When senior finance and accounting major Dan Lienemann first came to TCU, he started his freshman year like many other new students – stocking up on textbooks required for his classes. The total was around $450. Since then, Lienemann, an international finance and accounting major, has used what he has learned in financial management classes – to get more for less. He no longer goes to the TCU bookstore for his books.Lienemann has discovered that just by a click of the mouse, he can save $100 to $300 a semester on his books.
“I began buying my books online because I noticed the cost-saving was paramount,” he said.
David Yee, an assistant manager in charge of textbook sales at the bookstore, said up to 95 percent of TCU’s undergraduates purchase their books on campus.
Lienemann explained why he thought this was the case.
“Many students don’t buy their books online because they are unaware of the alternative,” he said. “They think that because the books at the bookstore are on send-home, it doesn’t matter.”
But, Lienemann said, he is sure many parents would be appreciative if their sons or daughters took the initiative to save them a couple hundred dollars each semester.
For students unaware of the alternative of buying textbooks online, or who have yet to try it out, Lienemann recommended sites such as www.Amazon.com and www.Half.com. With just an ISBN number on the back of the book, a student can look up the book new and used at different prices – usually much lower than those offered at the bookstore.
Lienemann said that while textbooks online are usually a much better deal than at the bookstore, it’s still important to notice the price difference. He said that when the savings are less than $20 a book, he saves the trouble and buys it at the bookstore instead.
He said planning ahead is vital because books ordered online usually take a week or two to arrive, depending on the type of shipping. Because he is a resident assistant, Lienemann said, he is usually on campus at least a week before school starts and heads to the bookstore to copy down the ISBN numbers of the books required by his professors and order them.
But, he said, he knows some students don’t come back to campus that early, and then books ordered online may not arrive until after classes start. For such students, the option may not be as convenient.
Lienemann said students buying books online can also encounter other difficulties, such as receiving a wrong book, or not receiving an ordered book at all.
“Both these problems have happened to me,” he said. “But you’ve already saved so much money online that it’s not much of a loss if you have to go to the bookstore for a book you already bought online.