More students are turning to renting their college textbooks and it is fast becoming a popular option but is it the smarter option?
Price Everything Out
The first thing that you should consider doing when weighing up your options is spend a few minutes pricing your books, checking the cost for new and used. Although it may be a little time consuming it is well worth the effort and the campus bookstore is probably your best place to start. You should do a bit of research online and compare prices against the campus shop so that you have a definitive cost estimate.
Evaluate Future Needs
You should also spend a little time working out what you need the books for. If you are an English major do you want to actually keep the great works of literature that you will be reading this semester for future reference? If you are studying chemistry will you need the textbook for future reference the following semester? Asking and answering these questions will also help you evaluate whether you should be renting or purchasing.
Another option to consider is to check for any textbook buy-back programs that the college or other suppliers might be operating. If you buy a book for $100 and the supplier will buy it back at a guaranteed price of $75, that may work out to be a better deal than the cost of rental. To get a true cost comparison you should view your purchase versus rental costs over the entire semester rather than the first few weeks.
Complete Comparison and Fees
You need to figure out the total cost of renting your textbooks to get a fair comparison so you should take into account things like shipping costs. If you need the books in a hurry, overnight shipping will be expensive, also what will it cost to send them back at the end of the rental period?
Also be aware that the rental company might impose fees if the books are deemed to be not in acceptable condition when they are returned and also check what the fees for lost books are. It is obviously wise to be fully aware of any hidden or potential added fees associated with your textbook rental agreement.
Compare, Compare, Compare
The final piece of advice is to compare costs and options as much as you possibly can. Look at all options to see which one suits your personal needs and budget. The main options to compare are buying used against renting, renting compared to borrowing from the library and so on. The only way that you can be sure that you are getting the best possible deal is to know what all your options are.
Conclusion, A Great Way To Save
Many students now consider renting textbooks is a great way to save money and with a little time and effort spent researching, you may well find it is the best option for you as well.