Something that often surprises college freshman is the fact that the college bookstore isn’t the only option. Online retailers often have the new and used books for a fraction of the price. After perusing this newfound selection, inevitably students run into textbook rentals. Are there advantages over renting when you can buy and then sell after the semester is over? Are there reasons you wouldn’t rent? We decided to ask some questions to get to the truth of the matter so students can get the best deal on required textbooks.
First thing students notice is that renting textbooks is cheaper. They require less cash upfront and you know exactly what it’s going to cost at the beginning of the semester. It’s easier to budget when you don’t have to guess at what the buyback price will be. Rentals are also easy to return, generally only requiring a trip to the postbox. Shopping for textbooks is also easy because it’s online and search results are easier to scan than bookshelves.
There are also some drawbacks to rentals. Supplementary materials such as access codes may not be included. You may also have some unexpected expenses should the book get damaged. Also, however unlikely, you may one day wish to use the book as a reference only to have it on it’s way back to the rental company.
We looked at the facts and realized that both options can be beneficial for students. That’s why we provide both rentals and the option to purchase the book. That way students can weigh their options and decide which route works better for them. We believe the best option for students is one that is both convenient and inexpensive, and that learning how to be an adult by making smart decisions puts students ahead of the crowd.
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