Google+ The Duda Homestead: Saving, Earning, Re-using, & Giving With

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saving, Earning, Re-using, & Giving With

When my husband and I were in graduate school getting our teaching certificates, we were on a budget and searched for the most cost effective way to get the textbooks that were required for our classes. We researched and compared every book we needed across a handful of websites. Then, we came across and compared their rental prices with other popular textbook retailers & renters. The vast majority of the time, it was much cheaper to rent through than it was to purchase the book compared to what it may be sold for later (those darn revisions...grr).

Image created by April Duda w/permission
  I was in a cohort taking 8-16 week classes and was able to adjust how long I needed the book, which made it even cheaper since I didn't need it an entire semester. While they offer paid shipping options, say if you need your book tomorrow, they offer FREE standard shipping, both ways. They send you a postage-paid and addressed envelope so you can conveniently return your book at no extra cost to you. Since we have used them, they have made some fantastic developments!

For one, they make a donation to Operation Smile for every book rented. So not only are you saving money and helping out the planet by reusing books, you are helping out children in need of life-saving surgery. Operation Smile is "a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate." To find out more about this amazing organization, please click the links above, or go to

Another development has made is a program called RentBack. Rather than selling your books back at the end of your class, and getting depressed when you take that big hit, you can use to rent your books out to other students. You stand a chance to make 2-4 times more dough than you would by selling it! You can check out their site and see if your book is a hot renter or not to help you decide if you'd be better off renting or selling...or propping up that crooked table. Unfortunately, my Art History books from 2006 are not considered hot renters. Shucks. To find out what is all about, check out their video here, or take a gander at the infographic below (Click to enlarge):

You may be asking why I'd choose to blog about a textbook rental service. There are a few reasons actually. One, I've used their service and had a great experience with it. When I began this blog, my goal was to help make my readers' lives more simple by sharing what has helped me, and helped my family save money when we were living in a 220sq ft apartment and racking up student loan debt. Another goal of mine, is to share tips for green living and its importance with my readers, and I feel that this service promotes that lifestyle by reusing textbooks. I also believe in being kind to one another and supporting organizations and initiatives that make a positive impact on the world, like Operation Smile. I would have rented my books from them anyway based on cost alone, but to know that they turn around and make a donation for every rental is the icing on the cake. 

To sum up all of the awesome things has to offer:
  • Save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • Free shipping both ways
  • Can highlight in the textbooks
  • Flexible renting periods
  • Donation to Operation Smile with each textbook rented
  • If you change your mind and/or drop your class, you have 21 days to return your rental for a full refund
  • If you decide to keep your book, you just pay them the difference and it's yours
  • Fantastic customer service (in my experience!)
  • 15 Day grace period for returns
  • Their envelops are bright colored, so they're not as easy to lose!
  • Sale! Use code FallSale70 for $8 off any order over $70 (limited time)
  • Went and bought that expensive Art History text? Check out

I was compensated by for this post. Please view my disclaimer for more information on how this does not effect my personal opinion.

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