Selling back your textbooks can be the silver lining of many long semesters. Sometimes you can never put that horrible Biology 101 class behind until you actually sell the book back after the final. That Bio class gets the last laugh however when your classmate standing in front of you sells her book back for $50 while you receive $5 for the exact same book. Typically the bookstore employee won't be able to offer an explanation beyond, "I'm sorry that's just what the system told me." Truth be told when you get paid minimum wage you aren't privy to the reasons behind the buyback variances. I however can let you know that the two biggest factors that affect buyback prices are timing and simple economic supply and demand.

The reason for the huge swing in buyback prices between one book and the next is pure supply and demand. The demand for that Bio book consists of 50 students next semester. This means that the bookstore will only pay a premium on the first 50 books that are sold back. Every book sold back after the 50th will unfortunately be at a greatly reduced price. Timing is key during buyback season. The earlier you are able to sell back your texts the more likely you are to fall within the Bookstore's demand criteria. The more money you are going to make.

There is a far more important factor at work than timing. You can curse the people standing at the bookstore counter but they aren't the ones setting the demand for next semester's books. Most students don't think about it, but it's the professors who set the demand. The bookstores aren't forcing you to buy that $300 Shakespeare Folio. The Instructors are the ones who put together the required text lists. Unfortunately, their students' financial wellbeing isn't usually on their minds when they do this.

The earlier a Professor is able to place his or her book order the more beneficial it is to the bookstore and subsequently to the students. In fact the Professor's order is the single most important factor in establishing demand for textbooks across the country. If the bookstore knows that a specific textbook will be used the following the semester the buyback price can skyrocket. Again, the price is determined by the demand. If you want to make the most on your buybacks let your professors know how much you learned from the textbook and encourage them to reorder them quickly. Like students, most Instructors don't think about next semester's books until the end of the current semester.

By: Dan Russell


Starting next week we are going to teach you all the things you need to know about the textbook buyback process. Our four part series will cover what affects the buyback prices, how to get the most from your books, what options you have and why the bookstore is not always the best option.

The real key in maximizing your textbook buyback potential is to make sure you are armed with the knowledge to make the right decision. Similar to making a big purchase, getting the most from your textbooks requires that you start early, do your research and know your options.

You may be asking yourself "what can I do now?" That answer is simple. Encourage your professor to let the bookstore know if they will be using the book again next semester. The most value for your book will come from your on campus bookstores when the book is being used again the next semester. While this will not guarantee you the maximum amount for your book it will greatly help the process.

As more and more articles are written about the high cost of textbooks what many experts fail to remind students is that in many cases the book does have value at the end of the semester. We have all heard the horror stories of paying $150 dollars and getting $15 back. But there are also students who got $50 to $75 for that same book.

Think of it like this. If I buy my book for $150 and sell it for $75 at the end of the semester I really just rented the textbook for $75. While the math will not always be this pretty, neither was getting that Wii that you are playing with. It requires a bit of effort, a desire and being smarter than the other students who are doing nothing more than standing in line.

So check back with us as we begin to explore how you can get the most of your textbooks this buyback season.

by: Jeff Cohen


Few things in life are guaranteed. According to Ben Franklin and a long ago American History class the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Thankfully after 200 plus years we can now add text buybacks to that illustrious list. More websites and even many bookstores are now offering guaranteed buybacks on certain texts they sell. The most notable of these is Textbooks.com.

Textbooks.com's guaranteed buyback program is well established and can be quite beneficial for students. Qualifying books are easily identified on CampusBooks.com's price comparison tool and students will know prior to the purchase if their book will be bought back and for exactly how much. This means no more buyback counter lotto where you can get anywhere from nothing to $100 on any given book.

The guarantee is ironclad as long as the student adheres to a couple of rules. The book must be returned within a specific time frame at the end of each semester. For the first semester this is December 31st; for the semesters ending May 31st books must be returned by June 30th. Textbook.com also provides a free shipping label to cover the costs. The book must also be returned in good condition. Which means no excessive highlighting, no ripped pages, and no water damager. All you need to do is take care of your book and get to the post office on time to guarantee yourself 50% of your purchase price.

Textbooks.com insists that you purchase a new copy to qualify for the buyback guarantee. As a result you might still save more money by purchasing a used copy and taking a chance at the buyback counter. This however can be a huge risk because it is always possible the book will resale for nothing on campus. I prefer the thought of money in the bank and guarantees help me to sleep well at night.


Textbooks are expensive. It is a fact if not a universal law. Thankfully in the 21st Century there are more options other than your campus bookstore. There are in fact dozens of options online where one can shop for the best price on their books. The same is true when it comes time to resell those books. For those who are excessively thorough it can take hours to surf through all of those sites in order to track 5your book titles.

Different PCTs (price comparison tools) will list different prices for the same website. For example, a copy of Biology (ISBN 080537146X) has a $20 dollar cost swing on Half.com according to two leading websites. Some websites list shipping costs, while others go a step further and list the costs of different shipping options. Some don't list shipping costs at all requiring some extra work. Certain websites also list any website coupons or deals within the information about the book.

Campusbooks.com has a pretty incredible Price Comparison Tool. Campusbooks.com is dedicated to the textbook marketplace, and as a result invest tremendous resources to building and improving their PCT. It lists the leading web marketplaces—eBay, Half.com, eCampus, Textbooks.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and Amazon.com as well as a dozen others. The site goes on to break down the version of the text (New, Used, International, Rental, eBook or Teacher's) and its lowest price. They offer a level of filtering that provides a tremendous amount of information on one page. They include everything from shipping price and availability to condition quality notes to coupons and merchant return policies. In a word, it's extensive.

As always it pays off to be thorough. Nowadays thanks to Campusbooks.com and similar websites it takes far less time to be thorough and find the best textbook deals. The PCT's are great but nothing is perfect. Take a little extra time and double check through the specific website, most will list comments regarding the buyer or seller. When that poorly rated seller is offering a too good to be true deal on that textbook it probably is.


Amazon.com is an amazing website. One can purchase just about anything on there . . . gardening supplies, clothing, furniture, electronics, books, and even textbooks. In fact more and more students are turning towards Amazon.com as a one-stop Internet shop for all their needs. And why not order your textbooks from there? It beats waiting in line at the bookstore. It beats having to carry them all across campus back to your room. And it's usually far easier to find my books on Amazon.com also.

My friends, those are all excellent reasons. What too many people fail to realize though is that those reasons exist for every single online textbook company. Amazon.com has a lot of competition out there in the textbook marketplace. If one is interested in doing some real shopping one should explore more than one store. When you go to the mall do you only to one store? No, you go to a bunch. The Internet can be thought of as a mall where you don't have to walk. Considering how much less time it takes to shop online it's a no-brainer to check out some of the competition.

Of course it's easy to think of Amazon.com and them alone. Their name is everywhere whether in the news, or advertising on TV and the Internet. If you want to buy something and run a Google search on it chances are Amazon.com will appear near the top. All that exposure drives business and often there are great bargains to be had on textbooks through amazon.com. But, as always I caution you to explore your options. At times you might be able to save hundreds of dollars by sourcing used textbooks on another site.

If the prospect of sourcing textbooks has you already bookmarking Amazon.com do not fret. Campusbooks.com has a price comparison tool that shows you the textbook price across a wide variety of websites including Amazon.com. Plus, it also explains any shipping costs and other fine print that may increase the price or wait time for the book. So, with little to no effort you've sourced your textbook across multiple websites and found the best price. Perhaps you should bookmark Campusbooks.com.


Today’s entry is going to be short and to the point. In the most general sense a ‘Used Textbook‘ can be classified as any book that isn’t brand new. Now, why might you want one? Again it doesn’t take much insight into the world of textbooks to understand. Simply put, they are usually cheaper. Much like a car rolling off a lot, once that new textbook is purchased from the bookstore it immediately depreciates making it a bargain for the next owner. This is especially true if the original owner took good care of it, making sure to not rip any pages or disfigure the cover.

The used textbook while usually cheaper and thus a better value is not for everyone. More often than not the used book is pre-highlighted, with notes in the margins, and significant passages underlined. Some students are too distracted to follow along in a marked text. Some prefer to make their own notes and highlights. You never know, the book’s previous owner may have been an imbecile who simply liked to play with highlighters which invalidates all those notes. Campusbooks.com lists the conditions of used books within the seller’s comments when you perform a price comparison. This way you can make an informed decision when purchasing your text.

It is important to note that the used book is not ALWAYS the cheapest. On occasion a diligent student might be able to find an international edition or perhaps a teachers edition of the same book that has been further discounted. As always, it is best to do your research when buying your textbooks online.


What if you could balance out every bad thing you’ve ever done by paying a couple cents to offset it? Well of course you can’t offset every bad thing you’ve done! However, now you can at least offset the bad things you do to the environment when you have books shipped to you! One of our bookstore partners, Better World Books, now offers Carbonfree shipping. With Carbonfree shipping, buyers pay a few extra cents per book at checkout. Better World Books then uses that money to buy carbon offset credits, which are used to fund renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. Better World Books buys enough carbon offsets to negate the carbon dioxide emissions that will be caused by the shipping of the books that you purchase, so bibliophiles can indulge in their addictions guilt-free!

Here is a little more information about how carbon offsetting works:

According to CarbonFund.org, the average American is responsible for about 23 tons of CO2. Carbon dioxide emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels that people use everyday to run their cars, heat their houses, and receive consumer goods like groceries and clothes that are delivered via trucks and planes to stores. How much carbon dioxide each person is directly responsible for emitting is called their carbon footprint. Buying carbon offset credits allows people to negate their carbon footprint by contributing their money to environment-rebuilding projects.

CampusBooks.com is proud to be a bookstore partner of Better World Books and we applaud their bold step to strive towards carbon neutral status. Try using the Carbonfree shipping option next time you purchase a book! For more information please visit Better World Books Carbonfree and What are Carbon Offsets.


Pick your textbook, rent it for the semester at a fraction of the purchase price, send it back for free–plant yourself a small forest by the end of your college career! This ambitious eco-friendly claim can actually be realized if students rent their textbooks from CampusBooks.com bookstore partner, Chegg.com. Chegg.com is now making it easy, cost-effective and environment-friendly to rent textbooks. Here's how:
Easy
Students select the book, receive the book by mail, keep it until the end of the semester, and send it back to Chegg.com using a pre-paid shipping label paid for by Chegg.com. No waiting in line to buy the book, no waiting in line to sell it back for a loss. If a student loves the book, they can buy it. Simple. Straightforward. Now if only memorizing the book's contents were that easy!

Cost-effective
The average student can save up to 80 percent or more by renting from Chegg.com. This means a $146.95 chemistry book can be rented and used for only $13.65, a $109.95 psychology book can be rented for $13.10, so on and so forth. Searching for the book through CampusBooks.com will notify students of the lowest price available for their book, so they can make informed choices about whether textbook rental is the most economical choice for them. With all that leftover money, students can finally stop digging under the couch cushions for change!

Environment-friendly
According to the Green Press Initiative, the U.S. is responsible for the consumption of 20 million trees per year for books [1]. In order to help reforestation efforts, Chegg.com will plant a tree for every textbook that is rented from the Web site.

Students can now rest easy that when they shop with CampusBooks.com, they are not only assured of getting the lowest price, they are also given options to protect the world that they are studying to impact. We are proud to be bookstore partners with Web sites like Chegg.com and BetterWorldBooks.com.


Source:
[1] The Green Press Initiative: http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/impacts.htm.


International editions are a godsend for people who prefer low prices over textbook frills like color pictures and glossy, heavy pages. International editions of textbooks often seem shrouded in mystery. Who prints them? Why are they so cheap? Will they really be sufficient to replace the required textbook? All these questions can prevent students from taking advantage of an often highly-economical alternative to their conventional textbook.

Because international editions are printed by publishers for a student population whose standard of living may be lower than that of the United States, the textbooks are priced accordingly, and can oftentimes be half the price that an American student would pay. The cheaper cost of textbook printing overseas, printing in black and white instead of color, and printing on lower-quality, thinner paper are all additional reasons for the lower price of international textbooks.

Here are five tips to keep in mind if you want to buy an international edition:

1) The content of an international edition and its American counterpart are often almost the same, if not completely identical. The only differences students say they have noticed is that the pictures are sometimes in black and white instead of color and the cover may be different (i.e. soft cover instead of hardcover, or different cover art altogether). This can make it somewhat hard to figure out if the international edition is indeed the same book that you are looking for.

2) To leave the least room for error, always make sure that the TITLE, AUTHOR, and EDITION NUMBER of the international edition and your required text match before you purchase the international edition. Those three components are the only surefire way to know that you are ordering the correct book.

3) Make sure to read seller comments carefully when considering international editions. Sellers will often tell customers beforehand the differences between the international edition they are looking at and the regular edition.

4) Some students have reported that the page numbering in the two editions may be different, even though the content and order of the pages and chapters are the same. This should not be a big deal since most readers don't pay attention to page numbers anyway.

5) Lastly, when calculating the price of the international edition, make sure to also look at the shipping price. Sometimes the cost of shipping can make an otherwise cheaper book turn out to be more expensive than its American-published counterpart. Luckily, if you use CampusBooks.com to compare prices, we already include the cost of shipping in our calculation of overall prices, which means easier buying and less hassle for you! Happy saving!

Remember, if you have any additional questions about international editions or textbooks in general, please do not hesitate to email us at help@campusbooks.com!


In case you have not done a price comparison in a while (although why you wouldn't want the cheapest price is beyond us!), we've revamped the price comparison page. We know making our pages more user-friendly means you have an easier time finding the cheapest textbooks, so here are the new features we think you will find most useful:

1) Textbook Price Alerts–Name your price!

You tell us the maximum price you want to pay for the book. We email you when the textbook drops to that price or lower. You can select up to three books per price alert so you don't have to set up a separate alert for each book. Could it get any easier?

Scroll your mouse over any of the following icons on the comparison page to see an information box that shows:

2) Seller's Comments

Read the seller's comments about the condition of the book—before you ever click the "Buy It Now" link. That way, you know whether or not the book is worth looking at before you even open up that bookstore partner's Web site. We save you money and windows!

3) Merchant Details

Merchant details gives you the two most important details you want to know about a merchant before you decide to buy—standard shipping prices and return policy. This feature will save you time spent looking at merchants whose return policies you do not agree with.

4) Online Coupons

Magic words to every college student's ears. Scrolling over this icon will show you current available coupons to save you even more money. We also tell you the expiration dates and coupon code to enter at checkout!

We hope you are as excited about using these new features as we were to design them! Our goal is to help our customers purchase books in the most painless way possible. After all, you shouldn't have to worry about finding your books when you already have to worry about paying for them! Happy reading!