Earlier this week, Amazon.com announced the launch of a textbook rental service. Yes, that Amazon, the online retail giant. The hefty price of textbooks has long been a thorn in the side of college students, and according to the company press release, “students can choose from thousands of textbooks to rent for the semester and save up to 70%.” Just search for a textbook, and a “Rent Now” option appears. Select payment and shipping options, and away you go.
USNews.com reports that students are allowed to use the textbook for 130 days, with a 15-day extension available for an extra cost. Amazon covers the shipping cost of returning the textbook, so students are only obligated to pay the initial delivery cost. Further, rentals have a 30-day return policy for a full refund.
Also from the official press release, Ripley MacDonald, Director of Textbooks at Amazon.com, said, “College is expensive, and students are always looking for ways to save money on textbooks, which is why we’ve long offered great prices on both new and used textbooks. With Textbook Rental, Amazon gives students yet another great option for saving money – it’s now easier than ever for students to get the books they need, in the format they want, at affordable prices. So no matter if a student wants to buy or rent their textbooks, Amazon can be their one-stop shop.”
Would you use, or have you ever used an online rental service for books? What do you see as positives or potential drawbacks?