With the high costs of textbooks, students and companies were looking at ways to reduce costs as the Internet age dawned.
And one innovative solution was the idea of renting textbooks for the semester, and then posting the book back to the rental company.
In this section, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of renting your textbooks.
- Savings: okay, so the main plus is saving cash. Or is it? We have seen staggering savings on buying the book outright, over 90%. Plus, once you own the book, you own it - so you can sell it back on Amazon after you are finished with it.
Every book must be taken on it's own to see whether renting is in fact cheaper, but in many cases, of course, it will be.
- Writing in the textbook: Okay, so generally you can't write in the rental textbook. Different rental companies have different rules. Highlighting, strangely, is okay with some companies who don't allow writing. Maybe this is a problem for you, or maybe it isn't.
- Losing the textbook: For this author, in my college days, this would have been a serious problem. My backpack - complete with textbooks - must have been lost more times than I had hot dinners. Okay, well, maybe not that many times - but a lot.
Now there is a solution with some rental companies: insurance. This again adds slightly to the cost, plus there is the hassle of claiming and the time without the book. But at least it's a solution; if you need this, make sure the rental company offers. Again, it's something to think about.
- Returning the book: The rental companies make this easy. Each book comes has a postage paid mailing label, which you print out from within your account at the rental company. So, all you have to do is print it out and pop it in the post.
- Extending the rental period: The rental companies again make this easy. You can easily extend the rental period by logging into your account with the rental company, and selecting "extend rental". Sorted.
- Important: textbooks as reference books Okay, so this is important, especially if your in Freshman year. In many courses, as you approach your final year, you may need to refer back to stuff you learned in your first year.
You may need the actual book for this. Try and get some advice off your professor or college. It really does depend on the course.
- Right to Sell: With rentals, you lose the ability to sell your textbooks. Many students sell back via Amazon and other sites, recouping a large amount of their textbook costs. With this, just be careful you don't need the textbook as a reference book.
That concludes our notes on Renting versus Buying textbooks.
We invite you to continue...