Buying and renting textbooks

Understanding The Differences Between Buying And Renting A Textbook

If you are a college student then the majority of expenses that you have to bear is, of the textbooks that you purchase. Is there any sense to buy when you have the option of renting the textbook? There are few college student tips which will let you understand which is a better option for you. In order to find out the difference, you need to first analyze the unique problem in the textbook markets. According to various studies conducted by different colleges, it has been found by students who spend a huge amount a year just on textbooks irrespective of the duration of the course.


The unique problem of the textbook market

 In the past few years, the cost of the textbooks increased drastically. That means the cost of the newly printed books has climbed steadily. The textbook market has a unique economics problem. In a market, you have a buyer and seller where their interaction leads to market equilibrium, price, and quantity but in the case of the textbook market, there is a professor who selects the textbook. Since the professor is not making the purchase so he is not affected by the cost of the book. This student-professor relationship offers the publishers to set at the prices as the buyer of the book is someone who doesn’t have any other option and hence forced to buy at the publisher’s price.

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Why eBooks are a failure?

In the digital era, there is a rise of eBooks are their readers. It was expected that eBooks would reduce the cost of books but actually, prices are generally only a bit lower than a physical book. This is because the marginal cost of selling a book is just enough to cover the server cost. 

Why rent a book?

For renting a textbook you just need four-month time period because a semester generally lasts around four months. You can even rent the eBook; in case you choose to buy it then the method to resell the eBook is not known and so it is assumed that the total rental cost for four months will not cost you much. The best option in such a case is to rent the eBook. Now when it is about the hardcore options then there are three options one is rent, buy used and buy a new one. In some cases, buying a used copy of the book and then selling it back at the end of the semester is the best option. After the semester completes you can try to sell yourself as a marketplace seller. When it is about loose-leaf version has all of the pages with three holes punched through them so it may be placed in a binder so you can again choose renting textbooks and then return it back once the semester completes. 

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Now comes the overseas versions of the books. Often it has been found that such textbooks are generally cheaper overseas. You can find them at a cheaper rate at many other places. Though you will not get those books shipped to your location you can buy them and again resell them at a bit higher price and earn a good amount from it. When the question of buying vs renting a textbook arises, you’re better off purchasing and reselling the books. You should constantly check the prices and when there is a fall in prices of used textbooks you can purchase them at that time.

The students put up the books for resale when in the students coming back to class will put their copies up for sale. When a new edition is being released, then that would destroy the used book market for the current edition. 


Nowadays renting textbooks is becoming increasingly popular. Many companies are offering textbook rental services. You should check out how much your books cost, both new and used, and after that spend a few minutes online searching for how much your books would cost if you buy them, either new or used, through an online store. You should compare as much as you can. The only way you’ll know you’re getting the best deal possible is to know what your options are available for you. Often numerous students think that renting textbooks is indeed a great way to save money, but you should take out some time and effort to ensure it’s right for your particular situation. In short, it will save you time, money and effort.  You may get three different rental options: short term, quarter and semester. Once the semester is over you know you will never open those textbooks again so renting your textbooks will allow you to save money. Returning your rented textbooks at the end of your rental period is also simple and quick.

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