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Buying (affording) textbooks during a recession October 9, 2008

Posted by Eugene Aronsky in economy, recession.

There are perhaps very few positive things about a recession, people lose jobs, and life is more difficult in general.  The one positive thing is that during a recession the “used” market tends to expand as people are looking to save money.  This is especially a truism when it comes to textbooks.  Although I am sure that the prices of new textbooks will continue to increase (though perhaps not as much), there will be, and already is, an increase in the amount of quality used books/textbooks on the market.  As people look for ways to cut back and save money, they also look for things that they can sell to make a little extra money, and books are a quick and easy thing to sell.  This trend of increased used books creates downward pressure on the overall prices of books, causing average prices of used books to drop significantly, which is, again, fantastic for those shopping for that used textbooks.

My single word of advice, relevant in the current market more than ever, is to shop around, and compare prices. Bargain shopping does not make you cheap, it makes you smart; going to your college bookstore and paying full price, when you can get the same book online cheaper makes you stupid. It pains me to say this as I can recall times when I purchased my textbooks in the school bookstore.  But those were different times, and at the time I wasn’t very savvy. Do not make the same mistakes I did! Buy online or buy local, but buy at the lowest possible price.


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