GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Many college students have stopped shopping at university bookstores to save money.
Dropping thousands of dollars on books may sound like a stretch, but Derek Jones, a recent North Carolina A&T State University graduate, says it happens.
"It's not an exaggeration,” Jones said.
"Engineer majors and some business courses they do equate to that much,” he added.
Jones said he stopped shopping at the university bookstore after his freshman.
During his time as a student, he began shopping at Textbook Brokers across the street from the campus where he now works as an assistant store manager.
“We're able to buy from used vendors rather than purchase them new, and that’s what allows us to be able to knock down the cost,” Jazmin Howard, general manager at Textbook Brokers, said.
Students can buy used textbooks, rent books, or receive e-textbooks.
“[We] take in the extra time to do a lot of different digging to find out what codes we can buy separate, what books we can buy separate,” Howard said.
That method has its advantages considering that most textbooks are constantly updated with new editions.
“If we have a new pack of books that we're renting to a student, they'll bring that book back to us, it’s used, but we can buy a brand new code that we can give to another student for the next semester,” Howard said.
Howard says it’s not uncommon for students to save $100 to $400 a semester on books compared to shopping at an on-campus bookstore.
Textbook Brokers are found nationwide, but stores only cater to students at specific schools to accommodate their course schedules.
However, Howard says the location across from A&T will cater to students at that university and others as long as outside students come early enough to allow staff to order books.
The stores accept financial aid, but not book vouchers.
Students can “buy now and pay later” using their refund checks.
There are a total of three Textbook Brokers locations in the Triad.
There is one in Jamestown serving students at Guilford Technical Community College and another in Winston-Salem for students attending Forsyth Technical Community College.