Can Textbook Rentals Save College Bookstores


USA Today recently published an article on how textbook rentals are saving the college textbook store. The article opens by saying “The nation’s brick-and-mortar college bookstores have been struggling to compete with online retailers. Their answer to e-books is an alliance with former rivals: textbook rental companies, such as,a major driver of the movement that offers kiosks within stores themselves.”

Now I can see where students drawn to shop at their college bookstore would opt for the option to rent textbooks. Rental textbooks may be higher that buying used and reselling but the upfront cost is lower on rentals. This lower “what I need to spend today” is very attractive to students.

I am not sure if the addition of textbook rentals will do much to compete with online sellers or e-books as the article claims. For those comfortable using online sourcing it will most likely still be cheaper than the bookstore. For e-books there is so much difference besides the price that I don’t think it is a valid comparison.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment.

Buying vs Renting College Textbooks

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A video that compares buying vs renting college textbooks. If you choose rent college books you might our textbook rental price comparison tool to compare the rental prices of each company where you can rent college books online.

How the option to rent college textbooks is working at schools

  • Oklahoma college students, bookstores look to online technologies …– University of Oklahoma junior Lindsay Green rents her textbooks and uses a free library reserve program to help save money. Oklahoma college students, bookstores look for cost-savings on textbooks Still, she spent nearly $400 last semester on books and supplies. Green, a political science student from Aledo, Texas, estimates she would have paid about $900 if she bought her books.
  • Textbook rental is a success | University Letter– This semester the UND Bookstore introduced textbook rental to the campus, which helped save UND students over $200,000. Due to the success of textbook rental, we sold 3,000 more units than we sold in the fall of 2009. Choosing to rent college books for the upcoming semester is one way you can help save students money.
  • Got Online Learning Classes? Don’t Buy Textbooks – Rent Them …– Online classes are a great convenience, but what do you do when you need to buy your books? You probably opted for a distance degree because you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home to attend college, or perhaps you live too far away to make the trip a feasible option. You can reduce the cost of online degree programs by renting your textbooks instead. In Part I of this series, we discussed the advantages to rent college books online and reviewed Chegg.
  • Textbook Rental—A Fabulous New Phenomenon for Students– Even with college tuition rising every year, students are beginning to get a financial break with the new phenomenon of textbook rental. After loans are taken out and tuition is paid, textbooks are the next money-draining expense in a …
  • Bringing Publishing to the Classroom at the Pinwheel Writing …– On Saturday, May 12, a group of Ooligonians attended the Pinwheel Writing Festival, hosted by the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, OR. According to ACMA’s mission statement, the school challenges all …
  • New Textbook Program Gives Students Money Saving Options … – As tuition increases students are looking for more ways to save money on their education, one of those ways is textbook expense. College textbooks cost students a lot of money. Rhoda Koszuth a 41-year-old biochemistry major said that she spent $700 on textbooks last semester at the ASUN bookstore.

Renting textbooks is a cheaper way if you follow a few rules.

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Renting textbooks is a cheaper way if you follow a few rules.
1) Most important – don’t loose your book. You will find yourself paying both the rental and the replacement cost.
2) Don’t return it late – if they can not re-rent it the rental co losses big time and there late fees can get very expensive
3) Compare prices – with over a dozen big name sites offering rentals be sure to compare the prices and shipping. A price comparison tool like makes this job easier.
4) Read the terms & conditions – don’t just check the box that says you read it, Read IT! This is a 4 month contract that covers what you can and CAN NOT do with the book.