Renting Cheap College Textbooks

Here’s a way to find cheap college textbooks: rent them.

This seems so logical, but it’s taken an awfully long time for the idea of renting used college textbooks to take root.

At least a couple of companies are now renting cheap college textbooks to students who are eager to shrink their book tab.

A story in The New York Times focused on, which is experiencing explosive growth. Another textbook competitor is

According to the article, here’s how works:

With demand for good deals on textbooks running high, Chegg’s success comes in large part from being able to address those inefficiencies. While Chegg primarily rents books, it is also essentially acting as a kind of “market maker,” gathering books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting — or sometimes selling — them to other students at the start of a new one. That provides liquidity to the market…

If you’re wondering why college textbooks are so expensive – a single book can easily cost $150 or more – I wrote a blog explaining the phenomenon earlier this year.

Learn more about cutting the cost of college by reading my book, The College Solution. Lynn O’Shaughnessy

Read More:

Amazon’s Kindle Taking Aim at Textbook Prices

Cutting the Cost of College Textbooks

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  1. Like I have said in another response, the textbooks are a KILLER! You really got to know what to do in order take the sting out of buying those books. I mean that’s all you can really do; We need the books in order to do well in our classes! Renting is a definitely good choice, especially if you’re not wanting to keep books as reference, such as for basic requirement classes that don’t pertain to your major.

    for saving money, I strong;y recommend people looking at one of my lenses I created specifically on the topic of buying and selling textbooks:

  2. have you ever tried out I tried chegg and was having problems so I thought I would try something else out. a friend told me about them and I loved it! the prices are already cheaper and plus she gave me her code EE15007 and it saved me 5% on top of that. you should try it out!!

  3. Chegg is not always the best solution. Sometime if you run out of options then you turn to chegg. Usually, I would hunt down the books in my own library and then the interloan library, then or, and then if it turns out nothing it cheaper, then chegg and other book renter. One thing about book renter company is that you can resell the books to get back the money. Also, they are not always cheaper. But if you can have a system to buy online and then resell them after you take the finals, then you get most of your money back. If you are lucky, you even make some pocket money. I have been doing this for the last 3 years. It works. You just need a bit of hints of where to look for books and tips to sell your books fast before the new edition come out (then your book price would drop to hell). I share all of the tips I used on my site/ If you are interested, please do come by.

  4. Whether renting or buying I always use They are a price comparison textbook search engine that searches all the online textbook retailers (including amazon, half, ebay etc) and rental sites (including chegg, bookrenter etc) to find you the best prices. You can even use them at the end of the semester to search for resellers to sell your books to.

  5. Hey, renting is great and all, but I found that sometimes buying it can actually be cheaper in certain cases, especially if you do not care about getting a used book. Even better if you can get an edition prior to the one required. I have used book price comparison sites like BookSpy.Net to compare renting to buying in the past. Like I said though, it depends on the situation, but it is worth a shot to save money.

  6. Renting textbooks is a great option for sure, as along as you don’t want to write in your books or keep them. Alot of people keep talking about how renting textbooks is cheaper, honestly if you just search online you can probably find your textbooks for even cheaper then what you would spend for renting it. There is this site called that is a retail search engine that finds your college textbooks, and they will seriously compare your textbooks with every retail site online to locate your textbook for the cheapest price out there. I all ways try to make my first stop when it comes to searching for my textbooks.