I still remember being frustrated at having to spend $150 on a college textbook that I would look at for a few months and then never open it again. After doing this a couple semesters, I finally realized that I could resell them on Amazon and make a bit of my money back. But renting textbooks – now that’s an idea!
I just found out about this site called Chegg.com which allows you to do just that.
How it works
Basically it works like this:
- You search their website for the textbooks you need
- They ship the books to you
- You use them for the semester
- You return the books back to Chegg
A couple things that caught my eye about the whole Chegg plan…
- 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee.
- Ship Date Guarantee – just to make sure you get your book on time.
- Book Quality Guarantee – if it doesn’t meet your standards they will ship another one out to you.
- They have a pretty cool iPhone app that lets you scan barcodes and compare prices.
- Free return shipping – when you are done with your book you can ship it back free.
- They plant a tree for every rental.
From some of the books I saw listed on their site it seems like books rent (for a semester) for about 20%-40% of the books list price. For example the list price on Organic Chemistry below is $213.75, but it can be rented for $47.49.
Which is a pretty good deal for the people who normally buy their textbooks new and then let them rot on the shelf after school’s out.
Depending on the textbook you still might be able to come out ahead if you buy the book used and then immediately sell it after the semester is over, but Chegg.com would definitely be easier.
Have you tried renting textbooks before? Would you ever try it?
This article was originally published on August 12, 2010.