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Five Ideas to Find Your Next Great Read

General By September 23, 2020 No Comments

Itching to read a good page-turner? Just finish the final book in a multi-volume series? Need to make a vetted suggestion for your next book club? Here are five ideas on how to find your next great read…

Idea No. 1

BookScouter has just formed a partnership with Goodreads which is a popular destination for finding book reading recommendations. Simply tell them what books you’ve enjoyed reading in the past and they will present you with some great options. And you can link socially to friends and family to see what they’re reading or search through their book reviews. And the beauty of the BookScouter partnership is you can add us as a preferred “store” (under account settings Book Links tab) when you find a book you want to buy and it will link to our site to search for the best price through our large offering of online vendors. 

BookRiot is another great spot to find book recommendations. They are the largest independent editorial site in the U.S. and focus on covering a wide range for diverse readers. They have podcasts, blogs, or you can sign-up for more personalized recommendations and exclusive content. Their EPIC BOOK READ is a quarterly book club with options for short stories, novels and epic reads for a low monthly price. 

 

Idea No. 2

Award lists are a good go-to for finding a book. National and international lists appear annually such as the Pulitzer, Nobel, Booker, Newbery, and many more.  And you can challenge yourself to complete an award list by going back decades to find selections. Or you can select award lists based upon a favorite genre to find the best Sci-Fi offerings for example. Likewise, you can view lists based on sales such as the New York Times Bestsellers list. 

Idea No. 3

Another great way to find a good book suggestion is to join a book club. Often a book club will challenge members to try offerings outside their standard selections. And because you want to join in the discussions there is a motivation to finish the book. You can find book clubs at local libraries, online, in Facebook groups, or start your own with a group of friends or associates. 

Idea No. 4 

Don’t be afraid to work your connections. Hit up friends and family who are readers. Notice when someone mentions a book on social media and jot it down for later. Follow the hashtag #bookstagram on Instagram. Have a favorite guru? Often they produce reading lists you can find online. Search engines can be your best source of inspiration. 

Idea No. 5

And finally, our last idea for finding book recommendations is to judge a book by its cover. Browse a library or bookstore, view covers online, and see what catches your eye then read a synopsis or review. You might capture your mood that day and find inspiration from a cover that resonates with you at the moment. 

Happy Hunting and good luck finding your next great read! 

 

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Common Mistakes Students Make With Money

General By September 9, 2020 No Comments

Common Mistakes Students Make With Money

Part of the learning experience of being a college student is managing your own finances for the first time.  That independence can also introduce a wealth of pitfalls!  Here are some common mistakes students make with money and how you can avoid them.

Failing to Set a Budget

Start by determining a budget. Items to include in your budget: any monthly bills, expenses like groceries, miscellaneous charges, and a fund to cover unexpected expenses. Know how much ‘fun money’ you can spend each month and when it’s gone, stop spending! It may sound simple but you need to have a handle on your income and be able to distinguish needs from wants. 

Now is the best time to learn smart budgeting habits that can benefit you beyond college. Here are some tips to learn how to set a budget or try a free and easy app like Mint that automatically helps set up a budget you can customize. 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Letting Credit Card Debt Add Up

How much is a t-shirt worth?  Financial institutions often offer enticements like t-shirts or discounts if you apply for their credit card.  However, if you don’t pay off the balance every month, the interest piles up fast.  Not only does each item you charged end up costing a lot more than you bargained for, but this will affect your credit score as well. 

DaveRamsey.com advises students “…credit card companies take advantage of this lack of knowledge by making college students—especially incoming college freshmen—their target audience…The college-bound kids you know will more than likely fall into this trap of “normal” unless you arm them now before it’s too late! They don’t realize that the decisions they will make in the next four years can affect them for the next 40 years.” 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Overspending Financial Aid

Some financial aid will let you apply funding towards eligible living expenses like housing, food, and school supplies. But that doesn’t mean you can go crazy with expensive meals and over-the-top decor. Read “Seven Ways Students Overspend” in this article and don’t fall into these traps 

Students should understand that their funding has to last throughout the semester. Try to use it to pay for only necessary items. Then if you have money left over at the end of the semester, they can roll it forward to use for the next semester, which cuts down the amount of money you will need to borrow.

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Not Shopping Smart

Watch for items that can make you easily overspend; tech, clothes, food, textbooks.  Do you need the brand name or would a less-expensive substitute suffice? Doing your homework on price comparisons can save you a pretty penny.  One of the best ways to shop smart is to use the Textbook Price Comparison Tool at BookScouter.com to see the best prices to Buy, Rent, and Sell textbooks. 

Don’t miss the chances to save money as a student–get student discounts, use the campus facilities to save money on a gym membership, attend free events at school rather than paying to go out. 

Not Scheduling Classes Right or Failing a Class

At first glance, this might seem like a small thing, but it can still cost you in the long run. 

If a student wants to drop a class and do it before the deadline, it’s fine. But if you miss it there are fines, which is just wasted money. And failing a class is even worse.  In both cases, you’ve also lost time by missing a chance to take a class to help graduate on time. Even adding a single additional semester adds up financially and could delay graduation. It could also mean that you have an overloaded semester to make up the difference which is a bigger strain on your time. 

Extra time in school means more than just extra tuition, it means years of lost wages, and less money put into retirement. So prepare wisely to avoid mistakes with your schedule and use resources like your college advisor to plan out a clear path to graduation. 

In conclusion, for many young people, college is their first money management experience. One of the leading reasons that students drop out of college is because of finances – which is often due to poor money management. See the bigger picture with a long future ahead of you and learn how to make better decisions with your money!

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8 Proven Tips to Ace College Move-In Day

College, General By August 12, 2020 No Comments

8 Proven Tips to Ace College Move-In Day

After waiting all summer, your college move-in day is finally arriving! There is a lot of work that goes into moving to a school across the country, across the state, or even across town. Don’t panic, we’ve assembled time-proven recommendations to ensure your dorm move-in goes as smoothly as possible with 8 tips to ace your first day on campus.

1. Be smart

  • Look up floor plans, email RA for rules, and organize at home as much as possible
  • Beat the rush and get there early. You might get first pick on a side of the room and avoid the lines for elevators
  • Dress comfy and be sure you don’t lock yourself out of your room or building

2. Bring this

Ready-made Packing Lists are a great short cut. Here are two we thought covered a lot of essentials:

  • Off to College Checklist 
  • The Ultimate College Packing Checklist
  • Wardrobe–don’t get carried away with too many t-shirts and shoes, but pack enough socks and underwear in case laundry doesn’t get done as frequently as you’d like. Limit yourself to one formal outfit and winter coat–climate-appropriate of course!
  • And don’t forget to look for ways to save money and time such as these great tips

3. Don’t bring this

  • Check your school’s specific guidelines but as a general rule do not bring: appliances like a hotplate, toaster, candles, incense, firearms, window a/c units, or pets
  • See if your dorm provides: trash can, mini-fridge, microwave, mirror, or lockbox
  • And finally, your Dorm’s RA (Resident Assistant) might have access to infrequently used items like a vacuum or iron

4. Space-saving tips

  • Find hidden spaces-under beds (loft or use risers), behind doors, bedside pockets or a mattress caddy
  • Use hooks with command strips for backpacks, towels, laundry bags, etc. and keep less clutter on the ground
  • Add an additional hanging rod underneath your closet rod to double your closet space

5. The Roommate factor

  • You might want to hold off until you talk to your roommate about a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, electric kettle, blackout curtains, and a rug
  • If you have a shared bathroom, talk with your roommate about: hand towels, soap, bath mat, curtain and rod, plunger/scrubber, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies
  • And last not least don’t forget and duplicate your Entertainment setup: TV, streaming device, and game systems

6. Books

  • The earlier you purchase books the better chance you have of getting the best selection of used books
  • Check your professor’s syllabi –do you need those books’ access codes?
  • The best way to compare prices for books is with BookScouter.com. We answer the question, “Should I buy or rent?” and “Should I get physical books or digital books?” Our pricing tools make it easy and can even show you the potential buyback prices to sell your books back at the end of the semester

7. Safety

  • Tell a friend about your plans when you go out
  • Park your car or bike safe locations, under lights, if possible
  • Use Campus Security options for a ride to your car or dorm
  • If you run alone outdoors don’t use headphones or earbuds and vary your route

8. COVID adaptations

  • See if your school requires any of the following items: masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, disposable gloves, and a thermometer
  • Check for any changes to how meals are served on campus, building access and protocols for things like accessing the workout facilities
  • Be sure to do things to help your mental health–get outdoors, workout, and talk with friends and family
  • Be open to change and willing to adapt during these times
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Find Your Next Summer Read

General By June 25, 2020 No Comments

Find Your Next Summer Read

Summer is officially here and though it might look different in 2020, that only emphasizes why you deserve an escape into a great book. Are you ready to dive into an engaging read, but need some direction? Look no further!  We have compiled six ideas to help you find your next summer read. 

Find Your Next Summer Read

The beach is an iconic summer reading spot, but be open to other options this year.

Summertime =  beach read. So maybe you can’t get to the beach this year. Recreate the feeling at home. Lean back on that chaise lounge, sip a cold drink and peruse these books that will take you away from it all:

Sink your teeth into a meatier work. If beach reading fare is not for you perhaps you should elevate your search. There are plenty of award-winning options to select for fiction or nonfiction amongst lists for major book awards some found on these lists: 

Find Your Next Summer Read

No beach? Try a nearby lake or stream to read outdoors.

Get with the times. Perhaps you’ve seen trending topics in the news and want to dig deeper into one that interests you. Topics might include politics, medicine, current events, or history to keep you informed. You can some ideas here:

Cross the Finish Line! Are there any book series you haven’t completed yet? Don’t leave your favorite characters hanging! Or if you’ve finished a series, find another to binge-read through with inspiration from these lists:

Find Your Next Summer Read

Find some shade to stretch out and read.

On the silver screen. Hollywood has long sought inspiration for movies from books. See if any of your favorites are also a book and judge how well the movie portrayed characters, locations and stayed true to the author’s work. Here is a list of the best books turned movies:

Best foot forward. Getting ahead for school or work may not seem fun during your summer, but reading now to prepare yourself for a busy fall semester or to advance yourself at work is never a wrong idea. Doing it ahead of time lets you take your time to ponder the themes and be better prepared for a discussion or test. Tip: take some good annotated notes to refresh yourself on the key points months later. Learn how here:

And as a final recommendation, no matter which book you choose, know that you bought it for the BEST PRICE using the BookScouter.com/buy comparison tool. Simply scan the ISBN with the app or type in the title, author, or keyword to search our large selection of vendors and check out your purchase options. 

No matter the type of book you select, we are confident that when you begin to read it will feel like summer has finally arrived!

 

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Tips for Transitioning to College During COVID-19

College, General By June 11, 2020 No Comments

Tips for Transitioning to College During COVID-19

College will look very different this fall whether that be in person or online. Schools are hopeful to have students on campus but are also making alternate plans, such as a hybrid of online and in-class, an early or late start, and other creative options.
But regardless of how college will look, here are some tips for making transitioning this fall as smooth as possible:

Introduce yourself

Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself to your professors, classmates, and advisors. For school online, try and follow the same advice and find virtual office hours for your professors, peer study groups, and work that campus directory to contact the folks you need. Need extra help introducing yourself? Here are some additional ideas to get you started on our first college transition tip.

Tips for Transitioning to College During COVID-19

Try to find a comfortable place to study consistently and get rid of distractions like your phone.

Set up for Success

No matter where you are this fall, have a dedicated study space to focus on your studies, especially if you are taking classes online. Read through your syllabus and plan your to-do schedule for weekly studying as well as longer preparations for exams, papers, or projects. Try to eliminate distractions (like your phone) and if necessary use headphones. Learn about the services your school offers like tutor centers in math and writing, whether online or on campus. You don’t have to do it alone! There are resources available to help you succeed! And lastly, if your school is online, or in a mixed format, then create peer study groups via a conferencing app as an alternative.

Find savings success: Saving money now is just as important as ever for college students. Whether school is online, in-person, or a hybrid format, we’re here to help. Know you’ve found the best prices for your textbooks by visiting BookScouter.com or using the BookScouter app (for IOS and Android).

Tips for Transitioning to College During COVID-19

Save money by getting the best price buying and selling your textbooks with BookScouter.com and the BookScouter app.

Get involved

This is advice you hear over and over, but it will make a difference. For our third transition tip, we recommend you make connections through clubs, activities, events, student government, or consider joining a sorority or fraternity. Consider intramural sports, or meet new people while volunteering for a worthwhile cause on campus, or in the community. If being online is your only option, find like-minded peers in an online club just as you would on campus. Don’t see one that fits you? Start your own club and recruit members!

Come together

Getting along with roommates (whatever that may resemble this fall) will be a key to your transition. Sit down together and set expectations for your shared space. Determine how to respect each other’s property and need for quiet time. Agree on what times are acceptable for visitors and consider making a cleaning schedule to make sure everyone is pulling their weight. If you’re doing school online you might need to give your family members heads up for times when you need it quiet for an exam or the Wi-Fi bandwidth for an online class discussion.

Tips for Transitioning to College During COVID-19

Make time every day to refuel yourself.

Refuel

No matter where you are be sure to exercise, eat healthily, and get regular sleep as much as you can. Consider meditation or practice finding mindfulness throughout the day. Find a balance in your life by not neglecting either academics or your personal life. Consider using a time management method like the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks down your work into intervals with short breaks.

Good luck students, with your transition to this exciting new chapter, and remember…there are resources to help you!

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How to Make Money Flipping Books

General By May 12, 2020 No Comments

We talk a lot about how easy it is to make money flipping books. Today we’re going to show you how to do just that. 

Here are the 9 steps to Making Money Flipping Books 

1. Begin with an inventory.

You can begin with just one book. Maybe it’s a book you used for school or one you found at a thrift store. Don’t feel intimidated by the future of your bookselling business when you begin. We all began with one book. If you have more than one book, that’s great too! We recommend starting small before investing too much money in purchasing new inventory to flip. (We’ll get to purchasing new books to flip a little later in this article). 

make money flipping stacks of books

Begin making money by flipping books you already have in your own home.

2. Research the going rate for your book based on its condition and edition.

By typing in the book’s ISBN into the search tool at BookScouter.com you’ll see the going rates for either “buying” or “selling” that book within seconds. The BookScouter app acts as a scanner that can speed up your research. Simply scan the code and see the prices offered by all of our online vendors. If you have hundreds or thousands of books you want to research, tap into our Pro User subscription to access the Bulk Lookup tool! 

make money flipping books using the bookscouter app

The BookScouter mobile app makes it easy to find the going price for a book fast. Selling books is easy on the app too!

3. Search for the best platform to post your book to sell.

BookScouter.com is the fastest way to flip your books. If you sell to one of our vendors, you ship the books immediately and get paid as soon as the book(s) is processed There are several other places our users have mentioned posting their books in the past like eBay and Amazon. If you think you may get a higher price by selling on another marketplace platform, create an account and list your book there. You’ll need to be more patient with this option, as you have to wait for your books to sell. If you use a marketplace, you will need to account for shipping costs (while shipping is free for books sold on BookScouter). You may also want to check out Amazon FBA. With this option, you ship your inventory to Amazon and set your pricing, and then Amazon ships your books directly to the customer when they sell (like consignment). Of course, there are fees associated with this service, but it is a popular option with book flippers. 

4. Sell your book.

On BookScouter this involves: typing in the ISBN, viewing the best prices, choosing a vendor, clicking “sell”, following the steps on the vendor’s website. With other marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, once you post your book for resale you’ll wait a little bit of time before a sale takes place. 

5. Ship your book.

make money flipping books by shipping books in exchange for cash

Shipping books is a big part of the flipping business. Factor shipping costs and materials into your profit margin.

Once your book has been purchased, package your book(s) ASAP! When packaging your books include the packing slip inside and add the shipping label on the outside of the box. Be sure to package the book in a safe way that minimizes any damage. You want your customer to receive the book in the same condition you described. Here’s another pro-tip: notify your customer of the tracking number or at least keep the tracking information until the package is received by your customer. 

6. Send the invoice.

While each platform is different as to when you receive your funds, it’s most common that your payment will arrive once the book has been processed and the customer confirms the condition is as described. Many marketplace platforms require payment for the book upfront, so you should receive your money fast. However, other places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace depend on what you and the customer have agreed upon (typically pay in person or PayPal once the item is received). 

you can make lots of money by flipping books

When cash begins to pour in, designate funds to your profit as well as what you want to invest back into your business.

7. Designate your funds.

As with any business keep track of your revenue (you can use something as simple as a spreadsheet or invest in Quickbooks). Make sure you pay yourself and team for your work, pay any bills your business has (this type of business has low overhead, but as you grow you might add on additional paid services to streamline your work) and invest in your business. As you grow the business consider your own business license and bank account. Don’t forget to keep track of your revenue and payments for both personal records and tax purposes. 

8. Add to your inventory.

To help your business grow, we recommend investing a few thousand dollars to really kick things off! It may take some time (a few weeks to a couple of months) but it shouldn’t take too long for you to begin seeing a return on your investment, especially if you time it right. For the best resale profits, we recommend selling close to the start of a college semester (specifically if you’re selling textbooks). You can find books to add to your inventory in several ways: online, college students, liquidation sales, estate sales, and thrift stores. We discuss a few of these on our blog Best Resources for Reselling Books. 

9. Repeat!

Once you take these steps you’ll be able to confidently move forward with consistently making money by flipping books! 

Additional tips: 

  • Note the book condition. The condition of the book plays a role in how you should price for a sale. The conditions listed are typically Good/Like New, Acceptable, and Unacceptable. To make a profit you want to resell books that are either in “Good/Like New” or “Acceptable” condition. 
make money flipping lots of books

The condition of each book plays a big role in how you can price the book for profit.

  • Make sure you’re adding profit margins into the resale price. Take into consideration packaging and shipping costs in addition to the time you’re spending researching, posting, selling, and purchasing books. 
  • While our world is still experiencing changes due to COVID-19, continue to work safely. Trust your own intuition with visiting brick and mortar shops or meeting people in person to make book sales. If you are increasing your inventory from someone locally, consider having them pay you through PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App. Consider drop-offs (at a neutral location) while keeping as much distance as possible. Much of the work can be done at home, so we hope this gives you peace of mind when your health and safety is concerned. 

Now that you know how to make a profit from flipping books, use appropriate resources to make the most money. Start today by using BookScouter.com!

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