Checking out textbook rental services is another method that you can use to save money on your required textbooks for the semester. Textbook rentals are great short-term solution to combat the ridiculously inflated costs of textbooks. Is the focus of your studies involve the subject of technology or any subject that is rapidly evolving and thus requires constantly updated textbooks every year, you may have a little more difficulty utilizing this method to save money. However, you should certainly give it a shot as you can often save around 70% on your textbook purchases over the course of the academic year.
This article focuses primarily on the textbook rental companies and programs currently available. For a more in-depth analysis of the textbook rental process as a whole, click here.
U.S. Congress has recently donated a large sum of money to assist American universities with launching their own textbook rental programs. So the first thing I would do is check to see if your college and the bookstore(s) affiliated with your college are implementing any type of textbook rental services. As this business model grows in popularity, you can expect to see more colleges adapting their own programs. So do not give up all hope if you come to find out that your University currently offers no sort of textbook rental service. The larger and more popular campuses throughout the States will probably start offering their own rental programs within the next few years.
Okay, so you discovered that your college does not currently offer a textbook rental program. No problem, you’ve currently got several online options to assist you in your money-saving quest.
The most popular option seems to be www.Chegg.com. Chegg estimates that there are over 4 million titles currently available to university students within their online catalog. The amount of money you save through their services will vary according to the specific textbooks that you rent throughout the semester. In general, most students discover that they can rent their required textbook from Chegg for around half of the textbook’s standard retail price. Another helpful money-saving feature with their program is that they cover all of the shipping costs for the textbook rentals. This cost-saving feature can end up saving you over $100 over the course of an academic year.
However, the popular offline and online bookseller www.BarnesandNoble.com started up its own textbook rental program in January, 2010. It is important to note that Barnes & Noble already owns over 600 college bookstores as well. The Barnes & Noble textbook rental service appears to take you through the same type of process as their competitor Chegg.com. Most of the reports coming out regarding Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program state that students are able to rent their textbooks at around 42% of their standard price, on average. Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program appears to provide for an added convenience as well. The program encourages students to rent their textbooks either from their local college bookstore or directly online. The students can then pick up their textbook rental from the bookstore after it has been shipped.
So what are the other online options for textbook rentals? One commonly-used option is www.BookRenter.com.
Another option is www.CampusBookRentals.com.
And yet another popular option is www.Textbooks.com. Textbooks.com sells their textbooks online, but they are known for offering a 100% guaranteed buyback after you no longer need them. This would effectively make their business model a “semi-rental" textbook service, but they are usually much better of an option for penny-pinching college students than going out and purchasing a brand new textbook from the local University bookstore and then selling that same book back to the bookstore. Also, students have reported that Textbooks.com may be the overall cheapest option across the most popular textbook subjects, but there textbook rental service requires an initial investment of $117.50.
We’re not done yet. Another reliable newcomer to the textbook rental scene is www.CengageBrain.com.