Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Follow this Blog at the new website and win iTunes Gift Cards

Thanks for a following College+Life Blog on this site.
We've moved to a new home blog.collegebookrenter.com

Please join us at our new location.  Leave comments on the different posts and you could win an iPod gift card.  You will receive an entry for every comment you leave and an additional entry when you subscribe.

Good Luck
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Rent Books Easier

Lynn Moore, VP of Customer Service for Collegebookrenter.com, was asked the following questions concerning ways to make renting books easier this fall.

What is your role at CBR and how long have you been there?
I am the Vice President of Customer Service. I have been with CBR since May 2010. Before moving to CBR I worked with for our “sister” company South Eastern Book Co.

What changes and improvements have you seen since you’ve been there?
There are so many it would be hard to name them all! This company has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year. We have grown not only in size, but in experience. Over the last year, our staff has grown to include reps with years of previous customer service experience from large, national companies as well as reps with book knowledge. Our book inventory has expanded and helps us serve our customers better.

How does Customer Service help your renters?
We strive to help each of our customers. We are available to help customers create accounts, process orders, track shipments, and much, much more. We are available by phone, email, and chat via our website.

If there was just one crucial point to learn from this interview, what would it be?
Read the website carefully and choose the rental term or purchase selection that best suits your needs. Make sure all shipping and billing information is correctly entered so that there is no delay in service.  

What advice would you give to first time renters?
Take the time to read the policies on the website. They are there to help make the rental experience a good one. Look at the refund policy and know that if you do have to drop a class, send the book back within the return limits so that you qualify for a refund.  Make sure to use our return labels available for your account to return your books. We offer free UPS return shipping directly to our warehouse. Using your return label ensures that your book comes back to our facility… and it’s FREE!

Any additional comments?
CollegeBookRenter.com was created to help students save money. College is expensive enough and we want to try to ease some of that burden. Our goal is to always help our customers. Currently we are here Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. We also have additional rep coverage from 7am-7pm. These reps are available to assist customers with orders outside of our normal business hours. For help with a special problem or an accounting issue, please call during our regular business hours. We are here 7am-7pm, managers are here 8am-5pm. Extended hours are to help serve customers on the east and west coasts.  

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You Can Rent Almost Anything

A Denver B-Cycle bike sharing station located ...The rental business is one of the fastest growing industries - and for good reason.  Zilok, an online rental site, claims you can rent anything.   You can rent a violin in Lakeway, TX for $20 a day or $28 a month.  If you are in Seattle, WA, you can rent a Toyota pick-up for $80 for the weekend.

Top three reasons to rent:

1. You have champaign taste with a beer budget. 

Say you're going on a weekend trip and want to take some nice photos and experiment with some new equipment.  According to SpotCoolStuff, renting makes sense if you can't afford the quality of photography gear you want or you'd like to try out a piece of equipment before buying it. 

Even if photography isn't your cup of tea, you can try out other high tech devices like iPhones or a Mac Book Air for $10 for a three day rental period at Rentavo.

2. You're fickle.

How many times have you decided to take up a new hobby or adventure, only to find out it just wasn't right for you? 

Say you've decided to take up hiking and camping.  You go to REI and spend hundreds on tents, boots, stoves, back packs and other supplies. After a few hours in the woods you discover you would rather be golfing, shopping or watching the "Law and Order" marathon instead of trying to boil water on a stove the size of a bar of soap.

Save yourself the heartache and heart-stopping credit card bill. Before you spend $350 for a Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL2, try one out at Mountainside Gear Rental for $29 for the weekend.

3. You absolutely cannot be seen in the same outfit more than once.

You can spend $363 on a TIBI Mod Bollywood dress you're going to wear just a couple of times, or you can rent it for $50 and be the talk of the party.  "What, this old thing?" can become your new mantra.

Throw in some Kate Spade "Bernie" Sunglasses for only $14 a week, then send them back and wait for the next best thing to come along.

Renting has not only changed the fashion and recreation industries; lucky for people like you and me, it's changed the textbook industry as well.

For example, the Lucas "Art of Public Speaking", ISBN 0073385158 can be purchased new in a campus book store for over $90.00.  You can rent the exact same book from online rental sites like College Book Renter for $36.75 per semester.  The new McConnell "Economics 19e", ISBN 0073511447 costs $170 in the bookstore new, $145 used (if you can get one used), or you can rent it from CBR for only $65.  

Do the math.

The moral of the story for the practical college student: rent before you buy. Save a lot of money so you can spend more on new hobbies like photography or outdoor activities. Heck, if you rent the equipment, you'll even have some money left over to put in your savings account...or gas tank!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

College Book Renter's Ramen Noodle Recipe Winner

Hiyashi ramen served in a ramen joint in Paris...Image via WikipediaCBR Ramen Noodle Recipes Winners
Congrats to Stacy Giltner - best recipe presentation and story telling.  We didn't have a category for this but were very amused with Stacy's story.  First Place went to Sheryl Schulte.  Contact marketing@collegebookrenter.com
with your mailing address' and we will send your iTunes gift cards.

Luck has it that there is one packet of ramen that the equally starving roomie (aka lump on couch) has not spotted. Flavor appears to be red with a picture of a sturdy cow. For the non-finicky palate of the starving college student this just means a cow can eat it, so can this student. Preparing ramen is a tricky ordeal as the kitchen is scanned for a clean pot, a bowl, and possibly a spork. The flies lead the starving college student’s eyes to the pile of dishes that have been abandoned ages ago in what use to be a sink buried under fuzz and debris. Cooking the precious package of ramen has now been ruled out. This clever student brainstorms the next plan – sifting through old Taco Bell bags scattered around the living room. The first bag of many is an immediate gold mine of hot and mild sauce packets. The ramen package is busted open and the taco bell bag becomes a serving platter for this delectable treat. The hard ramen is first dipped into the red sauce and then dipped into the seasoning. This crunchy little treat must be enjoyed quickly before the roomie awakes and sucker punches the student for not sharing this morsel.

Best Ramen Noodle Recipe Contest

Ingredients: Two packs of Ramen Noodles, 1/4 cup of Stir-fry sauce, stir-fry veggies. Chicken, beef, or shrimp(optional), soy sauce

Directions: Boil ramen noodles as directed on package (do not add packet of spices), meanwhile in a skillet start cooking the protein of your choice (meat or fish) and when those are done take out of pan, set aside and keep any flavor drippings in pan for the veggies, cook veggies until tender. When the ramens are done, drain water and add to the skillet of veggies and protein. Add stir fry and soy sauce and mix together. add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy

Sheryl Schulte Taco Salad 1 package beef ramen noodles
1/2 pond ground beef
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Thousand Island dressing Mix all together and enjoy..keep refrigerated!!!

Kate Reeves Raman Noodle, Mozz Cheese, and Texas Pete Hot Sauce!

Ramen Noodle Salad Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package broccoli coleslaw mix 2 (3 ounce) packages chicken flavored ramen noodles 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 cup unsalted peanuts
 1 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup white sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup cider vinegar 
In a large salad bowl, combine the slaw, broken noodles and green onions. 
Whisk together the sugar, oil, vinegar and ramen seasoning packets. Pour over salad and toss to evenly coat. Refrigerate until chilled; top with peanuts and sunflower seeds before serving

Best Ramen Noodle Recipe Contest 
By: Priscilla Renne Barnes
Mexicano Rameno
Mexicans add a little spice to everything, and ramen noodles are no exception.
• Chicken Ramen Noodle package
• Salsa Huichol 
• Chicken flavored bullion powder form (caldo de sabor a pollo by Knorr)
• One squeezed lime

*Amounts added to preferred taste
* Hot sauce and chicken bouillon can be found at most Wal-Mart locales

Wilmalynne Botley With boiling ramen noodles add an egg mix egg while in soup to separate egg then add sauce mix lawrys garlic salt and ground black pepper about 1 tsp of each. And it's perfect.

Alycia Drube Be careful to only use the amount of water as you want broth. While noodles are boiling add in an egg (egg drop soup style). If noodles aren't done boil it down a little, thicker is better. Then add packet of flavoring and a couple squirts of Sriracha sauce. It smells funny but tastes DELICIOUS!

My mom makes this amazing salad but I have no idea where she got the recipe from. The salad part is just romaine lettuce and chopped green onions, the salad dressing is just 1/2 cup oil, 4 tbsp vinegar, one packet of the seasoning from ramen noodles mixed together. The topping is toast almond slivers in a skillet with seasme seeds, after add two packs of the crumbled ramen noodles (uncooked). mix it all together when you are ready to serve so the noodles wont get soggy from the dressing.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Ramen Noodle Recipe Contest

A brick of Instant noodles as they are commonl...Image via WikipediaWin a $15 iTunes Gift Card for the best Ramen Noodle Recipe.

The Ramon Noodle has been associated with starving college students for decades.  This  delicacy has been prepared several million different ways all over the world. According to Wikipedia -  "In 1958, instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese founder and chairman of Nissin Foods, now run by his son Koki Ando. Named the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century in a Japanese poll,[1] instant ramen allowed anyone to make this dish simply by adding boiling water."  Out of necessity students all over the world have take the basic noodles to new heights by adding whatever ingredients they could scavenge and created their own works of art. 

Post your recipe in on Face Book  before Noon,  Monday June 20th CST.  A winner will be decided by a panel of CBR chefs and connoisseurs.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview with a Student, Father, Husband, Full-Time Employee and Army Veteran

Personal photo of Pogue Library and statue of ...Image via WikipediaI recently got to interview Jameson Owens, a non-traditional student via email to get a better perspective on the challenges, sacrifices and hurdles of everyday living.  After reading this Blog, you will appreciate your own college experience a little better. Jameson attends Murray State University in Murray, KY.

Please give a brief personal history:
I spent just over 10 years in the Army. I had it good. I was financially stable with a great and supportive wife and 5 kids.  I got to travel all over the world.  I was completely unprepared for the outside world when I finally got out, especially the way things are today.  So after about 2 years of working at a cable company and driving a bus for the city, I felt it was time to go back and finish up what I started so many years ago.  I took advantage of the GI Bill to obtain my degree in Occupational Health and Safety.  With the stress of attending full time, I still have responsibilities at home.  I still had to support my family.  So working part time for peanuts driving a bus was getting harder to do due to my academic schedule so I began to look for a 3rd shift position.  I now work nights as a security guard full time.

How long will it take to complete your degree?  
It will take about another 3 semesters plus a summer of internship to completely finish up.  
When did you start?
I have been working on getting my college education off and on since 1994.  I took a long pause from about 1996 or so to do the “young and dumb” thing and then the Army.  I took a few classes while I was in, but as busy as Army lifestyle can be, I took another break.  It wasn’t until Fall of 2009 that I enrolled in Murray State to finish it up.

By having the responsibilities of providing for a family while in college, what obstacles have you encountered? 
Some of the main obstacles would include being able to handle things at home.  I really like my yard to be nice.  It has suffered.  I still get out there to mow when it’s needed, but there are other landscaping things I want to do that have been put on hold.  Another thing is house and vehicle maintenance.  I do the things when I have the time.  Thankfully, my family has stepped up to help a lot.  Another obstacle would include being available to take the kids to extra curricular activities.  I usually can get to a football game or soccer game while it’s in progress but getting there on time is rare these days.

What sacrifices have you made? 
Aside from missing or being late to sports, probably one of the biggest sacrifices is being able to spend the quality time with my wife and kids.  Sleep is a big sacrifice as well as trying to stay in shape.  With a family, it’s not just me that makes the sacrifices.  My wife works full time as well.  It’s not too bad while the kids are in school, but during breaks, my kids are burdened as well.  My two oldest have taken a giant step up to help care for their younger siblings.  They have managed to get around some of those obstacles as mentioned in the previous question. 

If you learned just one thing that you would like to pass on to others that will face a similar journey, what would you tell them?
Get that college education as early as you can.  If you wait as long as I did, it will be harder to do everyday.  Even if you have a good job without your degree, you should take the time to get it.  That job may not be guaranteed for life. 
Looking back since starting college, what would you have done differently?
If I had to go back and do it again, I would have at least tried to finish my degree as soon as possible after high school.   

What advice do you have for young parents in college to stretch their budget?
I used to live out in the county when I started back to school.  Driving back and forth 4-5 times a day with today’s gas prices is crazy.  If you can, move into town as close as possible to your school.  It doesn’t have to be permanent, just until you finish school.  I now live across the street from mine so I walk to class.  Not only does it save money in gas, it helps you somewhat stay in shape if you don’t get the chance to exercise.  On top of that, I live less than 5 miles from my job.  I could ride a bike to work if I wanted.  2nd, it is not necessary to have the best things in life, 55 inch flat screen TV, 3 or 4 game systems, etc.  There isn’t really a big need to buy brand name groceries all the time.  The Walmart or Kroger brands are cheaper (sometimes) and sometimes the same as quality and taste.  Some things I think taste better.  Of course that is a personal preference.  Pasta is cheap. Also, with the size family that I have, we tend to do a lot of crock pot meals.  There are so many different ways to stretch a budget.  I had to learn that the hard way.

Thanks Jameson and good luck finishing your degree.

We would love to hear from any of our readers and followers who have great advice on how to take care of a family, job and college all at the same time.  Please leave your comments.
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

CBR Late Textbook Return Fees

CHICAGO - JULY 23:  The United Parcel Service ...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeCollege Book Renter has been getting several inquiries about questions concerning late fees.

If your textbook(s) is not returned and or a UPS Return Label has not been generated by the last day of your rental period, then your credit card will be charged a 15 day extension fee.  However, if you generated a UPS shipping label by the last day of your rental period,  your account may show a late status because of an automated response.  CBR will allow processing time before charging you.  This past Memorial Holiday demanded more processing time and left some students wondering about possible charges.

If your textbook(s) is not returned and/or a UPS Return Label has not been generated by the last day of your 15-day extension, then your credit card will be charged the list price of the textbook(s) minus the 15-day extension fee. You will be notified via email of these charges!

Here is the easy to follow  return process:

       CollegeBookRenter.com makes returning textbooks easy and free!
  1. Log on to your Collegebookrenter.com account using your email address and password.
  2. Under Rental History click on the Rental Return button, select the book(s) and reason, and click Print Label.
  3. Print off the two pack slips for your order and the UPS shipping label.
  4. Tape the UPS return shipping label to the package being used to return the textbook(s).
  5. Make sure one copy of the pack slip is placed in the return package. Keep one copy for your records.
  6. Drop the package at any UPS location and the rest is history.
Do not mail your textbooks back to CBR in a USPS Priority Shipping Box or you will be charged for the shipping cost.

We hope this helps you get your books back on time and save some more bucks.

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