How To Purchase Used College Textbooks from Half.com

TextbooksIt’s that time of year again: back to school season. For those of us in college it also means hunting down textbooks for new classes. Some of these can cost over $100 per book. That is, if you purchase them new. Which is why you’ve got to be creative and hunt down used copies. In the end you could save a bundle of money!

First, check with your college to find out which books you’ll need. Visit your school’s website, as many post a list of books needed for each class. Cut this information into a fresh document of your computer. Pay special attention to the Title, Author, Year Published and ISBN #.

Next, with that pertinent info in hand, click over to the eBay owned site Half.com. If you are already an eBay member, your username and password will work here as well. If you’re not a member, you’ll need to register if you plan on purchasing items.

Search the ISBN number of the textbook you are seeking. In my experience 95% of the time you’ll find the book you need, half.com’s listing is *that* extensive. Be sure to compare the correct title, author and especially, the edition to make sure everything matches up.

Scan through the listings, pay attention to seller’s feedback scores and if they are an individual seller, or a company. Usually, the more worn a copy is, the less expensive it will be. Same goes for publication date, if it’s been out for two years already, more people will have purchased the book so you’ll get a  better price. In my opinion its best to stay away from textbooks that have covers fully torn off or water damage.

If you want to think about it more select the “wish list” feature and your item will be saved for check out at a later date. However, if something caught your eye and you choose to purchase, double and triple check to see that everything looks correct. Money

Half.com’s check out process is relatively painless. One aspect that’s a negative is that they don’t take paypal only credit cards (or debit cards that also function in the same way). Also be aware of the return policy. Most buyers aren’t obligated to accept returns. Larger companies will accept them on conditions but you’ll have to wait weeks to see your money back.

Is buying used textbooks online risky? Slightly, sure. But in the end, you could save a lot of money!

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