Textbooks are not inexpensive, to put it mildly. According to the College Board, the average student will spend $1,200 on textbooks every year! Saving money on them is one of the most effective methods to minimize the expense of college. Not to mention the fact that textbook prices are continuing to grow. They’ve increased by 889 percent in the last 30 years, exceeding inflation and even tuition increases.
However, there is a bright side. Students around the country may now rent textbooks at the start of the semester and return them the Monday after finals, all at discounted rates, thanks to the Internet.
Here are some of the most compelling reasons to rent textbooks, and why it’s logical:
Expenses: Renting textbooks is always less expensive than buying them. Renting college textbooks is frequently less expensive than purchasing and then reselling your used book. Some students are fortunate enough to be able to resale their textbook for a reasonable price, but this does not happen with every book, every semester.
Convenience: Renting textbooks is a handy and simple option to acquire your books before the semester begins. You’ll be able to find the exact book you’re looking for, as well as the associated costs and rental period. This is preferable to going from one bookstore to the next in search of the best bargains. You can rely on the Internet to handle the grunt work of finding exactly what you’re looking for in a timely manner.
That being said, you need to consider some things before you choose to rent instead of buying. This includes things like your learning style: If you’re the type of student who needs to refer to a textbook a few semesters down the road to reaffirm a principle or idea, you might want to consider purchasing rather than buying the textbook. In some cases, the course itself may be structured in a way that you may need to have the textbooks for multiple semesters. Before renting a book, it’s also a good idea to look into the shipping costs.
Also, see if there’s a late cost if you don’t return the textbook within the agreed-upon time frame, as well as any damage or loss fees. In reality, you should add up these fees before proceeding to the checkout page. Furthermore, you should preferably look for textbook rental businesses that offer some sort of guarantee or protection. A decent textbook rental provider, for example, should give you the option of replacing your book if it arrives in bad condition or is missing pages. These websites should also provide you with free or low-cost access to related CD-ROMs as well as additional study materials.
We’ll go over a couple of the most popular textbook rental websites that cater to students in the United States in this piece.
1. Amazon Textbook
When it comes to providing its textbook rental service, Amazon, which is the most significant and trusted participant in the eCommerce market, delivers on its promises. The site claims up to 90% savings on specific textbooks, as well as a 30-day refund and textbook return option if you’re unhappy with your purchase. Shipping is also free if you have Amazon Student.
Amazon also provides an eTextbook service that allows you to rent out electronic books from a big library. To read these ebooks, you will need to download the free Kindle reading software.
There are a few rules that you should be aware of while renting a textbook from Amazon. If you unduly highlight pages on a rented book, for example, you may be charged the whole fee and the book returned to you to retain. You’ll be given a 15-day extension and charged an extension fee if you don’t return your book by the deadline. If you do not return the book within these 15 days, you will be charged the full amount of the book.
BetterWorldBooks is a project started by two Notre Dame University classmates. They wanted to reduce the cost of textbooks for university students. They wanted to build a business where they could make money and use it to sponsor literacy efforts. To date, the company has raised more than $28 million for reading projects and libraries throughout the world. They’ve also given away almost 26 million books. This website allows you to rent college textbooks for a reasonable price. They even have certain reward schemes where you may earn points and redeem them for cash or prizes.
3. Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble offer some of the most affordable textbook prices, as well as a large collection that rivals Amazon’s. The fact that they still charge delivery fees is what actually holds them back. Rentals come with free return shipping, but you’ll have to pay for shipping whether you rent or buy. This is a significant flaw that makes their website appear less inviting than that of some of their competitors.
Barnes and Noble, on the other hand, is one of the few companies we’ve encountered with software that allows you to potentially access supplementary resources. This can be a terrific add-on depending on the class.
4. Campus Book Rentals
Campus Book Rentals is the place to go if you’re seeking something that’s been around for a while. This book rental service debuted in 2007 and has since caught the interest of large corporations. One feature that distinguishes it from the other companies we’ve reviewed is that it offers students live service on the website, which can be useful if you’re unsure about your rental or have issues with your order or refunds. You may also highlight books in whatever way you like with and the service includes free delivery both ways. Furthermore, it boasts of having the country’s largest book selection. After you’ve found your favorite book, click on it to select the rental period. You can choose from a range of 55 to 130 days, or you can specify a specific date. The majority of books start at slightly over $20, and the checkout process is simple and uncomplicated.
5. Bigger Books
A leading online bookstore where you may rent textbooks at deeply discounted prices. BiggerBooks allows you to buy or rent physical books, e-books, and even sell your old textbooks at the end of the semester. They have a special offer of free delivery on orders over $59, which shouldn’t be too tough in most circumstances.
Chegg gives you free access to the e-version of your favorite book for 7 days while you wait for it to be mailed to you. You can get free shipping if you rent books worth more than $50, but there are some restrictions: you must use this offer by the end of September this year. The offer is also subject to change at any time and excludes tax and delivery. You also have the option to simply purchase the rental if you decide you want to keep your book for whatever reason.
When returning a book, the company requests that you do it in any box with the prepaid postage label that it sends to you when you rent it. If you’re one of those persons who like to highlight books, go ahead and do so, but don’t overdo it. Writing on books is something Chegg.com discourages.
eCampus offers free shipping both ways on all orders over $35, and the rewards loyalty program is fantastic, rewarding loyal customers with $1 for every three points gained. When it comes to rental durations, you have the choice of selecting semester, quarter, or short term, which is more useful for people who want some flexibility in how long they want to borrow their textbook. It also offers a feature that allows you to sort book conditions from best to worst, as well as PayPal and PayPal Credit payment options.
The fact that eCampus enables international shipping is a huge plus. On the other hand, the overall site layout appears chaotic and poorly organized, making finding information even more difficult. Students nowadays don’t have time to look for information, and they won’t hesitate to go to a competitor’s site if their needs aren’t supplied quickly enough.
Knetbooks allows you to rent books for 60 to 130 days, and the service allows you to print your own prepaid shipping label and track your order. If you desire to buy your book after renting it for a set period of time, you can do so by ticking the “Purchase Book” box in your account.
The cost of renting a biology book ranges from $64 to $89. Their pricing is higher than the other sites we’ve researched, with the cost of renting a biology book ranging from $64 to $89. You can apply coupons at checkout, and they have a customer service line that is accessible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. Knetbooks offers free shipping both ways as well as savings of up to 85 percent on all textbooks.
9. Valore Books
Valore Books is a textbook rental service that prides itself on being “the student’s marketplace,” as well as one of the few book rental companies that allow you to track or return your order via a box on the webpage. What I enjoy about Valore Books is that it allows you to compare book prices from numerous textbook rental companies in order to find the best deal. You are also eligible for 30-day money-back guarantee and free rental return shipping. Shipping is $3.95 per item, with free return shipping on rentals. The big drawback is that the site has a good collection of older books, but the options will be limited to newer textbooks.
10. Vital Source Textbooks
As a result of the pandemic, many colleges across the globe are now solely operating online. For such students, Vital Source Textbooks is an excellent choice because it provides fast access to digital books as well as a comprehensive set of academic tools. You can choose to study offline after downloading your favorite book titles. This service has some unique capabilities, such as the ability to sync textbooks across all of your devices and apply color coding or any form of annotations as needed.