The Best Sites To Rent Or Buy Textbooks In US
College and university textbooks seldom last a lifetime, and although essential, it’s definitely not something that most people would treasure in the long run. Also, these don’t come cheap and can cost anywhere from tens to thousands of dollars. Now irrespective of whether you can afford it or not, it’s definitely going to be a waste of money that could have been used for other student essentials.
To help you stay minimalistic, there are a ton of student-specific resources available online, but in this article, we would focus on sites that let you rent college textbooks in the US — this includes physical (paperback or hardcover) and digital forms of textbooks. We strongly recommend renting textbooks irrespective of your affordability since you won’t need them once you’ve cleared your semester. If that sounds agreeable, then you probably want to start renting your textbooks right away. To help you make the right choice, below listed are some of the best resources to rent college textbooks in the US.
Chegg is a California-based company that lets you source from over 34,000 ISBNs. You can find both physical and digital textbooks and have the option to either rent or buy them. Chegg claims to make textbooks available at 90 percent lesser cost as compared to what you would otherwise spend on your textbooks. Also, Chegg brings you some of the best tutors, willing to help you crack even the toughest questions from your textbook. All you need to do is click a photo of your problem area from your textbook and send it over to Chegg. In less than 30 minutes, one of Chegg’s Experts would clarify that for you.
Chegg brings you useful resources that make writing assignments much easier.
What makes Chegg so good?
- Chegg is a one-stop solution for your textbook-related needs and makes them available at reasonable prices.
- Chegg offers a 21-day free trial period with every book that they ship. Also, orders above $35 qualify for free shipping.
- You can greatly benefit from the wide range of resources that Chegg makes available, which includes plagiarism checker, grammar correction and bibliography related support for your assignments.
- Chegg also lists a whole bunch of internship opportunities that you can apply for.
Amazon has a wide range of textbooks available in some of the most specialized disciplines such as Business and Finance, Engineering, Medicine, Law and more. Amazon lets you rent, buy and sell your textbooks, and also offers great deals for those who have the Amazon Prime Student Membership. If you aren’t familiar with this, then all you need to know is that it is Amazon Prime, with a 50 percent off, exclusively for students. Prime Student offers an assortment of benefits including steep discounts and free 2-Day shipping on textbooks. However, there are other websites that do a much better job than Amazon, when it comes to renting textbooks.
Why is Amazon a “so-so” choice?
- Amazon is a well-established brand with enormous technical capabilities.
- Amazon offers a 7-day refund, on the textbooks that you purchase.
Easier textbook lending and borrowing interface.
- Lets you search a title by author name, book name, and ISBN.
TextbookRush, the Ohio-based textbooks renting and buying company focuses on a wide range of topics. With a smaller set-up and fewer business verticals, TextbookRush is yet another great platform that makes books more affordable and easily accessible. Although renting and buying textbooks is its main focus, the company also lets you buy and sell games and movies. Now that’s a great way to make some money and use it to rent books this semester. However, when compared to Chegg, TextbookRush is much smaller and hence, more flexible.
Why do we recommend TextbookRush?
- TextbookRush has a vast collection of over 600,000 titles.
- TextbookRush lets you conveniently extend a rental or upgrade it to purchase.
- Orders above $35 qualify for free return shipping.
- Easy to annotate and take notes in ebooks, which can be accessed on computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
4. Campus Books
When it comes to using textbooks for referencing, you don’t need most of them all through the semester. However, there are some that you may need in the long run and so we recommend that you categorize and list down all the textbooks that you are going to need along with the duration. For your long-term needs, we recommend Campus Books because the makers of this site understand how important it is to have some of those textbooks all through the semester. So, they let you rent a book according to your convenience, either for a month or for an entire semester. Also, most Professors don’t approve of students holding gadgets and referring to ebooks during lectures. This is when renting physical textbooks for the entire semester from sources like campus books works like a charm.
Why we recommend CampusBooks
- Campus Books has a dedicated SuperBot that tells you how beneficial it is to rent a book, instead of buying it.
- You can look up for textbooks with additional supplementary study materials like CDs.
- Ideal for long term textbook renting.
We know how it feels when you need the textbook so badly before the exams and you’ve got to return them because you can’t extend your rental. In fact, it is due to this unpleasant experience that most students stop renting textbooks and prefer to buy them. If any such unpleasant experience has kept you from renting books then you can get started all over again with Knetbooks. We don’t say that you should never buy textbooks but instead, you need to limit your purchases to the ones that you are going to use for a longer duration and can’t do without.
Why do we recommend Knetbooks?
- Offers multiple rental options.
- Give you the flexibility to extend your rental.
- Lets you convert your rental into a purchase at any time.
If none of the above options worked out for you, and you are still hunting for that chemistry textbook then eCampus is yet another option that you can explore. Just like all the other sites mentioned above, it offers all the standard benefits that come with book renting. However, eCampus’ services aren’t limited to textbooks, so you also order best-selling novels and more.
Why do we recommend eCampus?
- Attractive rewards that convert into points and lets you rent books, in exchange.
- Free shipping for orders above $35.
If you ordered a textbook and it took a really long time to arrive then try Textbook Underground. As this book rental service provider is strategically located in the Midwest, you get the books shipped to you faster, no matter where you stay.
Why do we recommend TextbookUnderground?
- Interactive social media handles.
- Convenient rental extensions up to 30 days.
- Lets you re-rent books at a discount.
- You get 15 days free grace period after the rental period is over.
Alibris is yet another popular site that lets you rent out music, movies and of course textbooks. As a responsible textbook rental company, Alibris guarantees that all the books that you source from this site are in usable condition, with no missing pages. However, for some reason, if you still aren’t satisfied with it, then you can return it within 21 days for a full refund of the rental amount.
Why do we recommend Alibris?
- Alibris has a vast collection of over 90,000 textbooks.
- Flexible rentals for 55 days, 85 days, 130 days or for an entire semester.
- Offers a free return shipping kit.
We have listed some of the major textbook renting websites, and if you wish to compare them and choose the best offer, then there are websites like textbooks.com that let you do that. However before you get started, here’s a word of caution. Price comparison websites usually have a set of partner textbook rental sites that they list out. So, for the best deal, you still need to visit the individual website.
Renting textbooks is the best thing you can do for the environment, and for your own pocket. However, you need to be careful with the books that you rent, because you would be liable to pay the ‘buy fee’ if you lose them or accidentally damage them. Also, you must refrain from highlighting in the book and if you can’t then stick to using a pencil.
Even if you’ve never rented one, we recommend that you try doing that for one of your one-and-done assignments. Once you realize the sort of money that you can save up renting textbooks, you sure will never want to buy one.