrightRedBrightRed Registered User Posts: 508 Member
    Thanks for the replies! I don't plan on dropping any of my classes since they're core requirements for my major.

    For those who said to buy textbooks after the first day of class, doesn't it effectively cut off your options for purchasing online if homework is assigned on the first day (since shipping takes about a week)?
  • silence_kitsilence_kit Registered User Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    Borrow someone else's book. Or find a copy in the library. In college, a lot of the time professors don't assign problems from the book anyway.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,199 Senior Member
    For those who said to buy textbooks after the first day of class, doesn't it effectively cut off your options for purchasing online if homework is assigned on the first day (since shipping takes about a week)?
    With two exceptions, I have never needed the textbooks in the first week of classes. The first exception was a philosophy text that was less than $10 in the bookstore. In the second case I used Amazon's Search Online function to get access to the pages I needed while I was waiting for my order to arrive. You can also buy a book from the bookstore and return it once you get your online orders.
  • john02john02 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Barlum nice suggestions. I think they would work for me. Lets C.
This discussion has been closed.