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Archive for June, 2011

How to sell used text books?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

What is the easiest way to sell used textbooks? Craigslist like sites are good. If you don’t find anyone there, you can try the websites created just for this purpose. I tried the websites listed below.

Cash4Books: Interface looks good. But, the site pays peanuts for the books. They generously agreed to pay $2 for the book I paid $90! No, thank you.

Bookjingle: Same as above.

BookScouter: This is better than two sites listed above. BookScouter is more like comparison shopping site for used books. When I was browsing bookscouter, I came to know about Amazon’s trade-in program.

Bookscouter List


Amazon’s trade-in program is simple. Amazon agreed to pay $21 for my textbook whereas every other cheap site was adamant about $2-$5 price range.The catch with Amazon is that they give you gift card instead of cash. If you use Amazon regularly, gift card is as good as cash.

All the above sites, including Amazon, have lot of restrictions when buying used books from you. If your book is published before 2008, you are out of luck. Used textbooks sites are looking for fairly newer books so that they can turn it around quickly. So, don’t wait around to sell your used textbooks. Sell them as soon as you get your grades.

Groupon IPO

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Following Linkedin IPO and its crazy valuation, Groupon is preparing for its IPO. The IPO could value Groupon in the border of $20 billion. Groupon filed form S1 with SEC. IPO may happen in 2-3 months. In the form S1 (page 12), Groupon mentioned that it spent $179 million in the first quarter of 2011 for online marketing. However, when the company calculated its first quarter margin, it conveniently ignored the $179 million online marketing expenses and calculated the profit for Q1 2011 as $82 million. If you include the online marketing expenses, the company really had the loss of $82-$179 = $97 million.

These IPOs definitely look sexy based on all the hype surrounding them. However, if you had burnt your fingers in dot com crash of 2000, you better stay clear of all these web 2.0 IPOs until the companies’ profit picture is more clear.

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