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What Are the Benefits of Textbook Rental?

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There have been a lot of talks lately about textbook rentals. Although a fairly new idea, renting textbooks is growing in popularity with several online sites as well as some campus bookstores offering textbook rentals. What is it about textbook rentals that make them such a popular choice among college students?

The most attractive feature of textbook rental is the price. Renting textbooks is much cheaper than buying the same textbook new. I have seen many discount percentages from various rental companies with a conservative estimate of at least 50% off. The cost of rental textbooks is the same as the cost of purchasing a used version of the textbook if it is available. You should take into account the fact that rental textbooks do not have a residual value or sell-back value like new or used textbooks. This is a financial negative but also a positive in the fact that there is no hassle to sell, worry about the price or if you will even be able to sell back the textbook you purchased. Plus you don’t have to worry about trying to sell a purchased textbook that has lost value because a new edition has just been released. With textbook rentals, you have a clear, upfront price and that’s all you pay. 

An interesting and unique feature of textbook rentals is that many companies offer a 30-day guarantee or return option. A class is cancelled, you need to change your schedule, you skip a class, or simply find that the book is not required for the course. You can return the book and get your rental fee refunded. Try doing this with a purchased textbook.

Another great feature of textbook rental is the ability to choose the rental term that allows you to choose the shortest rental and lowest price you want. Most rental companies will let you extend the term if you find you need the book longer or buy the textbook at the end of the rental if you find the content is something you need. 

Free shipping is an added benefit that should be checked out. Any textbook rental company offers free return shipping and some even offer free initial outbound shipping.


Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle. 

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