If you’re like most college students, you think of end-of-term textbook buyback as a no-win time when you get screwed no matter when you sell your books and where. It seems like no one’s ever buying back that $200 biology text you bought when the semester started, or if they are, they’re paying a mere pittance of pennies on the dollar.
We can’t make it so that you make a profit on your books, but we can help you time your selling to the campus bookstore or outside buyers so that you maximize what you get back. We’ll have more tips as buyback approaches, but for now, we suggest starting here and building your strategies round these certainties and suggestions:
- 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 CampusBooks.com 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.
- Got an iPhone or a Droid? Grab the CampusBooks.com 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:
- 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.
- 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 roll into buyback season well prepared and ready to maximize your return.
Not that college students are ever forgetful or prone to procrastinate (ahem), but sometimes things come up that make it so that classes have already started (or are about to start) and you still don’t have the books you need. If you need the book right away, can’t wait for shipping, or don’t want to pay exorbitant rush fees, think eBooks. As soon as you make your purchase, you can download the textbook and read it immediately.
We make it easy for you to look just for eBooks and bypass new, used, international, rentals, and other conditions. It’s easy, visit CampusBooks.com and enter your search terms. When you get your results, click the Compare Prices Now button next to the best match, then (in the left column) Refine Your Search to weed out anything you don’t want. This makes isolating eBooks for immediate download a piece of cake!
It’s no secret that CampusBooks.com 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 CampusBooks.com 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?
If you want more chances to score that sweet COOLPIX, show some love via Twitter and Facebook and you’ll receive additional entries. Don’t forget the official Tweet: “Get homework help with @studentfortune and win a Nikon Coolpix camera! http://studentoffortune.com/focus-on-homework-help #nikon #giveaway.”
Ask your questions and Tweet them every day for your chance to be StudentOfFortune.com’s next winner. You could be shooting summer-vacation pictures with your new COOLPIX!
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:
- Educate themselves about the various selling venues (the campus bookstore, online, peer to peer).
- 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.
- 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.
- Understand that many sites requires you to ship the book within a certain number of days after the quote is generated.
- 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. Both 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 CampusBooks.com, 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.
- Visit TextbookAid.org 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.
- 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 TheTextbookGuru.com to the Web! This terrific new site covering every angle of textbooks and college learning materials is the brainchild of CampusBooks.com’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 CampusBooks.com 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 CampusBooks.com 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 CampusBooks.com. This month we’ve got coupons from:
- College Book Renter
- 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.