Waiting at the bookstore is so 2008

By Stacy Lee / Staff Writer

BOOKSMART (Mary Anne Case)

By Stacy Lee / Staff Writer

 As many students know, buying college textbooks is not cheap. In fact, textbooks can add up to more than admission fees at some community colleges. 

What most students don’t know, however, is that buying textbooks from the college bookstore is not the only option. 

There are several other options available to students who are looking for cheaper books.

For example, Half.com, which is powered by eBay, allows sellers to list their books for their asking price. 

Students can browse the listings by ISBN or the name of the book to find the textbook they need and choose a price that is in their budget by selecting a book that is either “Brand New,” “Like New,” “Very Good,” “Good” or “Acceptable.”

Textbooks.com is another online store where students can purchase used textbooks. 

They claim to have the “largest selection of used textbooks on the planet.” Unlike Half.com, students sell their used textbooks to Textbooks.com and they sell them for their own price.

However, a new trend is emerging within the textbook market. Web sites and companies are popping up across the country for textbook rentals.

Chegg.com is one of the Web sites on the forefront of textbook rentals, saying students can save between 65 to 85 percent when renting. 

Chegg has hit the scene strong, appearing to be completely user friendly. They offer many perks that college bookstores don’t offer, such as 30-Day “Any Reason Guarantee” where students can get a full refund for orders returned within 30 days and full semester coverage is also guaranteed. 

For those who are eco-inclined, Chegg.com also plants a tree for every book rented.

CollegeBookRenter.com is another Web site aimed towards textbook rentals. 

Like Chegg.com, they say students save up to 85 percent by renting. They also donate to the American Heart Association for each book rented.

CengageBrain.com, which will be open in December, is another Web site geared towards textbook rentals. 

CengageBrain.com will serve as a go-to place offering students the choice of renting or purchasing the company’s materials. 

Though only several hundred books will be available in December, a more comprehensive list of books will be available July 2010.

In addition to Web sites, companies are popping up across the country that focus on textbook rentals. 

Follett Higher Education Group, which manages hundreds of college bookstores nationwide, will be starting a rental program this fall in stores across the country, including California State University at Sacramento. The program will offer about 20 percent of their titles for rent.

The Web sites above are only a few that sell new and used textbooks. It appears that spending an arm and a leg on books will be a thing of the past. 

All students need to know is the ISBN of the book, which can often be obtained by contacting the professor ahead of time, a credit or debit card and have Internet access.