Textbook rental services are rising in popularity throughout the world. Through various reports and studies, the results have consistently shown that students usually end up saving 50% to 75% on the cost of their textbooks over the course of a year if they use a textbook rental service rather than purchasing them at the local college bookstore.
Textbook rental services have increased in popularity mainly due to the efforts of private companies that are interested in pursuing this type of business model.
However, now many universities themselves are looking to capitalize on this textbook model in order to help their own students save money while pursuing their educational goals. In fact, Eastern Illinois University has recently launched a new cutting-edge facility that is entirely dedicated to the college’s textbook rental service (http://www.eiu.edu/textbks/).
Why Rent Textbooks?
Students are initially confronted with a high cost for their textbooks – some textbooks alone can cost over a hundreds of dollars. Then only to be further disconcerted by high shipping costs and low buyback values. Many students typically must wait in long lines and have a brief window of opportunity to sell textbooks back to their college bookstore. Unfortunately, some campus bookstores will only buy back certain titles, regardless of when they were purchased.
Storing books that college bookstores refuse to buy back or that students are just unable to sell for any reason seems unnecessary, and so does throwing away a perfectly good textbook as well! Trying to sell them independently is a frustrating venture too.
Luckily, the solution is simple: Rent textbooks online (or offline) and save.
Sadly, many college students have it set in their overworked minds that their only choice for college textbooks is the campus bookstore. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. There are many options available to serve students’ book-buying needs.
When students rent textbooks online, they are able to return all their books, and they can do so from the comfort of their own home. Avoiding long lines and uncertain returns associated with brick and mortar textbook stores.
A source of stress for college students has always been acquiring their college textbooks quickly and inexpensively. The expense can be overwhelming and the hassle of buying and selling them adds additional stress to an already demanding student life.
Also, online students may find that selling textbooks back to their college can be difficult and ineffectual. So why not rent them?
There are several websites now available where students can rent textbooks for cheap and even take advantage of free shipping when receiving and/or returning them, as well as other special deals and offers.
How It Works
While many of the private companies operating online differ slightly in their actual business model when compared to the brick-and-mortar college bookstore’s textbook rental programs, they are all essentially the same type of process. This process is almost universal when broken down into three simple parts: ordering (either online or by telephone), receiving, and returning textbooks.
Regardless of the specific textbook rental service that you consider, the service itself depends highly on increasing and/or maintaining the “usability lifespan"of the specific textbooks involved in the service. The lifetime usability of the average University textbook nearly always decreases with age.
The longer a specific textbook can be rented and re-rented every new semester, the easier it becomes for the textbook rental services to increase their profits and stay in business.
For certain subjects in higher education, such as those involving technology, the textbooks are usually required to be updated just about every year. If your primary focus is in certain technology topics like programming, you may have a little more difficulty saving a substantial amount of money by taking advantage of textbook rental services. This is because the price for renting these kinds of regularly-updated textbooks can be more costly.
Oftentimes a new revision or new version of a textbook will be produced every year or two. This fact can make it quite difficult for textbook rental services to make a long-term profit off of the books in their service if they are constantly required to buy new textbooks in order to replace the old textbooks.
Remember, students need to ensure that they return rented textbooks by their due date in order to maximize their savings throughout the entire rental process.
Popular Textbook Rental Services
As mentioned, textbook rental services rapidly rose in popularity due to the efforts and bright minds of several entrepreneurs. that were behind their own private companies. The following are three popular websites for renting textbooks that have emerged as solid players in the textbook rental industry.
BookRenter.com allows students to rent textbooks with a savings of up to 80% and provides free shipping both ways. In addition, BookRenter.com makes it clear that highlighting and writing are allowed, so even when students rent textbooks, they can use the study skills that are most beneficial to the way they learn.
Rent textbooks from CampusBookRentals.com and save up to 90%! They also offer free shipping both ways, and will even purchase textbooks students bought elsewhere. Their simple ISBN search tool is great for promptly finding the textbooks you need to rent.
CollegeBookRenter.com offers free return shipping and boasts that students can save up to 85%.
For a small fee, BookRenter.com and CollegeBookRenter.com can have textbooks delivered the next day.
We’ve compiled a more comprehensive list of reputable textbook rental companies here: Method #7.
Renting Textbooks For Free
Your local library is a good choice for renting textbooks, though you may find the selection of textbooks lacking. If this is the case, do not forget about your school’s library.
Almost every college and university in the country has copies of the current textbooks used by the school stored in the school’s library or bookstore. Especially, the most popular textbooks.
The downside to this route is that they don’t always have enough copies to keep up with the demand of students asking for them. So, if renting textbooks from your school’s library sounds ideal, make sure that you call ahead to reserve a copy of your book.
However, don’t be too surprised to find out that your school library may place borrowing limitations on certain textbooks. Some school libraries do not allow you to check out all of the textbooks and take them home, due to short supply or other reasoning.
Most often a professor will have extra copies of the textbooks they are using for class. If you feel inclined, you could always approach them and ask if you could borrow a copy for free. Remember to be polite when asking! Not all professors want to be hounded by their students looking for free textbooks.
In The End…
Choosing a school can be difficult and expensive, but renting your textbooks should be easy and cost-effective.