What I wish I would have known before purchasing books at the bookstore

Books: one of the more expensive school supplies you have to buy when attending college. Often, most of your classes will require at least one book, if not more. It’s easy for the amount you spend on books to climb into the hundreds.


Naturally, as a broke college student I try to save as much money as I can when buying books. For me this often means opting to rent my books instead of buying them. It’s almost always cheaper to rent instead of buy. Then I compare prices across sites like Chegg and Amazon as well as the prices in the LCCC Bookstore.


Another thing I try to do when buying books is to wait until after classes have started to purchase books. Occasionally you get the teacher that will say that the book for their class isn’t needed. I also wait to purchase my books just in case I decide the class isn’t for me or if it’s too much on my workload. There is no point in having the books in a class you aren’t going to take, right?


However, this became tricky when I took U.S. History to 1865. This class required me to have two textbooks and an independent reading book. It also had reading assignments during the second week of class.


I had already planned on purchasing my books on Amazon to save money, but they wouldn’t have arrived until the end of the second week of class. So I had to resort to spending the extra money to rent the books from the LCCC Bookstore. I went in and rented them for a little over $90 on the Thursday of the first week of class so I could do my reading over the weekend $43.

After completing the first week of class and the first reading assignment, I decided that my history class was one credit too many on my workload and I decided to withdraw. LCCC allows for a two-week withdraw period where you can try the class, and if it doesn’t work out you can drop it with no penalty to your overall grade and you can get your tuition back.


After I dropped my history class, I had three books that I had no use for that I would have to return before the end of the semester. Since I hadn’t had the books for a week I wanted to try and return them to get my money back.


As it turns out, the return policy on books at the bookstore is that students have a week from the start of class to return the books to the store. Meaning it doesn’t matter when you buy your books, you have seven days after the start of your class to return your books.


The assistant manager at the LCCC Bookstore, Ashley Fyffe, explained that the one-week rule is due to the additional charges the bookstore receives for holding books. Basically, the bookstore buys books from a publisher, but if the store holds books for too long they have to pay to keep the books on the shelf, Fyffe said.


Since I was past the one-week rule, the bookstore wouldn’t take back the books I had for only a few days, but they told me that I could purchase them at full price and return them.


I didn’t really have a choice so I bought them, making the total I spent on the books just over $120. Before the employee even handed them back to me I asked what I would get if I returned all three on the spot. I was told they were now only worth $30.


Cars don’t even lose value that fast.


My advice is that if you are unsure about your classes, either decide within a week of starting that you’re committed to the class, or purchase books from sites that have a much longer return policy such as Amazon or Chegg.


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