Nobody likes buying college textbooks. The entire process is frustrating and hard on your pocketbook. You pay way too much money for a textbook that you might or might not use – depending on how much your professor actually uses that book – and then when the semester is over, you sell it back for considerably less money than you paid for it. For example, I bought a Spanish textbook for $95 last semester, and when I sold it back, I got a measly $11. Completely awful, huh?
Fortunately, there is an alternative to buying your textbooks and then selling them back. This alternative is renting your textbooks. According to Chegg.com, the average student will save more than $500 if he or she rents his or her books instead of buying books each year. So, if you are like me and would rather hold onto your money than give it to the big publishing companies, consider renting your textbooks this year. Here are some of the most popular places for renting textbooks.
1. Chegg.com. Chegg is the leader of textbook rentals in the market today. When this article was written, Chegg had saved students more than $200,000,000 off textbook cover prices since it was founded. Students can search for their books by ISBN, title, or author. Once students find their books, they rent themfor the term they need, then return the books for free through UPS. If the student changes his or her mind for any reason within the first 30 days, he or she can return the book to Chegg, no questions asked. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.
2. Skoobit.com. Skoobit is pretty similar to Chegg because it allows students to search for their books, rent the books as long as they need, and then return the books by mail. Skoobit also offers students the option to buy their books if they want. Clint Garret is a student at Patrick Henry Community College. Garret used Skoobit and said he “was able to rent five books [he] needed for the semester, and save over $300.” Three hundred dollars? For me, that’s enough for a very fun shopping trip, and a much better use of my funds than buying textbooks.
3. BookRenter.com. BookRenter offers more than three million textbooks for students to rent, and students save 75 percent on average. If you want to keep up with which books are in stock, or any other fun facts about BookRenter, the website has a Facebook and Twitter page. One area where BookRenter excels is in fast shipping; BookRenter offers next day shipping, which can be very beneficial if you sign-up for a class after the semester has already started and you need to catch up with the readings.
4. eCampus. eCampus is unique because it combines social media with textbook rentals. When you sign-up for an eCampus account, you receive a special coupon code. Every time this code is used to rent textbooks, you receive a $5.00 credit. This is known as the eCampus Entourage program. You can share your code with all of your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, and end up wracking up a ton of points. Your friends also benefit because when they use the code, they receive a five percent discount on their orders.
5. Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble is the largest bookstore chain in the country and has been the top selling chain for the past six years. However, its quickly growing website also offers over one million titles, and a new line of campus bookstores called Barnes & Noble College Bookstores operates at 636 colleges and universities. B&N is now offering textbook rentals through on campus stores and its online site. B&N offers books at 42.5 percent of their store price, allowing students to save quite a bit of money.
6. CampusBookRentals.com. CollegeTextbookRentals has been renting out books since 2007. They’ve served students at over 5,000 college campuses. Not only do they ship in a timely manner, they also include a prepaid return envelope with every book they send, so you don’t even have to hunt around for packing materials when it’s time to return your books. Plus, they offer a book buying service.
7. CollegeBookRenter.com. CollegeBookRenter offers both book rentals and sales, in addition to a used book buy-back program. When it’s time to return your rented books, all you have to do is print out a shipping label.
There are many more rental companies that make it easy to find cheap textbooks, but these five are currently the most popular and trusted by students around the country. So, if you want to actually have some of the money your earned all summer left over after your trip to the bookstore, think about renting your textbooks next semester.