Getting a new book is always a pleasure; getting a used book is a pleasure nonetheless. However, if you like to read a lot or if you are a student starting a new semester, you may consider another option—renting. Why is it a good idea? If you need a book that you don’t plan to keep in your home library or if you need cheap textbooks that you definitely won’t be needing ever again, renting them is a solution. For one thing, it’s cheaper than buying; for another, you can use rented books and textbooks for a period of time you need—it’s an ideal option for a semester. In this article, we’ve prepared a list of the best online resources where you can rent books and textbooks in 2022.

  1. Amazon
  2. ValoreBooks
  3. eCampus
  4. BooksRun
  5. TextbookRush
  6. Chegg
  7. BookScouter

1. Amazon

Books: Textbooks
Shipping: Free for Amazon Prime members; varies from independent merchants
Pros: Good prices, broad textbook choice
Cons: Textbook rental only; US shipment only

Amazon is one of the most popular places for textbook rentals. You can either rent books for one semester and extend them for 15 days or another semester. You can also rent certain books on a monthly basis, for 60 or 90 days. Shipment is free for orders over $35; free shipping is for Prime members. Keep in mind that you have to return your rental in time; otherwise, your rental period will be automatically extended by 15 days, and you’ll be charged for this extension (in case of semester-long rentals). If you don’t return a book, you will be charged its purchase price. In case of monthly rentals, if you don’t return the book after an extension, you’ll also have to pay for the book. Amazon is a huge marketplace, and its major advantage is that you can find practically any textbook you need in various conditions and at different prices.

2. ValoreBooks

valore book rental

Books: New and used textbooks
Shipping:

Standard shipping—$3.95; expedited shipping—$6.95

Pros: Free return shipping; great price choice; great book choice
Cons: Not a direct seller

ValoreBooks is one of the largest online textbook marketplaces. As a marketplace, they don’t own any of the books they sell, buy back, or rent. Instead, they work with 20,000+ approved booksellers and rental providers. Therefore, they serve as mediators between buyers and sellers, which is both good and not so good. For one thing, the choice of textbook purchase and rental options is impressive; for another, you get all the drawbacks of dealing with a mediator (in case of any issues). After all, all transactions take place on ValoreBooks, but orders are fulfilled by sellers. However, according to the numerous reviews, the marketplace is a reliable textbook resource with a high customer satisfaction rating. You can rent textbooks for a quarter or a semester and extend the due date for most rentals for a fee for a maximum of 15 days.

3. eCampus

Books: New, used books, textbooks
Shipping: Free on orders starting from $35
Pros:

 Free return shipping; low costs; great choice; reward system for rentals

Cons:

Shipping is not entirely free

eCampus is another well-known bookseller where you can rent textbooks and books. According to their website, they are “a premier online retailer of new, used and electronic textbooks for sale or rent, study materials and book buyback services.”It also has a large marketplace (with 70,000+ marketplace sellers) where books can be purchased or sold; however, many users find the rental opportunity specifically very convenient. eCampus offers three rental periods for physical books (for a semester, for three months, and for a shorter period) and four options for eBook rental: 120 days, 180 days, 365 days, and lifetime. You can buy out the book if you don’t want to return it; you can extend your rental period as well. Keep in mind that free shipping is offered on orders starting from $35.

4. BooksRun

BooksRun

Books:

Used books, textbooks

Shipping:

Free shipping on all orders; express shipping for $3.99

Pros:

Cheap rentals for all books; not just textbooks; no minimum order price; free return shipping

Cons:

The longest rental period is 58 days; automatic purchase in case of no return

BooksRun is where you can buy, sell, and rent used books and textbooks at very affordable prices. And this time, we are interested in their rental opportunity. On BooksRun, you are most likely to find what you are looking for, as they have more than 100,000 titles on all subjects in stock and update them daily. To rent a book, go to Rent books, enter the ISBN, title, or author of the book you need, choose the delivery option (free standard or expedited shipping for $3.99), pay for the rental, and get your book. BooksRun offers one rental extension for 15 days for $15. If you don’t want to return your book, you can purchase it from BooksRun. Keep in mind, however, that late returns are not accepted, and you will have to pay the purchase price if you don’t return your rental in due time. BooksRun offers two rental periods: 35 and 58 days. If you need to rent a book for a longer period (an academic quarter or a semester), you may consider other booksellers.

5. TextbookRush

Books:

Textbooks, used books

Shipping:

Free shipping on orders over $35

Pros:

Cheap rentals for textbooks; free return shipping

Cons:

Not many rentals available as of today

TextbookRush offers used textbooks for purchase, sale, and rent. It is one of the resources among students where most popular textbooks can be found. At the moment, we don’t see many rental offers, and all of those that are available are for eBooks, but that’s probably because it’s return rental season. It may also somehow be connected with the restructuring and downsizing of the bookseller marketplace announced by TextbookRush in 2019, aimed to “accommodate new organizational goals.” Perhaps, they are currently offering eBook rentals only. For those offers that are still available, a rental period depends on the book in question, but generally, a 30-, 60-, 180-, and even a 365-day rental is possible. Rentals can also be extended for 10 days or purchased if you want to keep a book.

6. Chegg

Books:

New and used books, textbooks

Shipping:

Free shipping on orders over $35

Pros:

Textbook rental with the option of using various study services; 21-day refund guarantee 

Cons:

A subscription is needed to use study services and products.

Chegg offers a variety of online studying products and services for students, from textbook rentals to solving math solutions to expert Q&A. The major platform’s functionalities are textbook rental and purchase and Chegg’s Study Packs. They offer various services to help students study; however, we’ve already covered them in one of our previous articles where we’ve compared Chegg with other Textbook Solutions. This time, we want to highlight Chegg’s textbook rental. While other services require a subscription, you can buy and rent textbooks without it. Rentals are available for the duration of both a quarter and a semester. If you rent a physical book within the U.S., your shipping will be free on orders from $35. Free extension, an option to purchase your rental, free rental return, 21-day refund guarantee with free return within three weeks of ordering in case of dropping or changing classes, and a 4-week free trial of Chegg Study—these are the features of the Chegg textbook rental. All in all, it’s a popular resource for book rental.

buy your books at the best price

7. BookScouter

why rent books with BookScouter

Books:

Used books, second-hand books, textbooks

Shipping:

Depends on the bookstore

Pros:

Fast search, easy look-up for the cheapest offer

Cons: None

We also recommend checking BookScouter (even though it’s not a bookseller or direct book rental provider) for the best rental offers because it’s so far the most efficient and convenient resource for such information. As a price comparison platform that has the price data from 20+ online bookstores and allows seeing all possible offers with a single search, it is an excellent tool. You can also search for books to sell and buy on BookScouter; however, in this article, we’ll focus on its Rent functionality. The search is simple: enter the details of the book you are looking for (e.g., ISBN, author, title), click Scout, and get all the rental offers displayed on one page. There are four rental periods to choose from: 1+ months, 2+ months, 3+ months (academic quarter), 4+ months (semester). Your job is to decide upon the period most suitable for you, choose the best offer, and click Rent. You’ll be transferred to the rental page on the bookstore’s website. Finding books for rent with BookScouter is fast, simple, and efficient.

On Renting a Book

Now, let’s compare rental prices on the resources we’ve covered by taking the used copy of Business Law: Text and Cases by Kenneth W. Clarkson and Roger LeRoy Miller as an example. We’ll check the price offers for its rental for a semester.

Business Law: Text and Cases can be rented from Amazon for a semester ($38.39) with the option of an extension for 15 days and an additional semester:

ValoreBooks offers two rental options from their marketplace seller: $52.88 for a semester and $48.07 for a quarter:

eCampus offers three rental options: $153.98 for a semester, $146.28 for three months, and $87.99 for a shorter period:

BooksRun has two offers for this textbook: $32.49 for 35 days and $38.66 for 58 days. These are good offers; however, the bookseller has no longer-term offers. While semesters usually last for 15–17 weeks, students will have to extend the rental period, which isn’t convenient in some cases. Nonetheless, its almost two-month rental (58 days) is among the cheapest compared to other resources.

TextbookRush doesn’t have this book listed for rental. You can buy a used copy on their website or check their marketplace for other offers.

Chegg offers the book for rent for $60.49 with the option to use Textbook Solutions for free for 1 month (then $14.95/mo).

Having checked each resource individually, we can say that the cheapest offers can be found on Amazon and BooksRun. The most expensive rental is offered by eCampus (regardless of the period).

However, we can also compare rental prices in a more efficient way: by using BookScouter. It will only take a few seconds to get the information we are interested in. On the website, go to Rent, enter the ISBN (9780357129630), title (Business Law: Text and Cases), or author (Kenneth W. Clarkson, Roger LeRoy Miller) of the book in the search field, and click Scout.

Immediately, the list of the rental offers from various booksellers for Business Law: Text and Cases is available for examination and comparison. Here is the screenshot of the top offers (the list is way longer):

BookScouter strives to provide the most precise rental price data and update it constantly; however, it’s not done every other second. Therefore, you may come up with slight inconsistencies or delays in price depiction. But you will always get the best rental price offer depicted on the top right corner of the screen, and it’s the same price we’ve found out by researching the price information on every bookseller website individually—only way faster.

Textbook Rental Market Trends

In short, the textbook rental market doesn’t show any signs of recession at the moment.

1. The first and the most evident trend is that book and textbook rental demand stays relatively stable, which means that students continue actively using textbook rental services, and various bookstores, online booksellers, and marketplaces continue actively offering rentals. 

It’s true that some of the physical textbook rental resources are shutting down. Campus Book Rentals, for instance, used to be one of the major players in the textbook rental field; however, it has recently (May 2022) announced the shutting down of the website for rental orders. Being a part of Nebraska Book Company, its eCommerce services were probably redirected to help the parent company accommodate new goals. Yet, we can’t say that it’s an overall trend.

2. The second trend is that more and more publishers go digital, which drives the eTextbook rental market, according to recent research reports. eTextbooks are growing in popularity due to their lower costs, no shipping and delivery expenses, and overall convenience. They are, in a way, the driving force for further digitalization.

TextbookRush is an example of how some resources choose to focus on eTextbook rentals only. It is probably the result of the restructuring we’ve mentioned earlier, as the website has only eTextbook rental offers at the moment. 

Nonetheless, regardless of the two aforementioned trends and examples, there are still plenty of textbook rental resources that actively offer their services—both physical textbook and eTextbook rentals—to students.

The Final Thoughts

While book rental is still a popular option, not all students resort to it. Some prefer getting their own books, others buy eBooks, and some do without. Yet, at some point in your studies, you may need to rent a textbook that you will only need for a short period of time. In this case, knowing about the best rental opportunities is very convenient.

Therefore, we’ve done the homework for you: we’ve researched the best rental platforms in 2022 where you can rent books and textbooks and compiled the information into the list above. Next time you need a book to rent, you can either check them all manually, or you can use BookScouter to do everything at once: compare rental prices and find the best offers in a matter of seconds.

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