With textbooks costs averaging close to, if not more, than $1,000 per year, it is not surprising that college students and their parents are turning to the Internet for all textbook needs. Buying textbooks online can be tricky. For one, people cannot view the books before purchasing them to ensure the right edition is being bought. Also, there is no way to guarantee the book's condition is truly as great as the online seller claims.
There are dozens of online bookstores that sell used textbooks, but some are far superior to others. It is important to look for websites that offer ratings on sellers. If the seller has a high rating, odds are it is perfectly safe to take their word for it. Those without a rating are newer and have not established themselves yet. You do take a 50/50 chance that their textbooks are of the quality they state. The most common issue would be torn or missing pages and lots of highlighting or notes in the margin. In many cases, the margin notes may come in helpful, so do not automatically skip those books.
College textbooks are often revised every year. Some professors will not have an issue with older versions, but for other courses revisions often contain new rules or laws that are necessary to know. Medical information, law, and pharmacy practices change frequently and the older books may do more harm than good because of the outdated information. Pay close attention to the ISBN number. This number is the one way to ensure you are getting the correct book. Titles may change, but ISBN numbers always remain the same.
With thousands of students buying their books online throughout the different states and countries, it is essential for students to start searching for textbooks as soon as possible, especially for the more common majors. You may end up being among the thousands that are after one specific book and to find a used copy, you have to be quick. Common sites like Ebay, Abe Books, Amazon, and Half.com may be most students first search, so try other stores like Ecampus, Buy.com, or BookByte to beat the crowds.
Buying textbooks online can guarantee the best prices and also gives you the option to shop around. Remembering the most important tips (paying attention to ISBN, using less frequented online shops, and shopping early) can guarantee huge savings and a higher chance of having the textbooks in stock.