Sister-Lister is goin' to college! She’s driving out in two weeks and I’m so looking forward to all the familiar upcoming facebook statuses about all-nighters, college parties, crazy roommates, and odd food creations. A small part of me wants to go back and relive it, but a large part of me is SO relieved to be in the next stage of life, and mostly when I start to remember the exams, the cost of rent, lack of sleep, and spending my summer’s savings on TEXTBOOKS of all things! If I got to the bookstore early enough (which usually never happened since I always flew out just a day or two before the semester started), sometimes I could snag a “Used” book, but usually I’d have to swallow a new one at full price. I got fed up with the prices and started shopping around at eBay and other used book stores, but it ended up being a lot of receipts, a lot of shipping fees, different return policies, delays, wrong editions, etc. etc. I’m getting a sunken feeling in my chest just writing about this! Oh, sister, I’m so glad to be out of those woods!
Let me help out any college-goers with a little tip. Have you thought of renting your books? You could save up to 80% of the cost of textbooks by renting them from CampusBookRentals! What about shipping? Totally free, both ways! There is also no cost to sign up, no memberships, and no hidden fees to bite you.
And don’t even worry about marking them up if you know you can study better by highlighting key points. You are free to highlight in your textbooks as if you owned them. Another thing I worried about as Janae is heading to BYU is their somewhat unique semesters. BYU has a shorter semester than many other universities, with a long Christmas break and no such thing as a Spring Break. CampusBookRentals has flexible rental periods so that you can rent what you need for only the dates you need them.
So maybe you fall in love with one of your classes and really want to keep your book for future reference and a distinguished place on a shelf in your future office. No problem. You can keep the book and you're only charged the difference between what you already paid to rent the book, and the value of the book at the time you initially rented.
Now Janae is a little do-gooder, so she’ll love this: CampusBookRentals donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented! You can get cheap books AND spread a little good by helping heal children’s smiles, primarily through reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities like cleft lip and cleft palate. They work in over 60 of the poorest countries in the world in bringing hope to these children and adults in need. Sounds like a fantastic program to support!
Ok, the other super frustrating part about spending all my savings on textbooks came at the end of the semester when I stood in hour-long lines to sell back my books, only to find that they were no longer taking certain books, or that my entire stack of books (that I kept extremely nice!) could be traded in for $20! Maybe not even that. Heartbreaking.
Introducing RentBack (www.RentBack.com). Just like it sounds, if you have a bookcase of textbooks that you were unable to sell back to the bookstore (even for the junk-change it usually came out to be!), you can become a little bookstore yourself and rent your books to other students that may need them! Every time your book gets rented, you get paid, again and again. You can end up making 2-4x more money compared to what you'd make through buyback options.
Go, fight, win, little sister. Go get those books. Ace those exams. Make new friends, make mistakes, make big choices, and have the time of your life!
*This post was sponsored by CampusBooksOnline, but all opinions are strictly my own.