You're a college student. Exciting, to be sure, but it can be costly as well. When your parents, friends, instructors, and everyone else ask what's in your wallet, the answer remains the same: "Money's tight. What do you expect, I'm in college." We hear you. The Tri-C Bookstore provides many options and programs to keep the cost affordable. You can order your books online and have them shipped to you, or pick them up in the store. We are committed to offering all of your course materials in as many formats as we can, and at the best possible prices. The Tri-C Bookstore offers outstanding customer service, and has the ability to handle the obstacles that may arise when you make an academic purchase. When the unexpected happens, we will always work with you. So if you buy it from us, we've got all your bases covered!
Rental Books - Tri-C is proud to offer rental textbooks. When shopping for textbooks in-store, the course information tag will display a "Rental" option. If you're shopping online, it's even easier. Many books display a RENTAL option, along with NEW and USED options. Just pick one that's right for you! Save up to 55% off the cost of a new book. Return the book undamaged and on-time, and you’ve fulfilled the commitment. Rentals cannot be sold back, and must be returned during the last week of class with the date specified on your receipt and your rental agreement. Failing to do so could cost you more than you intended to spend, so know all the rules before you rent, and remember to bring it back!
eBooks - eBooks have been available at the Bookstore for a few years, and they continue to expand. eBooks are less expensive than new books and often times priced similarly to the rental book. We know that everybody likes to learn and study differently, and this is yet another option we feel is important to offer our students. eBooks are for those students who stay on the go, and have no problems learning via a laptop, an eReader, an iPad, or a growing number of digital devices. Remember that the majority of eBooks are only offered for a limited time (quarter, semester, year, etc.). Make sure that the eBooks you require are compatible with the device you will use and that the usage period meets your needs. 'Digital' will appear as a textbook option whenever a digital option is available.
Used Books - Through our healthy buyback program, we can offer used copies of many books after a semester or two. Used books are typically priced 25-33% lower than new copies. Buying early (when books become available for the next semester) will make it easier for you to purchase used, as well as buying soon after a Buyback, when the bookstore receives most of its used books. Used books may have some wear-and-tear, but the Bookstore makes certain any additional learning material required for class (usually CDs/DVDs) is brought back with the books. There are also some books available in used packages, offering the same material found in new ones. So buy used with confidence.
New Books - (Unbundled/Loose Leaf) - You may be thinking that new books shouldn't even be considered when it comes to affordability. But, more and more publishers are going back to providing just the textbook required for certain courses, while continuing to offer bundles for students who require the extra content. Buying an unbundled book saves money, but check with the department for that course first, so that you don't find yourself missing something important when class begins. Also, some publishers have created loose leaf versions of their textbooks, essentially a simplified packet you can slip into a binder, saving you on production costs that get added the price of most new books.
Library - There are a few instances where you may be able to find the book you're looking for in the library. Of course, the borrowing period may not cover the entire semester, and there are many other students who will be attempting to borrow whatever is available. But it's worth a look if buying is absolutely out of the question.
Tips to Save
Buy Early - Get your books in-store or online when they become available for the coming semester. It's the best time to get used textbooks. We don't recommend buying earlier than that, as faculty can change textbooks anytime before the start of the semester, and you could end with a book you can't use.
Use Rentals - If available, rental books are a great way to save money. You may not be able to sell a rental book back at the end of the semester, but you are saving that money immediately. And you don't have to worry about the buyback crowd or the possibility of not selling your book back in time. It all depends on your preference.
Book Buyback on Campus - Our used book program is built upon an excellent Book Buyback Program. Selling books back to us makes it easier for us to keep used in-stock. We buy books every day, and there's a good chance we'll buy yours. You could receive up to 50% of the new book price, regardless of whether the book is new or used (gift cards replace cash if you do not have a receipt of your original purchase). Keep in mind the following factors that affect how much money you get at buyback:
- Is the book being used for the upcoming semester?
- Does the bookstore need more copies, or have we reached our limit?
- Is the book damaged in any way? (Missing pages, water damage, binding broken)
- Is there a pending new edition of the book, or is the book already an old edition?
- Was the book sold as a bundle? Are there pieces missing?
- Is demand high, and are other colleges looking to use this book?
The best time to attempt a buyback is at the end of the semester, when the need is greatest. We will have many stations on campus during this time, so keep an eye out for flyers and locations. Book Buyback is our greatest effort to provide you with used books; if a used title is available, we will do our best to make it available to you. But we need your help to keep the buyback program thriving, so when you're ready to sell, sell it to Tri-C!