The Half.com, Amazon, Overstock, College bookstore challenge

by J. Money on Thursday, August 7, 2008

book analysis spreadsheetIs there a best place to pick up your college books from? That’s what the Mrs. set out to discover just yesterday.

As many of you know, Mrs. Budgetsaresexy is starting grad school this month, and is thus trying to find the best bargains out there for her reading material. And I gotta tell you, a LOT has changed since my days at the old university!

One of my favorite things to do was to visit the bookstore and see the hundreds of students mingling around, all excited to be back in school and ready to party ;) In fact, i liked it so much that i even worked there! I tell you one thing, it’s a helluva way to meet girls people. he he. Ahhh the good ol’ days…*tear*

But anyways, back in the day we only had one real way of getting these books – the college bookstore. It was the #1 cash drainer for our pockets, or should I say some of our parent’s pockets (i love you Mom! not that you know this site exists). But these days? Not anymore. There are a plethora of ways to get our hands on them now, and sometimes for much cheaper.

Mrs. Budgetsaresexy literally JUST emailed me a spreadsheet she put together to calculate the best bargains out there for her newest list of books needed. It was intended for MEO (My eyes only), but i got her to share it with us :) There’s nothing graphic in there, so why not right? haha…

So, here’s the email she sent me word for word which summarizes her findings, minus a few identifying details: (the spreadsheet can be found here, for all you visual people)

“Dear sexiest man alive (editor’s note: i put that in…he he)

i compiled a spreadsheet of all the books i need, and their respective costs in 4 places: amazon, half.com, overstock, and the college bookstore.

if the edition or translation of the book was questionable in terms of what the professor wants, and/or if the cost difference wasn’t significant enough to matter much (a few cents to a dollar or so), i went with the default college bookstore to make things easier. for all other books that were pretty much standard editions everywhere, OR where the price differentiation was HUGE (was for at least 3 books), i went with any of the other 3 online dealers.

to make a long story short, if i went ONLY with the college bookstore, my total spent on books thus far (not counting whatever i have to spend on my 3rd class), would have been : $254.50. my grand total for what i spent using the methods above? $145.99. i SAVED a total of $108.51!!!!

now, let’s just hope that all the books i ordered online arrive on time, AND are the right version of what i need and all. but if they all are? well hot diggidy, i think i am a hefty little save-a-roo!!! :) “

As you can see, going with JUST the college bookstore in this case fails miserably. It seems the best route to take is to pick and choose from a combination of Half.com, Amazon, Overstock, AND the college bookstore. It’s a little time consuming, but the $100+ we’ll be saving is well worth it!

The Winner: Combination of all 4 places! (Anyone wanna guess what her major is?)


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