|Better To Rent Or Buy Textbooks?
So, what do you have to say about college life? Isn’t it full of fun, excitement and experiences? But then, you have an abundance of learning under your belt, which reminds you of the dreaded trip you’ll have to make to the bookstore. Of course, you need those stacks of textbooks to go along with your college education but you wouldn’t want to keep every book forever, would you? And when you plan on saving some extra bucks for the “weekend party”, you sure want to save money on your textbooks, which brings us to the bigger challenge of deciding if you should buy your textbooks or rent some.
With a number of companies offering textbook rental services, the idea of renting textbooks is becoming more popular among college students. Even though renting sounds like a wiser option, it isn’t always the smartest thing to do. Frankly speaking, it depends more on your situation and the type of book you’re looking for.
So, what do you need the book for?
Now, that’s an important question. Spending a few minutes to figure out why you need the book can help you decide if you should invest in a new/old textbook or rent one. It is true that you can find older textbooks at cheaper rates but when it comes to getting new editions, renting sounds way better. Let’s say, you’re majoring in English and you’re planning on keeping the great works of literature as part of your permanent library, you may consider buying the textbook. But, if you feel that you won’t need a particular textbook for reference later, renting is the way to go.
Buying a book
A good way to tell if you really need to buy a textbook is deciding if the book is fully related to your major and you’re sure that you would use them as reference books later on down the line.
After that you’ve decided to buy a textbook, make sure that you’ve checked with textbook buy-back programs. What if you can resell a book for $75 that you buy for $100? Don’t you think it is way better than renting the same book for 30 bucks?
Renting a textbook
When you’ve finally decided to rent a textbook, you should have a clear idea of the overnight shipping costs. Apart from this, there’re a number of questions you need to find answers of before renting any textbook. How much would it cost you to ship the book back? What if company tells you that your book isn’t in returnable condition anymore? Will you be renting the textbooks for longer than you really need? What if you lose that textbook? Does the textbook rental come with any hidden fees?
Compare as much as you can
At the end of the day, it is wise comparisons that can help you make informed decisions about investing in your college textbooks. Try to compare the costs associated with buying new or old books, renting or buying textbooks, borrowing from the library or renting etc. There are several websites available online that allow users to compare prices and find cheapest deals on textbook purchases. For example, you need Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition. A new book would cost you around $17 on Amazon but you can buy the same book for $7.88 if you’re willing to invest in a used one. Another book, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction sells for $67.99 on Powells while you can rent the same book for $37.14.
So, if you know what your options are, you’ll definitely make your way toward the best deal. Besides, the effort and time put into comparing prices is worth what you’ll get in return.