BookRenter to Be the NetFlix of Textbook Rentals

bookrenterWith the rising costs of college tuition and the still struggling economy, textbook booksellers are hard at work to help relieve a bit of the financial burden to students by renting, not selling books, to cash-strapped academicians.

Online book rental companies, like Chegg and others, provide an opportunity to save on the cost of college textbooks by offering young intellects a chance to rent their semester textbooks. Now, BookRenter, a college textbook rental start-up, has received $10 million in investment money to make them the NetFlix of textbook rentals.

According to Tech Crunch, BookRenter’s system is quite easy: Students are able to save money by loaning textbooks for a fixed duration, usually a semester, and end up spending only the fraction of the cost of outright purchases. A student simply searches for a book on the website using a title or ISBN, and places an order by selecting a rental period and delivery option. The book(s) are delivered complete with return UPS labels for easy shipping.

BookRenter currently provides book rentals to 1.3 million students and has 75 bookstore partners which they pool their inventory from. Schools that offere a textbook rental store on the BookRenter platform include the University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina State University, the University of Memphis, the City College of San Francisco, and the University of San Diego.

BookRenter sets itself apart from other online textbook rental companies by offering quicker shipping and more accommodating loan schedules.

We’ll see how things are the new start-up once the school year begins again this fall.


3 Responses to “BookRenter to Be the NetFlix of Textbook Rentals”

  1. Wayne says:

    My only complaint besides poor customer service at times is that sometimes the rental price is within a few dollars of the retail used book price.

  2. john kilby says:

    Textbook rentals are starting to catch on – the high cost of textbooks coupled with students’ preference for a real book over digital have driven rental demand over the last year.

    That demand has highlighted a few issues:

    1) Shipping speed. It may shock you to learn that many college students don’t plan ahead and buy their books well before they need them.

    2) Selection. Popular textbooks have gone out of stock quickly at some textbook rental sites.

    3) Terms. Some colleges offer 30 day classes, while textbook rental sites offer only four month or longer terms.

    Several textbook rental sites have addressed all of these difficulties. the best I’ve found is National Book Rentals at Bigger selection, more shipping options (at a reasonable price), and shorter rental terms (at a lower price).

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