Turning college textbooks into an income source

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Turning college textbooks into an income source

Postby cheap-textbooks » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:49 pm

I love the creativeness and entrepreneurial spirit of today’s college students. They have the ability to see a product or service that was created for one purpose and turned it around and repurpose it for a different need. I have been amazed the last couple of years and privileged to work with a number of students who have taken what I created as a simple price comparison textbook shopping tool and turned it into a lucrative income source.

A little over 10 years ago while attending Cal Berkeley I started experimenting with this new-fangled contraption called the Internet to see if I could save money on my textbooks. Back then the handful of online textbook sellers mostly sold new books but surprisingly their new prices were many times cheaper than the college bookstores used prices. The problem was going to each site and looking up the prices took a tremendous amount of time. To speed things up I created a simple tool that would display everybody’s price quickly and easily. The initial application was a desktop app and I shared it with classmates by disk. The app was eventually ported to website and expanded to cover over 50 sites and all textbook formats.

The whole premise of the site, then and now, was to help save students money by finding the cheapest source. It turns out a number students have found ways to use this low price information to offer a service or run a business that generates revenue.

One student with a passion for collecting, buying and selling of old books and textbooks downloaded our price comparison Android app with barcode scanner. This allowed him to get the current selling and buyback prices on his phone at garage sales, estate sales or anywhere else he runs across a book for sale. He has done quite well finding underpriced books and then selling them for a nice profit.

Another student started a book locating service and now advertises all over campus. He has students sending him requests for books and the amount they are willing to pay. He says that with the pricing report from over 50 sites he is usually able to find the books below the prices requested thereby creating a margin to make money himself on the transaction.

A good textbook price comparison service can provide a load of information about where to find cheap textbooks. It is perfect for students who want to do the work themselves to find the cheapest sources and it appears the information can also be used by those who wish to offer a service to students who want the work done for them.
We do not sell textbooks, we show you the cheapest sources

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Re: Turning college textbooks into an income source

Postby bookgator » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:42 pm

Cool. There's actually many ways to earn money from used college textbooks. I personally am all for buybacks but books should be sold at a reasonable price, not how college and universities do the buyback thing which is so low that students almost do not get anything. nice tips btw!
http://www.bookgator.com/ is a social platform where students, instructors, and student interest groups can work together to reduce cost of college textbooks and education in general.

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Re: Turning college textbooks into an income source

Postby salahudin1 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:39 pm

One of the best sharing. i appreciate.

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