Rent Books Online for College

By: Staff Writer

The trend of college students renting textbooks online instead of purchasing them from a bookstore seems to be more than just a passing fad. These days, there are a number of reputable websites that students can rent books online for college.

Rent Books Online for College

The question for most students is which company is the best to rent from. While other students, for various reasons, may still be hesitant about renting books online for college. In this article we will list some of the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs. buying college textbooks. We will also list a few websites that rent college textbooks and their differing prices and approaches.

If you are wondering if you should rent books online for college, then consider the following advantages and disadvantages of renting vs. buying.

Advantages:

  • You can shop from the comfort of your own home without having to go to the bookstore or standing in line.
  • If you don’t want your textbooks after your classes end, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the bookstore will buy them back.
  • Even if you can sell your books back to the bookstore when you are finished with them, you may still save money by renting your books.
  • The amount of money needed up front is much less when you rent.

Disadvantages:

  • If a book is damaged, most online rental companies will charge you for the book, yet, they will still have ownership of the book.
  • Although you can write and highlight in rented textbooks, it can’t be excessive.
  • If you decide you want to keep certain textbooks, you will have to negotiate with the renal company to buy them. Fortunately most companies will allow you to purchase books that you don’t want to return.

Since renting books online for college has become quite mainstream, most of the fear of renting textbooks online has been diminished, and a majority of students have found that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Options:

When it comes to renting books online for college, there are a variety of options to choose from. Most of the big companies like CollegeBookRenter.com, BookRenter.com, and ECampus.com charge a certain amount for a period of time for each textbook. To illustrate this point, we found the same Precalculus book on the three websites listed above, and created a table to show how they charge. The name of the book is “Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus” by James Stewart. The length of time each website allows for their pricing points varies slightly from website to website. Since all of the time frames were similar, we just separated them into three general categories: short-term, quarter, and semester.

Website Short-Term Quarter Semester
CollegeBookRenter.com $43.68 $39.75 $38.88
BookRenter.com $63.71 $53.04 $43.89
ECampus.com $59.47 $56.50 $53.52

Keep in mind that this is just an illustration to show how they charge, not what they charge. We make no claims about the differences in services between the three websites or that one is cheaper across the board than the others.

There is another option to rent books online for college that is different than most of the other companies. The website is called BookSwim.com. They actually don’t specialize in renting textbooks like some of these other websites, as they rent all kinds of books. They do, however, also rent textbooks, and their model for renting textbooks (as well as other books) is the same model that Netflix uses. You choose a plan that includes how many books you want at a time, and you pay a flat monthly fee. There are no late fees or shipping charges. As soon as you return the books you don’t want/need any longer, they send you the next books on your list. Their pricing is given below.

3 books at a time $23.95/month
5 books at a time $29.95/month
7 books at a time $35.95/month
11 books at a time $59.95/month

If you need a lot of textbooks for your classes, and especially if they are expensive textbooks, you’ll most likely get more bang for your buck with BookSwim.com. Plus, their plans offer a lot more flexibility. If you are looking to rent books online for college, though, you should research all of your options and make a decision that’s best for your individual situation.

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