College Textbook Rental

Last week, we discussed how to keep book costs down, and we heard back from many of you regarding the new trend of college textbook rental. There are several companies which now rent books to students all over the nation, and some individual campus bookstores offer textbook rental as a service to enrolled students.

money jar - image courtesy of Ramberg Media ImagesBut does renting actually save you money? The word from campuses (and blogs) all over the USA indicates that textbook renting is the best way to secure your books at a great price. Reports from students who have used college textbook rentals indicate that an average over 50% was saved per book, resulting an almost unheard-of savings on the bottom line compared to the traditional process of buying a book (either new or used) and then selling it back to the bookstore later at the end of the term.

Here are a few college textbook rental sites to get you started. Don’t forget to check with your campus’s bookstore to see if they offer you a better deal. As always, a quick web search for reviews on any textbook rental site you find could save you a lot of time and headache later:

Chegg.com — Chegg has been in the forefront of the textbook rental market for some time, with rave reviews across the board regarding rental costs and the ease of shipping.

Half.com — Half is an eBay company, but unlike eBay’s auction process, Half serves as a storefront. You can buy immediately instead of waiting for an auction to end, and the payment process is much simpler than the one eBay delivers. Half now has a textbook rental program to offer users.

eCampus.com — With enticing offers like discount codes, no shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount, and a lack of membership fee, eCampus is breaking away from the pack and reviews indicate some students are getting their best deals here.

CENGAGEbrain.com — If you get a copy of your syllabus early enough, there’s a good chance CENGAGEbrain.com could save you even more money with their Book Chapter Rental service. (Have you ever bought or rented a book for a class, then discovered the professor will only be using Chapters 2, 6, and 14? What a waste!)

What sites have you used, and how did you feel about your experience with them? Let us know in the comments!