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Hacking College Textbooks – The $1000 mistake everyone makes.

4 Simple rules to all but eliminate your textbook costs


Every year parents and students go back to school, and they make a $1000+ mistake, and you don’t have to make this mistake! Over the years, one of the weirdest things I have seen is that textbook stores (both on campus and off campus) actually get away with charging more than the MSRP on some textbooks. These stores also only carry a small amount of used textbooks forcing students to either buy new books, or order new books (which they get in the mail 2 or 3 weeks after classes start), delaying their ability to keep up with classes, turn in homework and other adverse effects.

Understand that there is rarely going to be a best way to acquire your textbooks. Use these rules to lessen the costs of your textbooks – significantly in most cases. Textbooks don't have to cost you an arm and a leg, and here is why.

Rule 1:
First, there are 4 core options when buying books, and of course there is always the option of selling your book back at the end of the year if you purchase it (for a fifth option). They are as follows, buying new, buying used, renting, and buying an e-book. Rarely will a student only find the best deal with buying, renting or eBooks. Because the market changes constantly, you need to do your research.

Rule 2:
Do your research! Compare prices (as Campus Shift does) to get a full understanding of what your book’s prices really are. Make sure you compare prices across the board and find what options will work for you. If you have a math textbook, is it easier to work with an eBook format instead of an English book? Think about the format and what is really going to help you study for your classes.

Rule 3:
Before you buy or rent a book, look at the buyback prices. If you subtract the new or used price by the buyback price, is the rental book still cheap? Also, consider what happens if you lose that rented textbook, or damage it. Will they make you buy them a brand new textbook? If this happens, it completely negates any savings you get on that rented book – think about it before you buy it.

Rule 4:
Take estimated buyback prices with a grain of salt. First, buyback prices fluctuate throughout the year. Rental books take the gamble for you that your book will be worthless next semester. However, if you buy a book, and a new edition comes out, then likely, you will be stuck with that book (however, you can list it in our textbook marketplace and still sell it to another student for a fair price).

Following these simple rules (or just using Campus Shift - after all our search engine has shown that students can save 95% on textbooks when they use it to buy books AND sell those books back!) can help you avoid a $1000 mistake and keep your hard earned money in your pocket.

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