Being a Uni Student myself I know all too well how expensive the texts can be.I also know how hard it can be to find the right books, in the right condition, at the right price. here are a few tips I use to get the books I need, and in particularly when I need them.
- Build a book list of what texts you will need well in advance of your semester or study period comencing.
- Research all the relevant information that you could use as search terms, not just the title. Be sure to include things like edition number, Author(s), subject names, etc.
- Try a couple of searches just using the text name, or the subject name or number you are studying, such as "Criminology", or "CCJ11", or "An introduciton to crime"
- Dont despair if nothing comes up, SAVE THE SEARCH, and get regular emails when something comes in. The trick in this case, to avoid huge numbers emails with alot of misses is to be more specific....think back to your library research exersises!
- PICK YOUR TIME! One thing I have noticed is that the more popular the course is and the closer the end date of an auction is to the start of a semester or study period, the higher the price in an auction will go.... good old supply and demand. Try to purchase books that are "out of season" this has saved me up to 90% off retail prices sometimes.
- DONT BE AFRAID OF OLD EDITIONS! I have used older editions quite successfully in some subjects, others need to be spot on. For example I used a version of SPSS 12, bought second hand for under $20 at auction with the CD and the Text. If I was to buy the new Version SPSS14 it would have set me back over $120. The only difference was the layout was a little different and it missed a couple of features that I didn't need that early in my studies. Statistics are statistics wether they are from 1985 or 2008 pretty much. On the other hand if it was for something more up to date or with evolving theories it might pay to get latest editions.
Using careful search terms, a bit of trial and error, and also a bit of luck you too will save potentially thousands of $$$ for just a little time investment.
Hope this helps and please, if it does, don't forget to rate this guide