Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: Campus Book Rentals

I’ve heard of renting cars, jewelry, furniture & appliances.  I even rented my wedding dress because I could not afford the style I wanted.  Now I have learned that you can rent college text books! I love this idea!  How many of you still have your old college text books & you really don’t know why because you haven’t used them again since you were in college?

The textbook market is roughly $10 billion annually. There are nearly 20,000,000 college students attending nearly 8,000 schools in the United States. Renting their books rather than buying sounds like such a great way to save money.  

Founded in 2007, Campus Book Rentals is a relatively young company that provides such a service.  They describe themselves as being the Netflix for textbooks.  Students pay to keep books for a specific amount of time.  By using their services, students can save around 50% on college textbooks.  I played around on their site a little searching for books I thought my daughter might be required to have for college and I found all of the books and most could be rented for 40%-50% off of the retail purchase price.

The website is inviting and very easy to maneuver around.  Every question I could think of to ask, I found the answer on their site. Membership and registration is free.  Their website touts,
“Pretty simple, No hassles & No worries!”. 
I googled their name & tried to dig up some dirt on the company and couldn’t find anything.  In fact they stand above many of the older companies because they offer free shipping .  

There were many perks I found to using this company.

  • You choose the time you keep the book.  You can keep it for a semester, quarter,  summer or you name the date in which you return it.  If you drop the class or just don’t need the book anymore & return it within 30 days, there is a full refund! 
  •  They have a grace period.  From the website; “We have incorporated, at no extra charge, a  15 day grace period which allows you to rent your book early or hold on to it late in the case of a later than normal final exam.” 
  •   Returning the books is easy.  They send ,with your books, a return envelope. 
  •  You don’t have to be in college to rent books.  They will let anyone rent from them. 
  •  If you decide that you really like the book, they let you buy it! 
  •  Books are shipped free & returned for free.

If books are lost or damaged the student is responsible for the remaining value of the book. So if a student rents a book for $40 but the retail price of the book is $75 then the student will have to pay the $35 if something happens to the book.  They do have a Protection program.  From the website; “Our Loss / Damage Protection program offers you peace of mind at an incredible value. If you select the protection option during final checkout, should your book become lost, stolen, or damaged beyond reasonable use, we will promptly send you a placement copy (if you still require the use of your book), or waive the full purchase fee. When you protect your books, you can worry about your studies, not your books.”

Ok, now there is another big plus to using Campus Book Rentals.  They take a portion of the money from rentals and give to Operation Smile.  If you haven’t heard of Operation Smile you will be so blessed by their mission.  They perform surgeries on children in other countries who were born with cleft palettes.   Campus Book Rentals has partnered with Operation Smile to help them raise awareness and money.  Campus Book Rentals goal is to fund 1,000 surgeries. So not only do you save money on your textbooks, but you are also helping a very good cause. 
I encourage you to give their site a look over, especially if you have students about to leave for college.  This site could save you a lot of money!