Monday, March 31, 2014

Buying Used Homeschool Curriculum

I like being frugal when it comes to buying our homeschool curriculum every year. I try to buy them used if I can. It does take more planning, organization, effort, and not to mention patience. Keep in mind that it will take more time searching for your curriculum used.

I usually start planning my curriculum in February and March. I like to start early so I can start scanning the online curriculum before our local homeschool book sale comes around. I seem to have a better selection online rather than our local sale.

When I buy at our local book sale I can look through the books and see with my own eyes if it what I am looking for. There are a few things to consider with buying your curriculum used online.

1. Has it been written in or erased.

2. Are all the pages there. Or has a few pages been used. 

3. Is the binding in good shape and attached. 

4. Edition! Do you know what edition your looking for and what edition the seller has.

5. Water stains, rips, and marks.

6. Do you have allergies to smoke and pets?

Do some leg work first and know what the retail price is. Sometimes the used books aren't much cheaper after you add on the shipping cost.

Some sellers are willing to bargain with their prices. See if that seller has any other books you might need. A lot of sellers are willing to reduce shipping or pay shipping if its profitable for them. Remember they are selling to make money to buy books for their homeschool. 

Be reasonable when asking a seller to reduce their prices. I buy and sell online and sometimes the buyers are not very reasonable. If I were to sell the books for what they are asking it wouldn't even cover my shipping. Some books I know that I will only get a couple of dollars for them. When they buy more than one item it offsets my cost for shipping. Sometimes I am willing to pay half the price of shipping on a cheaper item. If its a high dollar item I don't mind including the shipping cost. 

The reality is that some items aren't worth buying used. Do your homework before you buy.

Some of the places I like to buy my curriculum are:

Homeschool Classifieds - This is one of my favorite places.

Well Trained Mind Classifieds- Another Favorite

HSLD Used Curriculum Market

Amazon- Great place to buy just make sure you know the shipping cost.

Ebay

Free Homeschool Classifieds

Homeschool Review in the forum swap meet 

Exodus Books 

Used Homeschool books   

Leighs List 

VegSource

I haven't bought from all these sources. Keep in mind that some of this sites require you to have an account. If it's a social network they may have requirements before you can buy.

Ask lots of questions about the material you are buying. Have good communication and reply to the seller in a timely manner. If you decide not to buy it for some reason or find a better deal then get back to the seller and let them know that you are not buying it after all.

Payment:

Lots of seller's will only deal with PayPal. Others are more flexible and will except money orders or a check. Keep in mind that it will slow down the shipping because they are waiting for you payment to clear the bank.

Just use common sense when buying. I have only had one item that didn't meet my expectations. The curriculum was complete but they had around 15% of it photocopied by a cheap printer. It was all there and the pages were lose and put in the workbook. It was a good deal and maybe that is why they had it at a bargain price. This bargain was not worth it. If I would of known that I wouldn't have bought it and I did ask questions. The seller didn't see her copying pages was a bad idea.

Have fun planning and buying your curriculum. It is really worth the time and effort to buy used. Most homeschoolers I have found are honest and only trying to get money for their homeschool.

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