Tag Archives: Textbook

How to pay less for textbooks

To buy or not to buy — when it comes to buying textbooks, your options can be limited. To save or not to save, here are some FreeP tips on the costly world of buying textbooks at Boston University.

Barnes & Noble

Centrally located in Kenmore Square, the Boston University Barnes & Noble is the primary provider of textbooks and classroom materials on campus. Students can order their textbooks through the BU Barnes & Noble website for pickup at the store or dorm or home delivery. If you want to stretch your legs, you can also peruse the shelves of textbooks at the bookstore.

Expect no sales or discounts for new materials. However, renting or buying used editions, if available for that course, are money-saving alternatives for the frugal-minded student. The conditions of used editions may vary, but the books are generally in readable condition.

A cornerstone of BU, the Barnes & Noble in Kenmore provides many options in both the purchasing process and price variance. However, for those seeking the cheapest textbooks, this store may not be the perfect choice.


If full price isn’t your thing, Amazon is a great alternative to the shelves of Barnes & Noble. While some of the prices on Amazon are comparable with the Kenmore-located store, most textbooks can be purchased at a heavily discounted rate. Amazon also has a wider array of used textbook options at very low prices.

While Amazon can deliver textbooks to your dorm, you can also pick up — and return if you ordered the wrong ones — at the Amazon Locker at 870 Commonwealth Ave. Located across the street from the College of Fine Arts and the College of General Studies in West Campus, this brick-and-mortar Amazon store is helpful for those in a rush or unable to pick up books through the campus mail system.

The drawbacks of using Amazon for all your textbook shopping needs is that it may not have specific editions that a professor demands for a course. Comparing prices and hunting down these specific versions can also be time-consuming. However, if you’re a true penny pincher, the time spent will be worth it.

Selling Textbooks

Unless you are a passionate textbook collector, you may not need many textbooks after you have completed a specific course. Instead, you can sell textbooks for cash. At the end of each semester during final exams, students will find trucks and vans along Commonwealth Avenue with the sole purpose of buying textbooks.

The buyers always pay in cash, but they may not purchase all the textbooks you have.

If you are still strapped with certain textbooks after visiting the numerous buyers on the street, try selling to other students through the various BU class groups. While syllabi may change, textbook requirements for courses often remain the same.

Additional Tips

Don’t buy your textbooks over the summer. Wait until you attend class and go over the course syllabus. The professor may change his or her mind and decide to make certain textbooks optional or remove them.

Boston has many great local bookstores, but don’t rely on them for your textbook needs. Local shops may have new and used books, but they most likely will not carry that special microeconomics textbook you need.



Sell Textbooks for Cash Offers ISBN Based Online Price Comparison Tool for Textbook Sales

College is more expensive than ever, and in an economy that continues a longstanding downturn, many students are finding it harder than ever to fund their educations. Despite this, many of them have piles of mandatory textbooks that once the semester is over, are useless to them. Sell Textbooks for Cash is a site that encourages students to resell their old textbooks in order to make back their investment and put it back into their education. They have recently released an ISBN checking service that will tell individuals where they can get the best deal when selling their books.

All textbooks come with their ISBN listed on the cover, usually above the barcode used for retailers. This allows the booked to be cataloged in a library and easily identified during stock takes. Students can now use this number to find second hand copies being sold online and see how much others are getting for them, so they too can go where the best deal is.

The price comparison search offers price listings for major providers which can then be clicked through so that registered users can add their book for sale in the place they can demand the best price for it. The service is now also available on iPhone and Android.

A spokesperson for Sell Textbooks For Cash, “Because the ISBN is a universal means of identifying a book, it allows us to easily identify the book the student is trying to sell and cross reference the best price offered for that book from major providers like Amazon, eCampus and Sell Back Your Book. By performing this price comparison individuals can see where the demand for their book is highest and where they can get the best price, often recouping as much as 75% of the original retail value.”

Lifting the burden of textbooks off students

This week a blog post on the University of Alabama Crimson White site talks about textbook prices and a new proposal to help students plan for the textbook expense. Recently poster John Brinkerhoff points out that the blog raised questions about the rising costs of textbooks for students, the practices of the SUPeStore, and the ethics of textbook publishing companies. While these concerns are understandable, John is not an economist or a SUPeStore employee, and can’t propose solutions to pricing; however, he am a student and  can address an issue that exacerbates the already difficult situation for students: when the required textbooks for a course are posted.

Over the past seven semesters, John have registered for dozens of courses. For some, he knew what books to buy in late spring. For others, it was the middle of summer. Regardless of when he found out what books were required, all courses posted the books long after registration had filled up for most classes, forcing John to register without knowing what books were required.

John points out that as such, he was completely incapable of factoring cost into his course decisions. Even if the book list came out in the late spring, it was often too late to switch into a different class. For John, this was highly inconvenient, particularly when he was surprised by multiple three-figure textbooks in a non-required course; however, for other students, such as a peer of mine who is working through college and whose teacher added eight additional books a week before school started, it is just plain wrong.

A Novel Solution

Jake Eigner, an SGA senator and member of the Delta Chi fraternity, has given The University of Alabama an opportunity to rectify this situation. His proposal, which will be voted on in Senate this week, is simple: require the University to post textbook prices alongside course listings when students register.

Obviously, this plan would not stem rising textbook costs, nor would it be a silver bullet for the funding woes of college students, but it would be a fantastic step in the right direction. It would enable students to financially plan for the next year through course selection and reduce the number of sticker-shocked students who come to class without textbooks. Also, Eigner expressed hope that this policy would make faculty more sensitive to the cost of textbooks. As someone who has had to buy textbooks for a course only to find that they were never even used by the professor, I am in wholehearted agreement.

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Using a Textbook Search Engine Finds the Best Buyback Prices

University Students Find 355% More Buyback Money For Their Textbooks When They Use a price comparison service to Sell Their Textbooks.

Campus Shift announced the results of its examination of college textbook buyback book prices using the top 50 textbook titles purchased in January 2013. This infographic highlights the incredible amount of money students may find when comparing online buyback services when selling their textbooks.


The study found that comparing online textbook buyback vendors netted students an average of $25 more per textbook, for an average buyback price of $50. Students that purchased the textbooks in the study would receive $500 more for their books over the year with the help of the textbook search engine.

“The textbook buyback season is upon us as students prepare for their final exams,” said Jeff Lorton, VP of Marketing with Campus Shift. “Unfortunately, many students have not yet mastered the game of buying and selling textbooks and never will, which is why we built Campus Shift to help them reduce or even eliminate their textbook costs.”

Campus Shift found the range of buyback prices online varied greatly and students that fail to compare textbook prices are losing a lot of potential money. Sadly, those students who go to the bookstore for the on campus buyback may lose more as they are captive to only one buyback offer.

Students still may have a textbook that is worthless because a new edition was released or there are too many used books in the market. To counter this and to complement the recent trend of professors allowing students to use old editions of textbooks, Campus Shift just launched its student-to-student textbook marketplace. Students can sell their textbooks to other students netting the seller more money and allowing students get a better deal by cutting out the textbook middlemen. By combining a textbook search engine and a textbook marketplace, Campus Shift hopes to help students eliminate their textbook costs.

Guest Blog About Textbooks on Buy Used College Textbooks Cheap

Have an opinion about college textbooks? Love to write?

You might make a great contributor to our college textbook blog network.

The college textbook blog network has two goals for adding guest bloggers: To have you produce outstanding and useful content that reaches a broad expanse of college students. To provide multiple viewpoints on the subject of college textbooks.

We only want and will only syndicate quality insights created by writers who stand behind their work.

1. Choose your topic. Select an area of expertise and write an article  relating to one of the following topics:

a.    How to save money on textbooks.

b.    Information on renting textbooks.

     c.    Textbook News.

d.    Technology around textbooks.

e.    Your opinion concerning textbooks.

f.     Textbooks after the course ends.

3.  Write your Article. Compose your article for the college student that could use help with textbooks! All articles must be original work created by the submitter and can be previously published. The article and about box may contain one link each.

a.    Choose a narrow focus.  We are more likely to accept articles that share in-depth information on a narrow topic, as opposed to shallow tips on a broad topic.

b.      Make it fresh and new. Avoid redundant tips and information we’ve all heard before.  Tell the reader something they didn’t know so that they are likely to ‘share this with a friend!’

c.    Write concise paragraphs.  Use bullets and avoid lengthy paragraphs.  The goal is for a reader to be able to get an overall feel for your entire article in about 5-10 seconds.  Keep articles between 200-800 words in length.  Articles with excessive grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors will not be accepted.

d.    Infuse your article with wit and personality.  It is OK to be corny, be relatable, make it personal.  Write in the “I” form.  Include a catchy introduction and loads of creativity to set you apart.

4. Submit the article.  Email your article to bjones@computerpages.net where it will be considered for publication. We prefer that you simply paste your article into the body of your email rather than send an attachment. You will receive a response within 7 days.  Include your first name, and city/state so we can include it at the bottom of your post!

5.  Self Promote. Your article will be promoted on our Facebook and Twitter posts but we encourage self promotion. We will send you the URL of your guest post so you can promote it to your Twitter and Facebook followers. This cross promotion will dramatically improve your articles social reach.