One major pain point in renting college textbooks online is finding the right rental term so you’re not paying for time you don’t need. BookByte offers the most flexible terms of any of the online textbook rental companies in our buying guide.
You can choose to rent textbooks for 30, 60 or 90 days, or for an entire semester. If your textbook due date comes and you want to extend your rental period, you can choose to extend your rental for 15, 30 or 150 days. This flexibility is perfect if you only need a textbook for part of a class, or if you’re taking a block class that only runs partway through the term.
The test book we rented from BookByte came in a cardboard sleeve, which saved on packaging. Inside the packaging, however, was just the book and a tiny receipt showing the book’s title and the day we ordered it. We liked how other services included printed instructions for returning the textbooks and also listed the due date on the receipt. When you’re done with your rental from this company, you can choose to purchase the textbook outright, minus the rental amount you paid, or return it.
One downside to BookByte’s rental service is it doesn’t offer eTextbooks. The best companies we reviewed, like Amazon and Chegg, offer both paper and eTextbook versions, allowing you to choose which type of textbook works best for you.
BookByte offers free shipping on orders over $49, and you can choose to upgrade from standard shipping for only $2 on those orders. If you need help with your order or with your account, you can email this company or search the FAQs on the website.
One thing we liked about BookByte’s website was the page on the best ways to get cheap textbooks. It lists several great hacks such as buying previous versions of your books and looking for international editions.
BookByte gives flexible rental terms for renting physical textbooks and works well if you need a textbook for a shorter amount of time than the full term. However, because this company doesn’t offer eTextbooks and doesn’t give you a box to ship the book back in, it isn’t the best all-around rental site.