I definitely prefer to purchase my books online if possible. It is so much cheaper. The only problem with doing that is if you switch your classes the first week, you probably will not get your books in time to keep up with beginning class work, and some professors really put the heat on you to keep up – even if you are trying to be cash savvy. Sometimes if you pay attention, campus offers great discount deals online or on little cards in the store, but more often than not I feel like I am getting ripped off. Sometimes you end up buying books that you do not even touch during the semester. Paying full or inflated prices for that is the worst.
Manan M. Desai:
I had to resort to a combination of both online and campus. The publishing "cartels" are controlling the demand as well as the supply in a very devious way. Have you noticed how the latest edition of the book is almost exactly the same as the old one? Albeit, with fancier graphics and colors. Professors do not help by exclusively opting for the latest editions, either. This is hardly the way of teaching someone, or following ethical business practices for that matter. To chafe the students further, much cheaper online rentals like Chegg carry all but the latest editions of the book. I urge the professors to please stop this nonsense and stick to the older, and more importantly, cheaper editions.
I think the answer is pretty obvious: I buy them online. The sheer amount of money I save is too much to resist. I remember checking what the textbooks would cost me this semester if I went through The Bookie and it came out close to $800. Luckily, Amazon saved me about $400, so half of what I would have had to pay. The scary thing is, $400 is still a lot of money.
Buying books online is much cheaper than, and often just as convenient as, a campus purchase. In my experience, prices for books, especially those for large classes, are often more than 30-percent cheaper at Amazon than on campus. In many cases, a used book at The Bookie costs just as much or slightly more than a new book at Amazon. Because of this vast pricing difference, buying books online is always the preferred method whenever possible.
I buy my textbooks on campus due to simple convenience and personal laziness. You're welcome, Bookie!
This semester, The Bookie wanted to charge me $650 for books. Amazon wanted $300. I will let you guess which I went for.