13 August 2013

Renting Textbooks: A Way to Make Me a Little Less Poor?

As I complain mention here a lot, I am currently a grad student. I am part-time (which is a joke because it's never part-time) and also working. And because school is expensive enough, I always get a little extra stressed when the semester starts and the syllabus lists the 5,000 books we will be needing for that semester.
 
I typically spend a couple of hours searching for the cheapest price of books online. I will hit up each website and last year I even made a spreadsheet comparing prices. I had like 15 books to buy and I was not messing around. I also would be using these books for the entire year so I wanted to make sure I got a good rate.
 
For my Summer courses, I would only be taking the class for 8 weeks. With such a short time, I was kind of pissed I would have to buy books. Sure, I like to think that I can at least have these books to read and reference but in reality, the only "books" I read and reference when I have a free moment is Cosmo. That is where www.CampusBookRentals.com comes in.
 
When CampusBookRentals.com contacted me about doing a blog post about them I was totally all for it. I love, love the concept of renting books. It saved me lots this Summer and was perfect for when I needed the books for such a short time period.
 
I will admit I did use another textbook renting site in the past. And I was not the biggest fan. I was totally anal with making sure I didn't make any marks or dents in the book and was super annoyed I had to pay a (in my humble opinion) highly ridiculous fee to keep the book an extra 2 weeks for finals. After that, I was a bit jaded with book rental companies.
 
But CampusBookRentals.com is a little different. They actually let you highlight in the textbooks which is a major necessity for me. I do not feel accomplished unless I have highlighted something. Also  CampusBookRentals.com has free shipping both ways which is another huge plus and with every purchase they donate to Operation Smile which is incredibly cool because I actually participated in a fundraiser for them back in High School and they are an incredible non-profit.
 
Another cool feature that I did learn about from CampusBookRentals.com is that they are starting this new program called RentBack (www.RentBack.com) which basically lets students rent books they already own. Basically I love this idea - it is the perfect option for me because I honestly just cannot see half the books I have sitting on my shelf for much longer (true story, after I received my only D in college in a statistical economic class, I legitimately ripped my book up and lit it on fire. It was extremely cathartic if not a bit psychotic). AND they take care of it- all you have to do is send them your books, they are the middle-man and handle everything. Super stress-free and effortless which is a win-win for me (obviously).
 
I think I might give RentBack.com a go- I have previously sold my books to other students but am super awkward with money related issues and just felt uncomfortable so I would be like "No just take it, it's cool" and then hating myself for the next 3 hours. I like that I can just rent it out, get it back and rent it again. It sounds like it might be a pretty easy and nice way to make some extra side money. I will definitely let you guys know how it goes!
 
For all my blogger friends still stuck in school, have you tried using a textbook renting website before? How did you like it? Does highlighting also make you feel accomplished?

1 comment:

  1. maaaannnnnn...you're the second person who mentioned that rental book place. when i was in college, we didn't have any such thing! there was no way either because the PROFESSORS wrote most of the text books and every year, a "new edition" came out so the previous years' books were useless :(

    they should have had that though, because expensive books + broke student = wiley chinawoman doing illegal things to make ends meet and be able to study! and by illegal, i mean friends and i pooled our money together, bought ONE book, photocopied the entire thing and made multiple copies. hey, you gotta do whatcha gotta do!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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