July 07, 2013

College Bound: Textbooks

This is the first of a College Bound series, aimed towards incoming freshman, and even returning college students.

Going to college can be expensive. Super expensive. As if the tuition wasn't enough, we have to buy dorm room supplies and bedding, laptops and programs, and don't even mention overpriced textbooks.

Coming from a complete different country, I had to buy almost everything when I first arrived in the US a week before school started. By then, college sales and promotions weren't really still going on, and I got the last pick in bedding, dorm room supplies and decor. Not being used to the weather, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe to prepare me for the fall and winter seasons, and I had to buy a laptop to take to classes with me. It was expensive.

I also (stupidly), like most college freshman, thought the bookstore was the only option for buying books, and I purchased the ten or more books I needed for first semester from the official school bookstore. I'm an anal person when it comes to my books, and I like to keep them very clean and barely like to underline in them. However, one of my professors encouraged me to highlight my textbook every class (no seriously, she would take off points if it wasn't annotated and highlighted), and my book became a colorful mess by the end of the semester.

So at the end of the first semester, when I went to the bookstore to sell back my textbooks ("how cool" I thought.. I get to make money!), imagine how surprised I was when my textbooks (some worth over $100), weren't worth any more than $20, and even less for the ones with annotations (damn you, professor!).

After spending more than $500 on textbooks, they offered me less than $75 for all of my books, in pristine, like-new condition. Well I kept those books and walked right out. Second semester, I didn't make the same mistake and instead ordered most of my books used and off Amazon and other online sellers. Yet, at the end of the semester, I still have a stack of 15-20 textbooks that I will never use again in my life. When next will I need to peruse my Introduction to Psychology or my Cultural Anthropology textbooks? The answer: never. 

So I did some research, and I've decided to help all you college-bound kids with saving your money (and the frustration you'll experience after). Here, I discovered Campus Book Rentals. It's a company that lets you rent textbooks for a quarter, term, semester or your own period of time, for 40-90% cheaper than bookstore prices, plus free shipping both ways. You can even highlight in the textbooks, and send them back with no additional charges. Best of all, Campus Book Rentals donates money to Operation Smile for every textbook rented.

If you're a returning student and you're ready to slap yourself for not knowing about this and spending all that money at the bookstore, you can utilize it too. Now, with their new program RentBack, you can rent that pile of textbooks gathering dust in your parents house to other students, and make 2-4 times more money than you would through any BuyBack options. Thank goodness I discovered this one.. can't wait to try it!

So thanks to Campus Book Rentals and RentBack, you can make money from your textbooks, instead of losing hundreds to the school bookstore (like they need more money in the first place..).

How do you save money on your textbooks? Have you ever used Campus Book Rentals? Let me know below! 

This is a sponsored post by CampusBookRentals, however all opinions are my own.


  1. Nice post! I actually used Textbook Assault this semester. I actually got one of my books through Campus Book Rentals after finding out it was the cheapest options but for the rest I saved more money because there were cheaper alternatives out there. Just figured I would mention in since I like that site as well.

  2. Thanks for letting me know about Textbook Assault - I'll have to check them out! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. This is a great post. I am always very impressed with
    your articles. You always post helpful stuff.

    Keep it up. Keep blogging. looking forward to seeing your next article.

  4. I use Chegg! For the most part it's very useful! Being a music major, some of the more obscure books I need aren't on the website, but Chegg offers a much better price for renting or buying textbooks than my school's bookstore!

  5. If you like that, check out Slugbooks which compares your school's prices to amazon and other options! It's awesome!

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