Did you spend a little too much on gifts for your mom, go on a few too many coffee dates or spend more than expected on a weekend skiing trip this winter break? The holidays probably left a few of you feeling strapped for cash, so here are some easy tips to earn a little extra money.
1. Start off by selling your textbooks back to the University Store, previously known as El Corral Bookstore. The store is set to buy textbooks this Monday through Friday.
Cal Poly Corporation Marketing and Public Relations Manager Yukie Nishinaga said students usually receive 45 percent of the book’s retail price if they sell it back during a time the bookstore is buying books at retail price.
“Students should try to sell their books to the university bookstore during final exams week or the first week of classes,” Nishinaga said. “That’s when we buy back for the retail market.”
During other times of the year, or for books that aren’t needed by Cal Poly students during the next term, students can receive up to 30 percent off the full price, Nishinaga said.
The University Store website lists textbook conditions they won’t accept, including missing pages, rippled or damp pages and highlighting that makes it hard to read.
Environmental management and protection senior Reyna Schenck said although the University Store didn’t give her much for an ecology textbook she sold back, it was still nice to get a little extra money.
“I was surprised at how little they gave me back,” Schenck said. “I think I paid around $120 and they gave me $15 back … A new edition had just come out so they weren’t paying much for the one I had, but it could have just sat on my bookshelf instead. I wouldn’t have sold it if I didn’t want the cash.”
2. The University Store doesn’t accept all textbooks because it doesn’t always need them, but those it doesn’t buy can be sold online.
Do a little research on the books you want to sell at websites such as textbooks.com, abebooks.com and half.ebay.com to decide on a reasonable price. Then make an account on one of the sites and put your books up for sale — chances are, someone will buy them because it’s the beginning of the term. Don’t forget to include shipping costs in your price and be ready to put the books in the mail as soon as someone buys them so they give you good reviews and you can sell the rest.
3. Besides unwanted textbooks from past quarters, the holidays may have produced a surplus of unwanted gifts. Instead of letting the items gather dust in your closet, gather up the clothing you’re just dying to re-gift, and other pieces that are in good shape, and head to one of the consignment stores in San Luis Obispo.
If you have a few designer pieces lying around, Finders Keepers Consignment on Garden Street sells designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci and True Religion, according to their website.
If you have nice clothes to get rid of that aren’t quite on par with designer brands, other consignment shops include Revolve, Ruby Rose and Back on the Racks.
Back on the Racks owner Rocky Bedell said no appointment is necessary at her store — up to 30 items can be brought in to be considered for consignment any time the store is open, Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The items should be on individual hangers and laundered, she said.
Clothes accepted for consignment are put out for sale for two months, she said. The owner of the clothes receives 40 percent of the selling price for items that are bought, and any remaining items can be picked up after two months.
“We try to make it really easy,” Bedell said. “A lot of other stores require appointment’s, but we don’t. You can also pick up your check any time.”
4. But what if you have things to get rid of besides clothing and textbooks? Try Craigslist or the Facebook group “Free and For Sale,” which currently has more than 1,900 members from Cal Poly and the surrounding area. The group allows members to post things they have for sale such as textbooks, couches or microwaves. The posts become more frequent at the beginning and end of quarters, as people have more to get rid of and specific items they need to buy.
5. Donating to Goodwill or Salvation Army is a generous option for gifts you received or things lying around the house you know you won’t be able to sell. Goodwill always accepts donations, and according to their website, they always need clothing, kitchenware, books, sporting equipment, shoes and furniture, among other items. Dig out the paperbacks you’ve finished reading, clear the extra clutter in your kitchen cabinets and grab the shoes you never wear and donate them so those who need them can buy them for cheap.