Textbook Rental vs Buying: Which Is The Ultimate Budget-Friendly Solution?

Textbook Rental vs Buying
Textbook Rental vs Buying

Despite being notoriously costly, most college students usually grind their teeth as they pay for their textbooks for the semesters, only to find out that their professors seldom utilize the volumes that they have required them to purchase. It is estimated that students spend more than $1,200 per year on textbooks. Compared to that, renting books is a less expensive alternative, but is it always the best option?

Many students choose textbook rental rather than buy them to save money. Is this cost-cutting strategy worthwhile, however? Learn the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing vs renting college textbooks below.

Buying textbooks

Buying textbooks
Buying textbooks

Pro: Useful Post-Graduation

Depending on your major, knowledge in textbooks may be valuable even after you graduate, as you’ll always have access to your books as a source of reference. Engineering and scientific textbooks, for example, may offer numerous valuable formulae that might assist you in solving problems on the job.

Pro: Good-Price Resale

If your purchased textbooks are no longer required, you can resell them to friends or classmates, the school shop, or an e-commerce site to earn back some money for the book. depending on the book’s quality and demand.

Con: No Highlighting or Scribbling

If you intend to resell your books, avoid highlighting or writing in your textbooks. Marks and highlights can cost the reselling price of your textbook to drastically fall.

Con: High Price

Even old textbooks can be extremely costly. The campus bookstores are a great place to start searching for hand-down textbooks, but their used book selection may be limited. That’s why many students struggle to afford the cost of books at the start of each semester.

When buying textbooks, you will have the option of purchasing either a new or used book. If the cost is a key issue for you, go for the used book. Except for a few highlights or notes in the margins, these should be just as good as newly purchased textbooks.

Renting textbooks

Renting textbooks
Renting textbooks

Compared to buying textbooks, textbook rental is a more affordable alternative to get your study materials. Check out our list of trustworthy places to rent your college textbook right here.

Pro: Affordable Prices

It is less expensive to rent books than to buy them. Textbooks may be rented from most campus bookstores as well as e-commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay. This option can help you save hundreds of dollars over the length of your college academic career.

Pro: Latest Editions

While buying always lets you access the latest version of your study materials, when a newer, more updated version of that book is released the next semester, you may feel as if you wasted your money. On the other hand, if you’ve opted to rent all of your books, you may simply rent the latest version for the next term and save yourself the agony.

Pro: Convenient Storage

By renting your big, heavy, and hefty-like-a-cinderblock textbooks, you can simply return them at the end of the semester without having to pack them away or find a place to store them.

Con: Late Fees

Similar to borrowing books from a library, you must remember to return your books by a specific deadline, or risk incurring a late fee. Make a note of due dates in your calendar to prevent spending money you don’t have to, because having to pay extra totally defeats the purpose of renting a textbook.

Con: Old, Tattered, or Damaged Books

If you rent your textbooks from an internet dealer, you may be unpleasantly shocked by the state of your books when you receive them, similar to when you buy old books. Some books will even have annoying stray notes and highlighting texts. Additionally, receiving a damaged book puts you at risk of being charged for damage that you did not cause.

For online places that offer good-quality rental textbooks, check out our list right here.

Con: Missing Key Supplemental Material

Supplemental material, like access codes for online lesson plans and assignments, is included in many textbooks. Rented books, on the other hand, may not contain this information. Some stores do offer these contents for an additional fee, however.

Renting textbooks Pros & Cons
Renting textbooks Pros & Cons

To decide which is better, textbook renting or buying, consider the advantages and disadvantages listed here. Some books are great if you need a quick crash course to refresh your memory post-graduation, but textbooks for fundamental courses may not be as beneficial in the long run. Whatever you do, be sure it makes financial and scholarly sense. After a year of online learning, many stores welcome you back to school with great discounts on textbook rentals, which we have carefully compiled into a list right here.