Consumer Watch: Textbook buying tips for college students


by Andy Treinen

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 28 at 4:41 PM

(WHAS11) -- A new year on college campuses means new classes and for many students textbooks will take a big bite out of a budget. Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen rounds up some tips to save money in Tuesday's Consumer Watch. 

For a college student already saddled with tuition debt, book buying can be the straw that breaks their back.

But let the learning start right here - you don't have to get in line to get smacked in the face with $130 books at the bookstore.  According to the college board, the average college student spent about $1200 on textbooks during the last academic year.
Scott Gamm of, a personal finance site for young adults, says even though the college bookstore may be the most  convenient  option, it's not a student's only option.

“The books there are typically top-dollar," explained Gamm.  "So you want to check those online sites. A lot of those online textbook search engines will find the cheapest textbook retailer."

The re-sale and exchange of previously used textbooks has become easier than ever thanks to specialized websites like Amazon and

And students should tap into their own personal social networks too. 

“What better way to trade books or purchase books than to do so by people you know? So you want to use your social networks. Use the folks you know on Twitter on Facebook,” elaborated the tech savvy executive.
Gamm also recommends searching for the international editions of textbooks. These books designed for different regions of the world often have the same content as the US edition, but can save students as much as 70 percent. 

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