Print Textbook Retail Site Attempts to Fight Digital Tide With Device Buyback Program

Feel like getting rid of that clunky old iPad and trading it in for a shiny new textbook? If you’re like millions of other college students, the obvious answer is “yes!”

You’re in luck. ValoreBooks, an online textbook retail and rental portal, has launched a program where college students can sell their old iPhone or iPad to earn “SmarterBucks” to help pay for student loans.

Tongue-in-cheek treatment aside, the marketing program is admirable, in a way, but it may not show an understanding of the youth market. According to the latest data from Pew, more than half of Americans now own smartphones and more than a third own tablets — and college age kids are among the heaviest adopters.

At the same time, the idea isn’t without merit. Annual data measuring e-textbook adoption among college students show that they just aren’t taking to the new products yet. Less than 10% of students are using e-textbooks as primary course materials at this point.

Read more in the company’s release below.

[Press Release]

ValoreBooks Offers Customers The Chance To Earn Student Loan Payments By Selling Back Their Used iPhone

ValoreBooks, the leading online textbook marketplace, is offering a unique spin on the traditional electronics buyback model as part of its ongoing effort to help students save money on the costs of college. Today customers who sell back their used iPhone® or iPad® through ValoreBooks can elect to receive their money in the form of a student loan payment through the SmarterBucks® rewards program. SmarterBucks, a revolutionary rewards program that helps you pay down your student loans faster, and ValoreBooks are owned by SimpleTuition, Inc.

“ValoreBooks has always been dedicated to helping make college more affordable for students. We realize that today one of the issues students struggle the most with is how they are going to pay back their student loans,” said Bobby Brannigan, founder of ValoreBooks. “By teaming up with SmarterBucks, we’re giving students the chance to take a proactive role in their student debt management and make a real dent in their debt with a significant extra payment.”

When selling their used iPhone or iPad back through ValoreBooks, customers can elect to receive payment via PayPal, by check, or in the form of SmarterBucks. When customers choose SmarterBucks at checkout they also receive a 5% bonus on their sell back price. Once the phone has been received, the payment – along with the 5% bonus – is automatically made to the student loan that the user has designated in the SmarterBucks system to pay down. Customers who do not currently have a SmarterBucks account can sign up during the checkout process.

ValoreBooks was founded in 2002 and was an early pioneer in the online textbook market. It provides students with the option to buy, rent or sell back textbooks from over 30,000 verified sellers and rental providers who compete to offer the lowest prices. SmarterBucks, whose membership has been growing rapidly since 2012, offers many ways for its members to earn rewards that are converted into student loan payments. Members can earn SmarterBucks rewards by shopping in the online SmarterBucks Marketplace, by taking brand-sponsored SmarterBucks surveys, or by inviting friends and family to contribute directly to their SmarterBucks account or to earn rewards on their behalf by opening a SmarterBucks Gifter account.

About ValoreBooks
Founded in 2002 and now part of SimpleTuition, Inc., ValoreBooks is dedicated to providing students textbook discounts and world-class customer service. Their textbook marketplace of over 30,000 sellers offers discounts up to 90% on over 18 million textbook titles and the lowest rental prices available. Sellers compete against each other to deliver savings that rival other online textbook providers and blow away on-campus textbook prices. Students can easily compare prices on new and used books and textbook rentals. ValoreBooks also provides textbook buyback to help students get money back at the end of the semester. For more information, visit

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3 thoughts on “Print Textbook Retail Site Attempts to Fight Digital Tide With Device Buyback Program

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  3. Jean Kaplansky

    Digital Book Wire seems to be confused. The intro to the article implies that the retailer is encouraging to trade in their ipad for textbooks. The press release, however, says that they’re encouraging to trade in their ipad toward credit/payment on their student loans.

    While the purchase of textbooks may make up part of student loans, student loans are not just textbooks.

    Therefore, it sounds more like the premise is “Hey new grad… Trade in your ipad for a small payment on your designated student loan debt!” rather than what Digital Book Wire implies in the intro.



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