Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where should I rent textbooks from?

Something that very few people warn you about in college: buying texts books. It sucks. It's expensive. It's a hassle and it happens all over again every semester.

Unless you plan on keeping your books I highly suggest renting them. Occasionally I decide to keep a book for my major so that I may utilize it as a resource in the future. However, you do not need your freshman year math 101 or Intro to needlework gen ed books. With renting it can be up to 80% cheaper and you will probably sell back the text book even if you do decide to buy it.

I did my research this semester and explored 6 of the main text book renting sites. When I order my books I want it to be fast, cheap and want to be able to order them all from the same site. It makes returning them less of a headache and it's normally cheaper because there's less shipping. Only three of the six sites I used has all of the books I needed. I compared their prices, site accessibility and return dates/policies. While price was my main motivator for researching these, I made my decision based off of all of these criteria.

I researched:

First, the big guy in town-

The website is by far the easiest to navigate.
The return of the books is super easy.
You can send back any books you don't want and they'll buy them from you.
They give you detailed summaries of your order, which books are coming from where and their arrival dates.

If they don't have the book in stalk they pull from a partner, so you're paying for that shipping too.
The shipping is the most expensive.
Their return date is earlier than some of their competitor.
Tax was expensive.

Final cost: 

Next is

This was the cheaper by almost $40
No tax.
The shipping was cheaper.
They give you detailed summaries of your order, which books are coming from where and their arrival dates.

Website was slightly more confusing.
The return date is early- soon after my finals are over.
They pulled most of their books from their partners.
Final Cost:

The return date is the latest.
They had all the books I needed.

It was the most expensive.
The website was annoying.
It didn't tell you whether books were coming from other sites.
It didn't give you an estimated arrival date.

Final Cost:

The other 3 didn't have a lot of the books I wanted so I didn't even go any further with them. 

The final verdict:
Although it was more expensive, I went with Chegg is the most popular renting site. The website is fast and easy to use. The return process is super simple, They'll buy from you other texbooks you don't need. Chegg is a little more expensive than some of it's competitors but I feel the service is better. They tell you which books are coming from them and their partners, when they'll arrive by and the total cost for each sub-shipment. All in all, I like the ease of chegg enough to spend a little more. 

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