Currently: blogging in D. Lam (to avoid reading the OB chapters) and craving a honey cruller donut from Tim Hortons.
I stopped by the bookstore in the summer armed with a booklist and a debit card, ready to breeze through the rumored “painful process”. Little did I know that I would soon be considering advertising kidney sales on my blog. I’m a pretty thrifty person so the price tags there were devastating to my soul. Instead of taking the easy way out and reserving my books, I decided to experiment a little and see how much I can save by buying my UBC textbooks elsewere (online mainly), despite not having ANY experience in textbook hunting (all you seasoned pros out there, feel free to send over more tips!)
|Class||Book||UBC $||I paid $||Bought from|
|ECON 101||Princi. of Microecon||96.00||35.00||Facebook Marketplace|
|ECON 101||Lyryx card||Incl.||–||Bookstore, tbd ($35)|
|COMM 292||Org. Behavior||116.00||50.00||Craigslist.com|
|CPSC 111||Big Java||90.00||30.00||Saveonbook, prev ed.|
|HIST 237||Thomas Jefferson||20.00||0.00||Borrowing from library|
|HIST 237||Portia||23.00||0.00||Found free copy online|
|HIST 237||Sovereignty etc.||15.00||5.00||Facebook Marketplace|
|HIST 237||Frederick Douglass||7.00||0.00||Found free copy online|
|HIST 237||March to the Sea||33.00||12.00||Powellbooks.com|
|TOTALS (w/ tax)||400.00||132.00|
That’s a saving of over $250 (Mmm…shoes!) In addition to the above list, I did end up buying two costly textbooks from the Bookstore, so my total spendings were just under $400 (as compared to the $640 I would’ve spent).
List of resources I used and/or recommend
- Facebook Marketplace – great for local searches as it first displays results from your networks. Private message ensures privacy. Lots of haggling room available. Be sure to ask for notes for free.
- Saveonbook.com – UBC student’s “secret” tool. Pretty convenient since most people have their cellphone numbers on there. Another local resource and notes are usually thrown in. Lots of texts available!
- Craigslist – The somewhat “sketchy” corner of the internet… the search is a bit more difficult as a lot of SFU and BCIT books are mixed in.
- Bookfinder – This gives you a rough idea of how much the books are being sold online. Just enter the ISBN numbers and it’ll search the corners of the internet for you
- Amazon – A bit pricy than the local alternatives ($2 book, $15 shipping, grr!), but they usually have the right editions here. Used books option also available.
- Bookmeat UBC – Very minimalistic and organized website, no search option but browsing through courses is easy. Not TOO comprehensive. People who want to sell it go there and list their asking price, save % (GREAT feature), book condition, and contact info.
- UBC AMS Sub – “In the basement there is a massive wall filled with for sale textbooks!” (Thanks Andre!)
- Bigwords.com – “Bigwords compares all the best textbook stores at once finding the sweetest, cheapest textbook deals on the planet” (Thanks Brian!)
- Friends/Family/Coworkers – seriously, ask EVERYONE if they have taken/know someone who have taken the courses you have. Turns out one of my coworkers had a few Econ books to give away from his BCIT days!
Hope this helps you on your book hunt, for next year least!