It’s almost May and with that comes textbook-buyback time (not to mention getting into the swing of baseball season). Now, more than ever before, you have options about how and where and when to sell back your books. To help you wade through a sea of options and make informed choices so that you get the best buyback prices and the least hassle, we’ve put together a triple play of our best and most-useful buyback info, not to mention the straight-up truths that other folks may not tell you.

1) “Selling Back Books: A Few Simple Rules” is a must read. 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.

2) “Why’d She Get More Than I Got? Tales from the Buyback Trenches” is a conversation about an all-too-familiar frustrating incident that makes us cringe just to think about. Check it out for the scoop on how not to get a raw deal while a classmate gets a sweet one. Oh, and that offer in the last paragraph still stands. Tell us your story and we’ll hook you up with a gift card.

3) If you have an iPhone, you need the CampusBooks for iPhone App. In addition to finding the best deals when buying books, the app finds you the best buyback prices. Simply scan your book’s ISBN barcode and you’ll see both buying and selling options, all from your phone wherever you are. So if you’re standing in line at the bookstore and the clerk offers you a buyback price that feels like an insult, simply scan the barcode and find out if and where you can get more money back.

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

Several months ago, we wrote a blog entry entitled Money Matters: A Special Edition on Textbooks & Tax Credits. In this entry, we discussed the American Opportunity Credit, a subsection of the Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits.

That was a while ago and in the meantime and with your studies coming first, you may have lost sight of this important and beneficial bit of legislation. That, coupled with the fact that the deadline for filing taxes with the IRS is a mere two weeks away, is why we want to take a minute to remind you what the credit is all about and how it benefits you and how to take advantage of it. Here’s what you need to know when you file your taxes by April 15:

  • Under the American Opportunity Credit (AOC), students and their families are eligible for up to $2,500 in credits.
  • The credit can be claimed for the first four years of post-secondary education.
  • You can be reimbursed not just for tuition, but also for textbooks and other supplies purchased as course materials. It does not matter whether or not the materials were purchased at the institution where the student is enrolled. That said, if you got your textbooks from a merchant you found through, it still counts!

The time-frame that we’re looking at here is calendar year 2009 (the tax year). But the AOC will also be offered in 2010, so keep your receipts for next tax season when you may be eligible again!