It’s no secret that can save you the most money when it comes to buying, renting, and downloading your textbooks. But something that does seem to be a little less known is that in addition to gathering all of the prices on the Web for books, we also gather all of the applicable coupons so that you can save even more. Alibris, College Book Renter, Campus Book Rentals, AbeBooks, eCampus, BookRenter, and so many more — and we’ve got ’em all!

When booksellers and marketplaces we work with have promotions and specials and coupons, they tell us first and we make sure that you see the deals in your search results. You needn’t go to any of those coupon sites and hunt for codes that may or may not work; we’ve already done the research and gathering and verifying for you so that what you see in our listings is the rock-bottom price and any and all bonus savings you can tack on. All you have to do is enter the code we present when you make your purchase.

So, the next time you use to find the best prices, look for the coupon icon followed by a note such as “Coupon: $5 Off $50+ — Use Code SAVE” in the listing box. Click on See Details within the listing for even more information about extra savings and copy that code for use when you make your purchase.

Have you seen this infographic? It’s absolutely amazing . . . and it raises questions, questions we’d love you to weigh in on.

  • How many of your classes remain traditional in-the-classroom physical courses for which you must be present?
  • Of those, how many regularly connect for presentations or after-class Web-based collaboration or interaction?
  • Do any of your professors still rely solely on the printed syllabi and handouts or are the syllabus and readings online?
  • And what of textbooks? Any online platforms your profs favor? Do any of your profs favor eBooks over print? Does Blackboard still reign supreme?
  • When was the tipping point for you and your education? Was there a point you can identify where things went digital and Web based?
  • What about social networking? Do any of your courses use groups, fora, rings, or other types of social networks?
How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education


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With the end of the term looming large and students wrapping up studies and looking for ways to raise cash for summer, now's the best time to get down to the issue of maximizing textbook-buyback dollars.

It's no secret that many factors affect the value offered by a bookstore or buyer for any given textbook. Answers to these common questions are taken into account when the establishing buyback value:
  • Is there a new edition of the textbook available or coming soon?
  • Is the book needed because it is being used next term?
  • Does the bookstore or buyer already have enough copies and needs no more?
  • What condition is the book in?
  • Is it complete with supplements like CDs?
With the exception of the last two, answers to these questions are in the hands of publishers, bookstores and buyers, and professors. So other than keeping books in good condition and with any extras, what can students do to get the most money back? Well, it turns out that the answers are:
  1. Educate themselves about the various selling venues (the campus bookstore, online, peer to peer).
  2. Time their selling based on the new data we've gathered and published about buyback cycles and values.

You can read our full findings and even download the raw data here, but we'll give you the condensed version now.

We looked at the 2010 spring buyback period (the five weeks in April and May when most students sell books) and compiled data about 20 indicator ISBNs each time they were searched and an offering price retrieved from online buyers. The results show that timing is of the essence when it comes to maximizing buyback price. Some notable findings:

  • Search volume and average price were opposed: as supply (students selling books) rose, the price offered by buyback companies dropped.
  • The weeks of May 2-8 and 9-15, the peak of the buyback season, saw huge search volume, and at the same time, the lowest average prices.
  • Search volume skyrocketed an average of 300% between April 25-May 1 and May 2-8. During this time, there was an almost universal drop in average prices.
  • The first weeks of buyback have a more consistent price range for each book. Within the peak of buyback, the range becomes extreme, sometimes differing $50+ on the same day.
  • Many more $0 (no-value or not-buying) prices appear during peak as buyers obtain the most stock for the lowest prices.

Conclusion: Ultimately, students can aim for consistent prices early, gamble with the wide range (and lower average price) at peak time, or hold out for the highest (but few available) prices after the rush.

  1. Know what your deal means: online buyback quotes can be good for one day or 30 days, and you must read the details to make sure you know what data you are looking at and what “real” value it has.
  2. Understand that many sites requires you to ship the book within a certain number of days after the quote is generated.
  3. Ask the bookstore if the book will be used for the next semester, if they tell you no or they don’t know, then you are most likely getting a wholesale or Internet price. Wholesale books will go back to a central distribution center and are then sold to another school. Internet retail prices are purchased for resale over the internet. ┬áBoth are a lower value than a retail book that will stay on your campus and be used the next semester.

To learn more, read the full results of our study.

At, we don’t sell, rent, or buy textbooks; instead, we deliver the information and resources that students and families can use to make the best choices when it comes to saving money on higher-education expenses.

Given that it’s tax season (just one month left until the April 15 deadline), we want to make sure that you’re up to speed on the important benefits available in the name of Tax Incentives for Higher Education. This information could mean up to $2,500 in tax credits for college students and their families. We urge you to do a few easy things to make sure that you get the most money back come tax time.

  1. Visit to find out the full details of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (very helpful is this IRS Q&A). If your parents or anyone else is involved in paying for your education, share this information with them.
  2. Know that textbook purchases now qualify as expenses under the program, but to get credit for them, you must have receipts showing your qualified spending. The IRS has expanded the definition of qualified spending to include “expenditures for ‘course materials.’ For this purpose, the term ‘course materials’ means books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study whether or not the materials are purchased from the educational institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.”

Finally, we know that taxes are complicated so here’s a good overview and starting point to help you get the most back for your 2010 education expenses.

We’re delighted to welcome to the Web! This terrific new site covering every angle of textbooks and college learning materials is the brainchild of’s very own CEO Jeff Cohen, your guru in residence.

Jeff’s decade in the textbook industry, learning every nook and cranny, has given him the knowledge and experience to answer any and all textbook-related questions. Seriously, the dude knows more about textbooks — buying books, selling textbooks back for cash or credit, textbook rentals, supplements, custom publications, new editions, international editions, academic trends, you name it — than, well, let’s just say that he knows more than any one person should know, hence the moniker Textbook Guru.

This way lies enlightenment about all things textbooks (don’t worry, the Blog isn’t going anywhere and it will still provide relevant info) and Jeff loves to help students shop smarter, find the resources they need for the best prices, and understand academic publishing and bookselling. He gives students the insider’s scoop and answers questions like:

  • What’s going on with eBooks?
  • Can the Kindle or iPad or Kno replace printed textbooks?
  • Why did the girl in front of you at buyback get $25 more than you got for the exact same book?
  • Are textbook torrents real and legit?
  • Which is the best eReader for college students?
  • Can you or your parents write off textbooks as a tax deduction?

The Textbook Guru knows the answers to these questions and many more!

So check out Jeff’s new site and let him help you answer any questions you have about textbooks, business development, education, new media, and more. Go ahead, give him your best shot!

With colleges and universities getting back in session throughout the entire month of January and students scouring the Internet and campus bookstores searching for the best deals on textbooks, we thought we’d take a moment to give you some tips on saving even more money.

Sure, when you use the price-comparison tool via website or smartphone, you see an array of the absolute lowest prices on the textbooks you need. But the initial search is just the first step in your savings. Here are some additional ways to compound the textbook savings:

1) Use Coupons: When you conduct your search, you may see something like “Coupon: 10% Off Order — Use Code Save10″ in the search results. If you see that a coupon is available, click “See Details” in the listing and copy the code for when you check out on the merchant’s page. A word about textbook coupons: we don’t skimp here and many coupons are exclusive to This month we’ve got coupons from:

  • Alibris
  • Biblio
  • CampusBookRentals
  • CengageBrain
  • Chegg
  • College Book Renter
  • CourseSmart
  • eCampus
  • PhatCampus
  • TextbookStop
  • Many more!

2) Add multiple books (up to 10) to a single order in your Bookbag and let us find you the best bundled deal. We’ll bring back results showing multi-book discounts and cheaper shipping when you use a single merchant for more than one of the items. To add to a Bookbag and bundle for savings, conduct your search, click the “Compare Prices Now” button, and instead of clicking any of the “Buy Now” button, instead click “+ Bookbag.” We’ll do the rest to maximize your textbook savings.

3) Be open to both buying textbooks and renting textbooks and mixing and matching. Sometimes it makes sense to buy your textbooks, like when you know that you’ll keep them or you need to write in them or they come with some sort of access code or proprietary supplements or you know that the book will have a high buyback value. If these things are not the case, consider renting if the price is substantially lower than purchase price.

4) Consider eBooks and international editions. Maybe you’ve never tried these formats, but they can save you big money. Now is an especially good time for eBooks as there is an abundance of free reader software for computers and smartphones.

5) Because free is the ultimate in savings, use our Local Search to check nearby libraries to see if they have your books available for loan.

The prep for finals, the all-nighters, the scrambling at the bookstore, the posters saying things like “BOOKS$CASH,” they all point to one thing: end-of-term buyback being upon us. And while we can't help you cram, format your bibliography, or get more sleep, we can help you sell more books back and get better prices for them. Here's the skinny:

Buyback is very much on and if you don’t have a plan for how to turn your books into cash, you’re running out of time. If you're planning on selling your books at the campus bookstore the day after finals, you're likely to run into a lot of “Sorry, we’re not buying that title” and “Sorry, we can only give you $3.50 for this bio text.” Ouch!

Skip the sorries, step it up and secure your deals early and having scoped your options. It’s easy.

Grab the books you want to sell (don't forget any CDs or other components that came with the book when you purchased it), stack them so that the ISBNs are easy to read, and visit the selling tool ASAP. While the selling tool has always brought you the best buyback prices from all over the Web (including bookstores, individual buyers, and marketplaces) all on one page, we’ve recently added even more buyers. More buyers means more options, more competition for your books, higher values, and of course, less time you’ll spend hopping sites. Let us do the comparisons and find you the best prices. Our massive array of buyers now includes nearly 20 major names!

  • Amazon
  • Better World Books
  • Blue Rocket Books
  • BookByte
  • Cash4Books
  • Chegg
  • eCampus
  • FirstClassBooks
  • JitterBook
  • MyBookCart
  • SellBackYourBook
  • TextbookLink
  • TextbooksRus
  • TextbookWheel
  • ValoreBooks
  • WeBuyTextbooks

Got an iPhone or a Droid? Grab the Mobile App for Smartphones and save yourself the hand-keying. Use our app and your phone’s camera to scan the barcodes on your textbooks and find the highest buyback values going. It’s insanely easy and totally on the go.

Reminders and best practices:

  1. The keys to getting the best buyback prices are acting early and being an informed seller (finding the best values and reading the terms of the deal). You also need to follow through. When you find a good price for your books, go for it! Secure the quote and pack and ship your books ASAP. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll get your money.
  2. Take a gander at “Selling Back Books: A Few Simple Rules.” These rules and tips and reality checks will help you get through finals and buyback without losing your mind. Follow these guidelines and you will be well served to maximize your cash back and keep your sanity.

Now you’re armed with all the info you need to get the most this buyback season. Good luck on finals and happy selling!

Sometimes we find ourselves so busy with the business of saving students money on textbooks and finding new ways to help them get more cash when selling their books back that we forget about some of the other useful stuff of on our website.

Since last we blogged, we’ve developed some really cool tools for students to use and we were reminded of a goldmine of resources on the site. Let’s take a minute to catch up and hopefully all of these offerings will come in handy as you hunker down to some studying.

First off, we totally revamped our iPhone app and added an app for Droid. Both put all of the buying and selling power of in the palm of your hand wherever you go and however you connect. Definite downloads.

Second, with mobile capabilities on our minds, we added local library and bookstore inventories to our search results so you can see if your books are available nearby and ready for pickup. And yep, you’ll see this functionality on our website and our smartphone apps.

Third, we did some general site maintenance and were reminded what a treasure trove of info and links we have, including pages and pages of academic resource links spanning the entire education spectrum. From information about study skills to discounts on software for students to whether an online degree is right for you, it’s all here.

Finally, we updated our big college bookstore directory with even more schools. Here you can find your campus bookstore’s hours and contact info, shop online at their site, and see for yourself just how much you can save on textbooks when you comparison shop with

It all began in the mid-’90s. Technology was rapidly evolving and its role in our everyday lives was in the infant stages. At this point, when cyberspace was a wide-open frontier town, an exciting new technology (digital books aka electronic books or eBooks) emerged and hailed the dawning of a new era in the publishing world. But what happened then?

The predictions of the demise of the printed word did not come to fruition. Why haven't we all adopted the eBook if it was such a promising idea two decades ago? The fact of the matter is that digital publishing failed in its first attempt. The Internet was twenty years younger, high-speed and wireless had not yet been introduced, and social media carried little to no meaning.

However, the past five years have seen a rebirth of the eBook. Once again, the seers suggest that within five years, a majority of colleges will integrate the technology; within seven years high schools will; and throughout that span, Kindles (our review of the original Kindle here and the later K2 here), Nooks, iPads (our preliminary take on the iPad here), and many more tools for digital reading, will saturate the market. Will this happen? Or is it just another series of false prophets claiming that the future is at hand?

The consensus in the industry is that seems like the real deal this time. eBook form and function is far superior to the models of 15 years ago. Also, the developments of high-speed and wireless Internet access, and thus the ability to buy media instantly and without getting up from your chair make a world of difference. No doubt the virtual bookstores of today are far superior to those of the past as well, and excluding a few reference and technical books (yep, the textbook sort), I found the Kindle and iPad libraries fully stocked with anything I could ever want. And apparently others are finding plenty of what they need and want as well; eBooks sales have seen an annual growth of 55%, as compared to traditional print-book sales growing by only 2.5%.

So what's the right approach to the eBook? Amazon now has the ever-improving Kindle DX available, and from its reviews it looks like a simple, affordable, and user-friendly creation. The iPad, Steve Jobs's new baby, is sure to play a role in the future eBook market. But maybe something better is just around the corner and who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a device that could be obsolete tomorrow?

An equally important question is who does the eBook really benefit (other than Amazon and Apple). Nature? It surely reduces the necessity to cut down more trees to print new books. Publishers? The cost of production, shipping, and handling are all virtually erased. Authors? With the reduced cost of production, publishers are now keeping more profits after incurring fewer costs, which means higher royalties for authors. Readers? Versatility, compact design, cheaper books certainly do add to the lure of the eBooks idea.

So yes, all of the above parties seem to benefit in one way or another. Now who loses when it comes to eBooks? Well, the real losers are the bookstores as publishers can now communicate directly with their readers using the Internet and purchases are made online and content downloaded without a physical retail store.

How soon is this going to happen? It already is, but it has been for some time, though momentum is building. The current eBooks (readers, selections, and delivery models) are far from perfect. Note taking, marking, and finding a certain position in a book are far simpler with a hard copy (for now). And some people just miss that feel of a book. However, traveling with and accessing books in your collection are far simpler with a Kindle or iPad or Nook. And of course the ease of expanding that collection is close to effortless.

Now is an exciting time to see how technology and print converge. No one can know the timeframe in which this convergence and subsequent transition and transformations will take place, but all factors suggest it will happen and happen sooner rather than later. For some, the eBook is the perfect solution for modern literary needs, but only the coming years will tell if this technological trend, a further shift into the digital, will truly endure and how popular it will be.