Looking for textbook rentals online is a great way to save money throughout your college career. Maximizing your savings involves knowing how to take advantage of the ins and outs of the online textbook rental business to meet your needs and tendencies.
Fees can ruin an otherwise wonderful experience. If you are not careful when you rent textbooks online, you can end up paying much more money than you had originally intended. Fees can be assessed for damaged books and books that are returned late. Because the definitions of "damaged" and "late" can vary from company to company, you ought to do your homework before submitting your orders.
While companies' specific rules may differ, all of them have policies that penalize customers who damage or lose their rented textbooks. Losing a textbook will likely result in a charge for the full retail price of the book. Some websites, such as Chegg, will charge you the full retail price of the book, minus any rental fees. Others do not specify in their terms whether they deduct rental fees from the lost book fee, so it's important to avoid such money-losing possibilities.
Textbooks that are not returned on time will usually be assessed some type of late fee. It is commonplace for a company to automatically charge an extension fee (such as BookRenter's 14-day extension) when return deadlines are not met. Further, if the rented books are still not returned by the end of the extension period, you likely won't escape with paying less than the book's list price. BookRenter, on one hand, is especially harsh with overdue books, as they may charge 140% of the book's list price plus a $10 service fee, minus the rental costs. On the other hand, CampusBookRentals is a bit more lenient, offering a free 15-day post-rental grace period for students to return their textbooks. Then, they deal with any further lateness on a per-customer basis.
Solely returning your textbooks on time does not guarantee that you will not be charged any fees; taking care of your rented textbooks must also be a priority. Bent, torn, crinkled, stained, and missing pages are all grounds for being assessed damage fees. Most websites do not allow writing of any type in the textbooks (CampusBookRentals is the exception), and some do not even allow highlighting. Some companies outline specific descriptions of damage fees (such as BookRentalCenter), while others deal with damage on a case-by-case basis (ECampus). So, it is important to know the damage policies of a company before you decide to rent from them. Being oblivious to such things could surprise you and your pocketbook down the road.
A lack of responsibility can cause you to cross the fine line between saving and owing money with online textbook rental endeavors. If you are prone to losing or damaging your textbooks, it may be a better idea to buy your textbooks. If you are fully capable of maintaining the quality of your rented textbooks and returning them on time, you shouldn't have a problem when renting from anywhere. Further, if you just want to be safe and save yourself any potential hassle and worry, you can go to CampusBookRentals and take advantage of their insurance option. For a small fee, your rented textbooks can be insured against theft, loss or damage.
By knowing yourself and the online textbook rental options that you have, you'll get the education that you need without paying more than you have to.