How to buy and sell textbooks without breaking your budget


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Yaakov Spraragen

As if paying for tuition, transportation, and food weren’t enough, Baruch College students are burdened with the expense of purchasing textbooks. The average college student pays over $1200 each year for their books, according to CBS News. With prices ranging from $30 to $150 per book, 65 percent% of students avoid purchasing them. Textbook costs have soared in recent years largely due to the inclusion of e-learning access codes. These codes, which are becoming as much the standard fare as are a table of contents or an index, grant students access to online assessments and digital homework assignments. While some students try to get away with periodically borrowing their textbook from the Baruch College Library, ultimately there is no getting around purchasing a copy. It is therefore fortunate that multiple online platforms and resources at Baruch have been developed to help students acquire their textbooks at a more affordable rate.

A logical, tried and true alternative to purchasing textbooks straight from the publisher at retail price is to negotiate sales from fellow college students who had previously purchased the assigned course books. A popular online platform for buying and selling second-hand textbooks is known as Through this website, college students in similar fields of study are able to message each other in search of a desired textbook. Once a match and a deal is made, students can avoid shipping and handling costs by meeting at a convenient location to make the exchange. Another commonly used strategy for textbook shopping is to search for digitally formatted textbooks as opposed to hard copies. E-Textbooks are a great way to avoid heavy load and costs of hardcover books; most E-Textbooks are available at less than half the price.

Over the past few years, Baruch student brainpower and resourcefulness have been applied collectively to battle high book expenses: Over 10,000 students are current members of the Facebook group called Baruch College Textbooks – BUY or SELL!! This social-media textbook marketplace is exclusively dedicated to Baruch student users and is an expedient and inexpensive way to buy or sell course required textbooks. Additionally, the Baruch Undergraduate Student Government (USG) sponsors a recurring event called the Textbook Drive, during which students can donate old textbooks and pick up used ones for free. Member of the USG marketing committee, Kamila Luky explains that “the Undergraduate Student Government constantly gets input from students that we discuss during town hall meetings and try to work out with the school. A recurring issue that students face is having to buy expensive books. That is the reason we have textbook drives. This event enables our student body to save money.”It pays to check out these money-saving options before you shell out big bucks for textbooks so that you won’t be reading in the red.