Due to demand from our readers, we’ve done a mite little bit of research into the top college textbook rental companies. You’d be surprised at what we’ve encountered. Some book rental outfits charge more (adding up all the fees) for renting a book in contrast with if you just popped over to Amazon and purchased it. Other rental places have some sneaky fine little print which ensures they end up pocketing wads of cash while you’re left in the dust burning.
But, not to spoil all the fun :) We did check out the more well known textbook rental companies for you, and here is what we’ve found.
But first, check out a project we’ve been working on ’til too many midnights lately. It’s a search tool that pulls the data from the main online book sellers and drops them all together for fast, easy comparison.
Introducing Our Textbook Price Comparison Tool
Plug in the ISBN (fastest) or author’s name, book title or keyword in the book title to “instantly” query all the major book sellers on the web, including Amazon, Half.com, Barnes & Nobles and many more. The tool is programmed to provide cost information for new books, used books as well as book rentals.
If you have any feedback for us regarding the book search tool, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re still busy making tweaks to it, and we apologize that it tends to be on the slow side.
College Connecting’s Book Rental Investigation
And, here’s the results from our “investigation”:
Chegg offers a 30-day refund period to return a rental textbook. They’ll even replace a text book if you’re not satisfied with the quality. As of the date of this post, they are charging the following for shipping:
- $13.99 UPS Next Day Air
- $3.99 Standard
- $4.99 Ground Shipping
- $8.99 UPS 2nd Day
Thankfully, it’s free to ship back. Their site offers an easy search function; in fact, you can search for multiple books by ISBN as well as by title and author. They offer textbook rentals by the semester (125 days) and by the quarter (85 days); they also offer 60 day rentals. There is no membership fee; the price you pay to take part in their textbook rental program is just the actual cost for renting the books.
eCampus.com is a college text book rental website that also charges no membership fee to take part in their rental program. In fact, if your rental costs $59 or more, they offer free shipping (sweet!). You can search for multiple textbooks only by ISBN, so expect your search to take a mite bit longer here than it probably would at Chegg. eCampus offers textbook rentals by the semester (130 days), by the quarter (90 days) as well as by the session (60 days). If you need the book for just a few more days, you can do that for an extra fee.
CollegeBookRenter.com is another competitor in the college textbook rental field. Their textbook search function is also limited (like eCampus) to searching for multiple textbooks only by ISBN. Like Chegg and eCampus, CollegeBookRenter.com also charges no membership fee. They offer textbook rentals by 130 day periods, 90 day periods and 60 day periods. As far as shipping goes, you can expect to pay for shipping to receive your rented textbook, but the return shipping is free.
At CampusBookRentals.com, you’re stuck to doing single book searches because they’re apparently not yet up to par as I couldn’t search for multiple books on the site. Like the other college textbook rental websites, CampusBookRentals doesn’t charge a membership fee. They offer textbooks for 130 day periods, 85 day periods and 55 day periods. And, if you tend to be a bit of a procrastinator, they even throw in a 15 day grace period (yes!). You can also obtain 15-30 day extensions on your rented textbook for an additional fee. And, to sweeten their deal, they offer free shipping both ways.
BookRenter.com is similar to CampusBookRentals.com as you have to do your book searches one by one. They offer premium shipping for free with 2-day shipping at $3.99 plus $3.99 per book. Like all the other college textbook rental businesses reviewed so far, they don’t charge any membership fees.
Skoobit.com likes to break out of the norm and has a textbook rental plan sort of system. They offer a free trial period with no membership fees. Their search feature is limited so you can’t search for multiple textbooks simultaneously. They offer free shipping both ways. From the information I’ve collected, this appears to be their current plan information (it’s a bit confusing and I may have mixed up some of the details):
- $13.99 per book per month for the 3 month plan
- $10.99 per book per month for the 4 month plan
- 4 months select plan for $59.99 a month, rent up to 6 books. Semester long plan.
- 4 months select plan for $79.99 a month, rent up to 8 books. Semester long plan.
- 45 days for $34.99 per book (limit 3 books). Summer School Plan!
The last college textbook rental site we’re reviewing is BookRentalCenter.com. Their textbook search function doesn’t permit multiple book searches simultaneously. The site also has a number of grammar errors throughout – perhaps it was written by a non-English speaker or else wasn’t carefully proofread (and don’t go looking for my typos now!). BookRentalCenter.com permits you to choose to buy the same book that you rent. They offer free shipping both ways (only priority mail, or so it appears). Through their plan system, textbooks can be rented on a 140 day period, a 120 day period, or a 60 day period. Their most popular plan is the 4 months/semester plan that costs $10.99 per book per month (plus taxes).
If you know of any other college textbook website that we’ve missed, please drop us a note below in the comments. If you have had experiences (whether good or bad) with any of the above rental companies, please let us know by leaving a comment so the rest of us will have a better idea when selecting the right place to rent our books from. Thanks much!
(Disclaimer: Textbook rental details may have changed since we collected this information. We cannot be held responsible for errors or typos or things our eyes thought they saw but didn’t really. If you represent one of these companies and we have misrepresented you, please leave a comment with the correction below. Thanks!)