Textbook Rental: Is it a smart thing?

College Textbook ComparisonThere is an increasing trend of renting college textbooks online rather than buying. A lot of companies, big and small are beginning to offer textbook rental services online. But how will you know if renting your college textbooks online is the right thing for you to do?

1.      Work out how much it would cost you if you were to buy all your books. You will need to put some effort in to doing this but it will not be a waste of time. Go on to your campus bookstore and check the price of your book both new and used. Then spend a few minutes researching online how much your book list would cost if you were to purchase, new or used, from an online bookstore.  

2.      Evaluate the usage of your textbooks. Assess the duration that you will need your textbooks for. If you an English major looking for classic literature that you will use time and time again, then you might consider buying it.  If you will only need a particular textbook for one subject of your degree then you might consider textbook rental for just the time you need it. 

3.      Check out the textbook buy-back programs. Do some research on how much you will get if you were to re-sell your textbook once you have finished with it.  For example, if you buy a book for $100 and you could sell it back for $75- this deal is much better than renting it for $30. 

4.      Workout the total cost of renting your textbooks. Consider the shipping costs of your textbooks. How much would it cost if you would have to ship it back? Check the policy of the company you are borrowing from, they may have condition requirements for when you return the book. Do you have to return the books before your semester ends? What happens if a book gets lost? Check there are no hidden conditions with your book rental?

5.      Always COMPARE. Compare your options with a comparison service like Rentscouter.com. Comparing the different options will give you the best deal possible. A lot of college students choose to rent textbooks online since it is the great way to save money, but to ensure that you are making the right decision better yet spend an amount of your time and effort in doing the the things above.