Amazon Starts Renting (Physical) Textbooks

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Amazon announced today that it is now renting out physical textbooks, in addition to the online rentals it debuted last year.  Those of us who have purchased textbooks from Amazon know that it can “buyback” books you’ve purchased from the site, but it only pays you back in store credit (and not very much of it, either).  According to VentureBeat, most of these print books will rent at $30-$60 per semester (130 days + possible 15-day extension).

By renting out print books, Amazon’s entering a market that’s been growing more crowded lately.  Services like Chegg and Ebay’s Half.com rent books at similar price ranges, but The Verge posits that “Amazon’s ubiquity means it’s likely to make the practice more mainstream.”  Rent out your books before it’s too cool, and check out Amazon’s textbook rental here.  Fanhirs of the company may also want to check out Amazon Prime Student for free two-day shipping.

And how does one  get their textbooks without being ripped off?

Tip#1, dear frosh, is to avoid Broad Street Books at all costs.  In my experience, I have never found a textbook for cheaper at Broad Street than online.  Check out some words of wisdom from the NYT Bucks Blog, essentially reminding us that we can save through 1) price comparison websites, 2) e-books, and 3) international editions.  I can definitely vouch for BigWords.com saving some big bucks.

Also, don’t forget the newest addition to the Wesleyan textbook scene: WesBooks, where Wesleyan students buy/sell books to/from Wesleyan students.

Have other tricks for snagging your books for free?  Share ’em in the comments.

[The Verge via Gizmodo]

One thought on “Amazon Starts Renting (Physical) Textbooks

  1. Dumb Broad

    Occasionally (especially for cheaper non-textbook books) I’ve found Broad Street to be comparable to online, but I would never buy anything without checking online first. Also, if you need a particular book in the first week of class, you can always buy from Broad Street and return it before the deadline while you wait for your internet-ordered copy to arrive.

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