From the left: Winnie, baby Jasmine, Kaya, Daphne, little Landon, and Jason Ballard
How They Got Started
Cheaper College Books got started in Oregon in 2013 when Winnie was a stay at home mom to their oldest child and pregnant with their second. She wanted to earn some extra income by selling something online. She was inspired by a sister in law who sold jeans online. Winnie made a list full of things she could sell. One of things on the list was books. She then remembered someone she knew from school who started with just a few books in his apartment, who then started doing book buybacks, then he opened his own store. She then wrote down a bunch of questions to ask and gave him a call. He was very helpful and gladly answered all her questions and follow up questions. She then started contacting several bookstores on and off campus throughout the country. She did a lot of research! With confidence she bought several books to sell locally and online. There’s always something so powerful experiencing the very first sale. It gave her hope. Through trial and error she started to do book buybacks and sell on Amazon. Within 3 years, Jason was able to quit his job and work with Winnie full time. It was definitely a scary time to no longer have the reassurance of having a paycheck every other week. They knew they had something with a huge potential and knew that they now had to make it work even better. Each year they have been adding something to help grow the business such as offering rentals.
Cheaper College Books used to be called Ballard Book Bargain. The name was then changed to Ballard Books LLC which is still the company’s legal entity.
Currently Cheaper College Books is an Amazon Prime seller, owner of the app called Cheaper College Books, and a store owner in Provo, Utah. This is what Jason and Winnie do full time. This is what provides for their family: food on the table, roof over their heads, dance and ukulele classes for the kids, etc. They are so grateful for all the support they have received. They know that they won’t be where they are today without the students and parents who continue to support them. They want to make sure that they continue to be reliable, honest, and have exceptional customer service!
About the Ballards
Jason Ballard grew up in Gaston, OR. He served a church mission for 2 years in the Philippines. While there he fell in love with the culture and people. He is fluent in Tagalog. He also loves to cook and can cook Filipino food!
Winnie Ballard was born and raised in the Philippines and move to Northern California when she was 10. She met Jason while attending BYU-Idaho. They ended up performing a Filipino dance together called Tinikling. Right after they both graduated, they went to China to teach English at an elementary school in Changzhou which is near Shanghai. Each had a total of over 900 students!
Jason and Winnie have been married since 2007. They have four kids: Kaya, Daphne, Landon and Jasmine. Kaya is a fast learner, loving, and kind. She has grown to be an amazing artist. Daphne is hilarious! She'll make you laugh without even trying. She's also very natural in ballet and loves to dance. Landon is so strong that he started to scoot on his belly during his first tummy time when he was only 2 months old! He also loves to play hide and seek and give hugs and kisses. Jasmine is the most chill baby. She’s so patient! She also looks the most Asian and is so ticklish!
Books They Buy
Cheaper College Books is a family business near BYU and UVU. Their goal is to help students all over the nation. They buy, sell, and rent college books. They buy competitively as well as sell and rent cheaper than campus.
They buy books such as binder versions (loose leaf), paperback, hardcover, and spiral books from students throughout different schools. Since they sell online nationally, they may still find value in books that are no longer needed in one school because another school may still need them. To make it easier, they offer free shipping.
Books donated by locals and Cheaper College Books to a new university at Lira in Northern Uganda, Africa.
Cheaper College Books supported the BYU Refugee Empowerment Club by attending their fundraising event and buying some of their books. They were fundraising to support higher education for refugees. They support organizations who are making a difference in our community like One Refugee.