The first lesson of the year for the hordes of college students headed for Boston and Amherst came from the Office of Consumer Affairs: rent your textbooks or buy them online.
You're liable to save 50 percent.
The state Office of Consumer Affairs released the results of its annual textbook survey Wednesday, in which it shopped for the same textbooks 12 different ways.
Perhaps the strongest message from the survey sounds a little strange to the ears of the print generation: stay out of the bookstore.
A social psychology book that costs $250 at the college bookstore goes for $175 new on Amazon. But renting, buying used or sharing the cost with a classmate - that's where the savings really lie.
“Parents and students may not realize the wealth of options they have when it comes to buying college textbooks,” said Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “Textbooks are a large part of the college investment, and consumers should carefully consider these options and not simply rely on the school bookstore. There is a real opportunity to save some money here.”
– C. Sandler/SHNS