For every international student new to Australia, the first few months always revolve around finding ways to manage their finances. It is a common challenge faced by many, and always gets better as time passes and their knowledge of their surroundings grows.
One of the challenges I faced in my very first week of university was how to find cheap textbooks. Textbooks can be ridiculously overpriced and one always feels unwise paying full Price for them, considering you only use them for a total of 12-16weeks!
How to Find Cheap Uni Textbooks for Students?
A great way to counter this problem is to purchase second hand textbooks from former students of the same subjects/courses. Of course this option is not viable to students who have a fetish for the ‘new book’ smell. Yes, I know people who suffer from such a condition! Generally speaking, second hand books save you almost 50% (if not more) of the total retail price of textbooks!
The best place to find second hand textbooks is generally the university websites. Monash, Deakin, RMIT all have online ‘marketplaces’ that allow students to post ads. A lot of universities allow students to sell textbooks by advertising on noticeboards around the campus.
Taking the Book Search Online – Resources
One of the websites that I found very useful was Studentvip.com.au, This website allows you to both buy and sell textbooks and communication between the buyer and seller is extremely smooth and secure. The website is well developed and lets you search for a textbook using its name, author, edition as well as the ISBN number.
Searching using such specific detail generally yields accurate results, avoiding confusion and mistakes. Considering the student has never actually used the textbook before and it’s the first time he/she is purchasing it- it is very common to end up purchasing the wrong textbook. Personally, I found that searching using the ISBN no. (found behind the textbook, under the barcode) is the best way to search the textbooks database.
Gumtree.com is another place to find second hand books, however, the search on this website can be quite cumbersome and may not yield very filtered results. Finally, there is nothing better than the good ol’ libraries. Most universities have an extensive collection (and multiple copies) of textbooks as well as CD’s. These books can generally be borrowed for upto two weeks and can sometimes even be re-issued, depending on the demand within the campus.
Borrowing textbooks from libraries can be a good option if you only need the textbook for a few days to work on an assignment or just a few days before exam time.