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Trimming the Textbook Price Tag

How Renting Textbooks Could Make Your Classes Cheaper

You stand in line at your school bookstore, waiting as they total up the cost of your new textbooks for the semester. Have you ever wondered which ones were printed in gold? Or which texts had to be hand-lettered by monks? Something has to explain the high price of textbooks!

Let's face it; textbook sales are a big racket – especially in higher education. Publishers market new textbooks to your instructors. Your instructors add new textbooks to your class list. And you end up buying new textbooks because no used textbooks are available for that class.

What if there was a better way? What if you could rent textbooks for the semester? No need to worry about used books or buyback programs. And you'd end up paying less – sometimes over 50% less! Wouldn't that be worth it?

At first glance, it may seem like an odd concept. No one rents textbooks. Movies, a car, an apartment – sure. But textbooks? Strange as it sounds, it's a great way to combat the rising cost of textbooks. Here are some great reasons to consider renting your textbooks next semester:

  1. New Text Nightmares – Maybe your instructor wants to try a new textbook, or the publishing company has retired an existing text. Either way, you're stuck dishing out hard-earned money for a new textbook because no used books exist.
  2. Buyback Burn – After a semester of using your new textbook (and keeping it in relatively good shape) you are told by the bookstore that they won't be using that book next semester. Your plan to recoup some big money at the end of the semester goes up in smoke.
  3. Auction Angst – Even if you're savvy enough to consider buying used textbooks from an online auction, you can find yourself on the bad end of a deal. You might not get the right edition or it could be in horrible condition. Don't settle on a book that might not have the assigned text you need.
  4. Go Green! – Even if you're not overly concerned about the green coming out of your wallet, think of the environment. By renting textbooks instead of buying them new, you'll be saving trees from being cut down for paper. Wouldn't you rather have a nice tree than a math book?

Sure, renting textbooks may seem odd at first. But it's a great way to save money and help the environment. With the money you save on one semester, you might keep the local pizza delivery place in business all year long.