College textbooks prices can be straight up ridiculous and it is possible for your textbook costs to total nearly a thousand dollars each semester. With the Internet age upon us, why not use its vast capabilities to work in your favor? Dozens of websites are now offering affordable textbooks rentals with thousands of popular titles available.
Why buy a book you'll only use for one semester when you can rent for a fraction of the price (you could save up to 95%)? For your convenience, I have compiled 6 of the most reputable and trusted textbook rental services in the remainder of this article. If you're looking for the best deal, use the search feature in each of the sites listed below and shop for the lowest rental price on each textbook!
Chegg is one of the leading providers of textbook rentals and probably the most popular option. They have a wide selection of textbooks available for rental and use some of their profits to help out their communities and the environment (planting trees). Chegg has excellent customer service, offers easy returns, and multiple payment options (including Paypal). Chegg is likely your best bet for renting textbooks and is the first on my list when I begin the textbook search.
eCampus is another solid option for renting college textbooks and have been awarded with many accolades including About.com's “#1 Source for Buying Textbooks” 2 consecutive years. They have an excellent ‘textbook guarantee' that allows you to return your rental or purchases within 25 days for a refund, no questions asked. This is ideal for anyone who drops a class or switches their schedule within the first weeks of the semester. You can also extend your rental anytime you'd like.
BookRenter is another popular online service that has been around since 2006. It offers textbook rentals with benefits like free shipping, free returns, and a satisfaction guarantee. Their return period (for a refund) is slightly shorter than eCampus's offering 21-days instead of 25. They are BBB accredited and offer credit (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, & Discover) and debit cards for payment options.
CampusBookRentals has made it to #17 on the Inc. 5000 list and Forbes has called it “One of Americas Most Promising Companies”. They offer free shipping both ways, 21-day returns, live customer support, and flexible rental periods. Another interested feature is they allow you to highlight the textbooks as much as you'd like during your rental period. They have served over a million students on over 5,871 different campuses and counting so rest assured they are a very legitimate company!
Half.com is a subsidiary of eBay, the popular online marketplace and auction service. They offer a large selection of rental textbook titles that can save you money and add convenience to your stressful life as a college student. You have the option to rent from 30-125 day periods, can easily compare prices across multiple sellers, and includes free return shipping. Paypal (also owned by eBay) is accepted when renting from Half.com.
BookByte is a trusted name in textbook rentals and includes some excellent benefits for students. These include an average cost of 73% less than your rental textbook's list price, 10% cash rebate when your rented books are returned, free shipping both ways (on orders over $49), and the ability to choose your own rental terms. If you decide to buy the book at anytime during your rental period, you can do so quickly and easily.Did you know you could get a free 6-month Amazon Prime Student membership with any valid .EDU email address? Benefits include free 2-day shipping, free release-date delivery on video games, DVDs, and books as well as exclusive deals and promotions. Sign up for a free Amazon Prime Student account here!
Photo Credit: Christopher Rodriguez
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.