Looking for a Way to Reduce Textbook Expenses?
Look up which textbooks you need in WebAdvisor. Choose Search for Sections then select your course and section and click on the course link then the textbook link. Alternatively, e-follett.com has textbooks listed by course and section as well.
The following is a list of ways you may be able to reduce the cost of your textbooks1:
- Buy the correct textbook. Look on the DTCC bookstore web page for a listing of ISBN numbers, or visit e-follet.com and look up the course and section. Seek out the instructor if you have any questions or to ask if an older edition of a textbook is similar enough to use.
- Buy used, and buy early. Buy your books from a student just finishing up the course from the previous semester, or purchase a used copy from the bookstore. Textbook listings on the bookstore web page are available well before the end of each semester. But buy early, as used copies can often sell out quickly. Check with the instructor if you have any doubts about whether the textbook will change from previous semesters. You can also use the postings on college bulletin boards or find books using DTCC's Facebook fan page. When purchasing used books, stay safe by meeting strangers in a public, well-populated location.
- Use the library. You can borrow copies of textbooks to use in the building for two hours at the Main Campus library. Remember that you'll need to show your Duham Tech identification card to borrow library books.
- Use a textbook comparison web site. Many web sites are available for comparing new and used pricing from multiple bookstores such as http://www.booksprice.com/, http://textbooks.org/, and http://www.cheapesttextbooks.com/. Note that with used textbook pricing you need to be careful that the supplier has positive ratings evaluations based on many sales. Your only recourse with an unhappy experience may be a negative rating on a web site such as Amazon.com or eBay.com which may not matter to a new seller unloading a few used textbooks. A quick check of 10 random DTCC textbooks found an average savings of 40% using Amazon.com for new textbook purchases and 47% for used textbooks as opposed to purchasing from the campus bookstore. Barnes and Noble often offers deals on textbooks through their web site (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/textbooks/), and Barnes and Noble members save even more.
- Rent textbooks. The same check of 10 DTCC textbooks showed an average savings of 63% using rental web sites such as e-follett.com, http://www.chegg.com or http://www.campusbookrentals.com or http://www.half.ebay.com or http://www.bookrenter.com as opposed to purchasing from the campus bookstore. These web sites mail you the textbook to keep for the semester and then return. Another example is http://www.coursesmart.com which allows you to access the rental textbook online or download it to your computer as an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file. Many of the rental websites give you the option of choosing from print, digital or audio forms of the textbooks you need. In many cases you can highlight areas of e-books and make notes in the margins as you read your books online. The DTCC college bookstore now rents textbooks through http://www.efollett.com/.
You may also wish to read the MSNBC article "11 ways to beat the system when buying college textbooks."
1Disclaimer: Durham Technical Community College is not affiliated with and does
not endorse any vendor or information provided on linked web sites with the exception of Follett; which is the college's contracted bookstore vendor. Durham Technical Community College
is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or misleading information
shown on linked sites. Please use discretion when purchasing books from other sources than the Durham Tech bookstore.