Students Embrace Textbook Rentals at Record Rates in 2011
Thousands of students use our service to locate the cheapest source of textbooks. We are seeing a marked increase in students choosing to rent textbooks. The lower upfront payout of rentals means college students have more money available.
Aug. 29, 2011 - PRLog -- Textbook rentals have been an alternative to buying textbooks for a short 3 years. In that time the number of companies and campuses offering textbook rentals has exploded. As of March 2011 market leader Chegg has rented textbooks at more than 6400 college campuses. Bookseller Barnes and Noble rents textbooks through its’ owns 636 college bookstores. College bookstores operated by Follett Higher Education Group also started up a rental program. The number of online textbook rental companies have gone from 6 last summer to a dozen sites specializing in textbook rentals this summer. The question is has the demand for textbook rentals by students also expanded? Bob Jones, Founder of Cheap-Textbooks.com, reports an increase in textbooks rentals of 30% over last years rate. “Thousands of students use our service every day to locate the cheapest source of textbooks. We are seeing a marked increase in students choosing to rent textbooks.” reports Mr. Jones. “I built my first pricing tool to help me find the online pricing without taking hours of research” says Mr. Jones. “With pricing reported from over 50 sites including a dozen rental sites I aim to help students easily know all of their textbook purchase options.”
Online alternatives are substantially better than buying the book from the college bookstore, and selling it back to the bookstore at the end of the semester. On average rented textbooks cost about 50% of the new price. Using the Cheap-Textbooks.com price comparison service revealed a popular Psychology textbook available from rental sites at rates that range from $44 to $86 for a semesters rental. Used prices for the same book were from $71 to $155. The site also reported buy back quotes as high as $55 for used textbooks making used textbooks an equally cheap choice but the higher up front costs of buying used and reselling makes textbook rentals an attractive option. The lower upfront payout of rentals means college students have more money available during the semester. Savings can be substantial with students being asked to spend in excess of $1000 a year on textbooks according to the College Board. And that most likely will increase: Over the past 20 years, textbook prices have increased at twice the inflation rate, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. It is also important to know that textbook prices, both used and rental, change on a daily basis depending on the supply.
A word of caution: If the books are damaged or lost during your rental, you could be charged the full retail value.
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Cheap-Textbooks.com is a free service that searches the Internet for the lowest prices on rental, new, eBook and used textbooks. The site collects current pricing from over 50 sites and generates a single report of everyones cheapest price for each textbook query.