Alternative buying options

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Have you ever wondered what the absolute, cheapest way to purchase your textbooks is? After using one textbook and a good deal of online searching, the prices I managed to find from various sources might surprise you.

I used my biology book, “What is Life? A Guide to Biology” third edition by Jay Phelan to compare prices in JSC’s bookstore and online resources.

After viewing the current listed price of $156.25 for a new copy of the biology book in JSC’s bookstore, I wondered if there was a cheaper method of purchase.

The cheapest price for the book, in relatively new condition on eBay, was $110.49. This was followed by $129.30 from Barnes & Nobel. Close to this came a price of $134.99 from Chegg. Rounding out near the bookstore’s listed price was Textbooks.com at $158.07. I was surprised to have found a relatively high price of $164.75 for the textbook on Amazon.

As far as some of the online retailers used prices went, the majority of them differentiated a lot from the bookstore’s listed used price of $117.25. There was one on eBay of $49.00. Amazon also had several used options ranging from $86.00 to $117.25. Textbooks.com set a used price at $92.76 for the book, and Chegg rounded out near the bookstores price with a listing of $116.99 for the textbook.

When I looked into possibly renting the textbook as opposed to purchasing it, the bookstore’s price for renting it new was $117.19. If you are looking to save some money by renting the book used from the bookstore, it would cost $85.94.

After searching for possible online renting, I managed to find a couple options. The book was listed on Amazon at $51.44 for renting. Along with this, the book was similarly listed on Chegg at $51.49.

If you are tech savvy and would prefer an electronic version of a book instead of the physical object, you might be looking at the overall cheapest method for purchase. You can purchase your own E-copy of the textbook online at Amazon for $105.39.

On the other hand, you can rent the E-copy of the textbook at the bookstore for $71.99. One online renting option for the e-textbook included $58.52 from Amazon. Chegg offered a couple options of renting the e-copy of the textbook with a 60-day rental for $58.51, and a 120-day rental for $67.75.

After taking all of these prices into consideration, you always need to take into consideration general shipping fees for purchased items. Many of the online renting options included free return shipping by a noted return date on the majority of their textbooks.

It is often a good thing to also take into consideration the general resale value of the textbooks upon their purchases. In general the bookstore will provide a purchase back value based upon the demand for the textbook in the next semester at the school. If the demand is greater, in general you will be offered more for your book if you are trying to resell it to the bookstore.

In the end, if you take some time to look online for more textbook renting and purchasing options, there is a good chance that you will find something that is cheaper than JSC’s bookstore.

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