Save Money - RENT Textbooks

As a student, you're always on the lookout for money saving ideas. I don't so much mind paying my fees heck - you don't have much of a choice, but what always irks me is shelling out hundreds of dollars for textbooks. I've been quite lucky in that I've only come across three occasions in the last couple of years where I've had to spend more than $100 for one textbook but then, I'm an English girl. As soon as you venture into the maths and sciences, books can easily start at $100 and work their way up.

I stumbled on a story over at Webaware today which highlights a couple of websites that have textbooks for rent. Yes, for rent. It's a truly genius idea and I must say, looking around I'm also impressed with the prices! Under $20 for renting a book for the semester? Better than shelling out $100!

Photo care of drdrewhonolulu on Flickr.

To sort of "test" the sites, I devised an evil scheme. It's not really that evil.

I picked a book I've used in the past and which is on the summer course list for Douglas College. The text in question is David G. Myers' "Psychology" which is used for not 1 but 2 classes at Douglas - the Intro to Psychology 1100 and 1200. Cost of the book through the Douglas College Bookstore is $113.65+tax for a brand new book and $85.25+tax if you happen to find a used copy. I took the ISBN number and plugged into the three book rental sites and here are the results and some initial thoughts: - Clean, sleek site, easy to navigate and find stuff. They didn't have the book for rent, only available for purchase. Other major problem at the moment is that they don't ship to Canada. - Not as clean and nice and easy to navigate but they have the book in question. Their rental cost: 1 semester (125 days) for $17.14 or rent it for 1 quarter (80 days) for $17.04. There's also a buy option starting at $20 but I'm not quite sure how accurate that is. Site is such a mess, I couldn't figure out if they even ship to Canada. - Also clean and easy to use. This is my favourite of the bunch mostly because they have the book and the usability of Bookrenter. Their cost: $4.97 for a semester, $4.47 for a quarter and $4.22 for a summer. Only downside to these folks is that currently, they don't ship outside the US. :(

All of the sites seem to charge shipping costs based on how quickly you want your book and those charges range from $4 to $20 but still, that's quite a savings, especially if you do your research early and can give yourself enough time to have the book shipped the slow route. To boot, if you can do this with more than one textbook, you could potentially save yourself a whole truckload of money. All of these places even have the option to buy at the end of your rental period. NICE.

Only downside is that from my bit of research, none of these services are currently available in Canada and there doesn't seem a Canadian site providing the same service. Hopefully, this will change soon! In the meantime, I'm sure creative folks can find a way around the restrictions. Whether it's worth it or not is another thing all together.


Post a Comment 5 comments:

delinear said...

Doing a quick comparison with Chegg and Abebooks, it's about the same price to buy used as it is to rent... Where's the value?

October 14, 2009 5:10 p.m.

Term Paper Sample said...

In this era of web 2.0, we easily get nice & updated information for research purposes... I'd definitely appreciate the work of the said blog owner... Thanks!

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December 26, 2009 1:51 a.m.

Ali said... is a 100% Canadian textbook rental service. They currently offer their rental program to University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and McMaster.

December 29, 2009 7:31 p.m.

Anonymous said... check these guys out. I think they are brand new. Looks pretty good

March 06, 2010 10:51 p.m.

Anonymous said...

March 06, 2010 10:53 p.m.

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