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:
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!
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!
According to the Green Press Initiative, the U.S. is responsible for the consumption of 20 million trees per year for books . 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.
 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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 bookâ€”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 buyâ€”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!
Many companies have long made the commitment to be ethically responsible to their consumers, which in part explains their financial success. Some companies, like Aveda, and CampusBooks.com, are taking it one step further by pledging to be responsible to the environment as well as society by educating consumers and aiding them in making socially- and environmentally- responsible purchases. As part of its 2007 holiday collection, Aveda is introducing makeup gift sets in boxes wrapped in lokta paper. This type of paper is specially crafted for Aveda through its partnership with Nepalese women whose communities and families benefit from the income generated from the sustainable business.
Like Aveda, CampusBooks.com believes in holding ourselves responsible to more than just our direct customers. we are responsible for trying to better their communities too. CampusBooks.com has just teamed up with Better World Books to aid in promoting literacy worldwide through the use of used books and textbooks. Now, when a seller looks up their book on CampusBooks.com and sees an unsatisfactory buyback price for his/her used textbook, he/she can donate it to Better World Books, which will either give the book directly to the communities that need it, or sell it to fund literacy programs and initiatives locally, nationally and worldwide. Donating books benefits communities in two ways: 1) books are given directly to communities who need them, and 2) unwanted books are recycled instead of being tossed away and ending up in a landfill. The only conditions for books to be accepted for donation are that they are in good enough shape to be used again and that they have a publishing date after 2001. CampusBooks.com and Better World Books will even pay for users to ship their books for donation, so donors don’t have to pay any money out-of-pocket! For more information on how to donate, please go to http://www.campusbooks.com/bookdonation.php.
Contributors to a new Web site called Connexions are leveling the academic playing field for people around the world. Connexions allows teachers and professors to write and upload chunks of information called "modules" to the Web site so that potential students around the world can access them–all for free. The modules can then be pieced together in any combination to create a whole textbook that can be modified to suit each classroom or individual's needs. If a student wants to print the final 'textbook', they can do it through a third-party printing Web site like Qoop for about $24, which is considerably less than the average $50-$90 textbook price tag.
Web sites like Connexions are making it easy for academics to indulge in their passion for teaching and sharing their knowledge without all the hassle of going through publishers. Even when authors get their textbooks published, it takes a long time to make changes necessary to keep the textbooks up-to-date with current developments.
"For example, to get Pluto out of all of our nation’s textbooks will take a decade," said Connexions founder professor Richard Baraniuk, of Rice University. "By then, Pluto will be reinstated as a planet, so we’ll have to put it back in."
An academic database like Connexions keeps textbooks fresh and current, without passing the price of revisions onto students. Just like CampusBooks.com, Connexions is another way for students to get an education without paying the high prices.
Students can use CampusBooks.com in conjunction with Connexions to buy books that may be discussed in the module lectures. For example, a student who is using an Introduction to American Literature module can compare prices for the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on Campusbooks.com and end up paying less than they would pay at the college bookstore.
1. Rawlinson , Linnie. ” Throw away your school books: here comes textbook 2.0.” CNN.com 08 NOV 2007 09 NOV 2007. <http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/11/08/connexions.learning/>
Grumblings over high textbook prices heard all over college bookstores at the beginning of every semester will not be absent in California. The Textbook Affordability Act (SB 832) was placed on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk to be signed into effect by October 14th.
SB 832 would have aided students in keeping down the cost of textbooks by making teachers more involved in the process. The bill would have forced publishers to publish the price of a textbook and a list of the changes between editions when the books are shown to professors, who will decide which to use for the semester. According to a report by the California Student Public Interest Research Group, 94 percent of professors would take price into consideration when choosing a textbook, but only 38 percent of faculty members actually received an answer from publishers when they asked how much a textbook cost. The Textbook Affordability Act would have made sure that publishers could no longer beat around the bush when asked about prices, and would have taken effect immediately.
Much to the dismay of college students and CampusBooks.com alike, Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill on October 14th, saying that SB 832 "fails to recognize that the affordability of textbooks is a shared responsibility among publishers, college bookstores, and faculty members." Instead he signed the College Textbook Transparency Act (AB 1548), which has the same idea as SB 832, but does not take effect until the year 2010. The College Textbook Transparency Act and the Textbook Affordability Act are similar, but AB 1548 requires that faculty submit requests to publishers for the prices in order to get them.
If faculty were able to see the full information (i.e. price and what changed between editions) they would likely be able to make sound decisions more quickly, which would have left students with more time to shop around for the book and to order online for cheaper prices. Even with very little time left to order books, many of CampusBooks.com's bookstore partners can ship overnight and we still display the cheapest prices for textbooks, no matter what state you are in.
Allen, Nicole. “Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoes the College Textbook Affordability Act.” CALPIRG. 15 OCT 2007. CALPIRG. 29 Oct 2007. <http://www.calpirg.org/news-releases/affordable-higher-education/affordable-higher-education/gov.-schwarzenegger-vetoes-the-college-textbook-affordability-act>
Tran, Kory. “Gov. signs one textbook act, vetoes another.” Golden Gate Xpress Online 14 OCT 2007 29 OCT 2007 <http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/news/009238.html>
Student-run Web site crimsonreading.org is raising a furor over Harvard Coop's refusal to hand over a list of books that Harvard College students need to purchase for their classes. Crimsonreading.org aims to provide cheaper alternative sources for obtaining the textbooks. The college bookstore's refusal to release the booklist has many students feeling indignant over what is perceived as an unjust monopoly of student purchasing dollars.
The Harvard Coop insists they are only protecting proprietary information that takes considerable manpower and time to compile.
“The issue is, why should we give it out to anybody, particularly the competitors?” said Coop president Jeremiah Murphy.
While the battle continues with the staff of crimsonreading.org passing out flyers in front of the Coop, some Harvard students will have to pick classes based on the price of the required textbooks, or not buy the textbooks at all.
CampusBooks.com is currently working on solving the problem of obtaining textbook lists from college bookstores nationwide. Some bookstores, such as the UCLA store, have been very cooperative about sending in their lists. Other stores have refused. At Campusbooks.com, we are currently working on a campaign to ensure that we obtain as many book lists as possible, in order to aid students in keeping down the already astronomical cost of attending college. If you would like us to work on acquiring your college's booklist, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Wertheimer, Linda K.. “In Harvard Square, a war over words.” The Boston Globe 26 SEP 2007 29 SEP 2007 <http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/09/26/in_harvard_square_a_war_over_words/>.
This blog is the last of the three-part blog series on why textbooks are so expensive. Hopefully CampusBooks.com has been able to clue you in to different perspectives on the textbook debate that you may not have otherwise considered.
From the Bookstores' Standpoint:
According to the National Association of College Stores (NACS), only 22.4 cents of every textbook dollar actually goes to the bookstore. Of those 22.4 cents, only 4.4 cents (pre-tax) are actually profit. The rest of the 22.4 cents goes to pay overhead costs and employee wages.
Many students have expressed frustration with the college bookstores because they see online retailers who sell the international versions of their books for much lower prices than the college bookstore. Because of this, they assume that the bookstore is overcharging them in order to make higher profits. According to the NACS however, it is the publisher's decision to sell books at such a low rate internationally. The NACS supports a "one-price" policy that would ensure that U.S. students don't have to pay more than their international counterparts. NACS's official stance is that "U.S. students should not, by themselves, bear the sole burden of course material development costs or suffer the consequences of underdeveloped countries’ inability or unwillingness to enforce copyright laws."
We hope the three viewpoints we've presented to you, from the author, publisher, and bookstore, have given you more insight to the textbook industry so understand where your textbook dollar goes. No matter who you believe, rest assured that CampusBooks is always working hard to give you the easiest way to find and buy cheap textbooks.
NACS, “FAQ on College Textbooks.” JUNE 2007. National Association of College Stores. 8 Aug 2007. http://www.nacs.org/common/research/faq_textbooks.pdf
NACS, “FAQ on College Textbooks.” JUNE 2007. National Association of College Stores. 8 Aug 2007. http://www.nacs.org/common/research/textbook$.pdf