One of the biggest practical jokes perpetrated upon college students (and parents) is that of the college textbook. After paying the equivalent of several cars-worth of money for college, the poor student (and parent) finds out during orientation that they have to pay $100 for a book that anywhere else wouldn’t cost more than $5. Oh, and the professor says you must get that particular one. Because I wasn’t the strongest student in the world, some of those expensive textbooks went uncracked all year.
I graduated from college about two decades ago. Because I’d paid a few thousand dollars for them, I couldn’t get myself to throw away my textbooks for years. “Maybe they’ll be of use,” I’d tell myself. But as the years went on, I realized that I never cracked one of those books open again. Of course I couldn’t sell them more than two years later, because they were worthless. And they couldn’t be accepted for recycling. So into the trash they went, to fill some landfill somewhere. I mourned for those trees that gave their lives for such an ignominious end.
This is why I LOVE the idea of Chegg Textbook Rentals. It breaks the monopoly of the local college bookstore, letting you receive new and used textbooks by UPS. Whether you rent from them or buy a used textbook, you’re going to save a TON of money.
One great thing about Chegg is that for every textbook you buy or rent from them, they’ll plant a tree, ensuring that the planet will have enough oxygen for you to help you stay awake during those long lectures.
Another college textbook rental website is collegebookrenter.com, which works very much the same way–you can rent, sell, or buy textbooks much cheaper than at a college bookstore.
What’s cool about these folks is that they donate a portion of their proceeds to the American Heart Association every semester!
Finally, there’s BookRenter.com. Like the other two services, BookRenter.com supports multiple schools.
And they do have a charitable component as well–for every order on BookRenter they’ll make a donation to First Book to put new books in the hands of children in need.
College textbook rental is a service whose time has finally come. I just wish they’d been around when I was in school. I do like how all the services incorporate search features on their Web site to let you choose books by your school, and even the specific class or professor you have. And I really like how each of these companies donates a portion of their profits to a worthy cause.
Barnes and Noble and Amazonhave similar programs, but something tells me these scrappy new startups will give both of those massive booksellers a run for their money, as long as they focus on a great experience for shoppers. If you have experience with any of these services, I’d love to hear comments comparing them.
Bottom line, what’s great about these sites is that they let you avoid the scam of buying new college textbooks. The publishers know that students are going to pay through the nose because they fear that if they don’t do things the “traditional way”, their grades will somehow suffer. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you get that shiny new copy from your college bookstore, if you rent a shiny new copy from a college textbook rental website, or even if you get a “previously loved” version. Just read it when you’re supposed to, and your grades will be fine!
If you know someone in college who could use a little savings, “Like” this post or share it on Facebook!