renting textbooks

When Should I Buy My College Textbooks?

This is a question that is often asked by first-time college students. Being a new college student can be overwhelming and intimidating. On top of adjusting to a new environment and navigating campus is the task of buying textbooks. For most incoming freshmen, this is a completely new experience. One of the biggest stressors when it comes to buying textbooks for the first time is not knowing the right time to purchase. Many students are left wondering, “When is the best time to buy textbooks?”

When to Order Textbooks

There is no exact “right” time to buy college textbooks, which can make the process a little more confusing for first-time buyers. When starting the process of buying college textbooks, a good rule of thumb is to wait until all syllabi are received with all required course materials listed. 

Do You Have to Buy Textbooks Before Class Starts?

Unless you are required to complete an assignment or reading prior to the beginning of a course, it doesn’t hurt to wait until the first day of class to purchase textbooks. On the first day of class,  most instructors will confirm which materials are provided and if there are any additional items that are needed that might have been left off of the syllabus. Sometimes professors will provide digital copies of required readings that are listed in the syllabus so that students do not have to purchase the whole book.

If you’re still asking yourself the question “What books do I need for college?” after reading the syllabus and attending the first day of class, reach out to your instructor(s) and they will confirm what is needed for their course. It never hurts to double check with your instructor so you can be sure you are getting everything that is required for success in the course.

In addition to buying textbooks outright, college students also have the ability to rent most textbooks at a cheaper price; however, this concept can be a little bit confusing for someone who has never rented a textbook before.

How Does Renting Textbooks Work?

Renting textbooks is actually pretty similar to renting a DVD or sports equipment. Once you’re done with it or your rental period is over you simply return it to the seller. An important thing to remember when it comes to renting textbooks is that most sellers will expect that the book is returned to them in a timely manner and in fairly good condition.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent Textbooks?

It’s no secret that most college students will do whatever they can to save money. For some, renting textbooks is a great way to save some money on what can be a pretty costly expense. According to Robert Farrington, the founder of The College Investor, “Renting textbooks is such a great deal because you can typically save 70% to 90% compared to buying the book new, and 50% or more compared to buying the book used.” 

The College Board estimates that the average college student will spend $1,200 (at least) on textbooks per year. Renting textbooks whenever it is convenient for you will help you save some of that money in the long run. Aside from your college bookstore, there are several sites online that make it easy for you to rent textbooks at reduced prices.

Is Renting Textbooks a Good Idea?

Renting textbooks is a great option that will help you save some money; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for everyone. Before diving head first into renting all your textbooks, it’s important to think about your individual learning style and if it’s compatible with renting textbooks.

Here are a few things to consider before renting your textbooks:

1. Your Learning Style

Everyone has their own study habits that fit their style of learning. While some students can read material and remember concepts with minimal note taking, others prefer to take notes and highlight important details. The disadvantage of renting a textbook is that some rental services limit how much can be written, marked, or highlighted in the book. It is also a possibility that some services will expect the book to be returned with no markings and in pretty good condition. 

If you are someone who likes to mark up a book or is hard on your textbooks, renting might not be the best option in the long run.

2. Long Term Use

While not every textbook you will use during college will be useful at a later date, it is a possibility that as you progress through your major course work you might need a book again. If you have a feeling that a certain book might be useful to you at a later date, it might be better to buy the book just in case.

3. Terms & Conditions of Rental Agreement

Before deciding to purchase your rentals, make sure to read all of the fine print and the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. In some cases, companies will charge late fees for rentals that are not returned on time. If you are not sure you will be able to return the book by the specified date, you should consider buying the book so you don’t have to worry about the extra late fees that can add up. Some companies might also charge for damages to the book, so if you are someone who tends to put a lot of wear and tear on a textbook it is worth it to consider buying the book. Most books you purchase can be sold back at the end of the semester.

Are Buying Books Worth It?

The price of textbooks is enough to make any college student wonder if it’s something they’ll actually need. Even if you don’t end up using your books a ton throughout the semester, it’s still worth it to have them handy just in case. Textbooks are an essential resource for many students and some assignments can’t be completed without them.

For more information on buying textbooks, check out our previous blog post about the Best Sites to Buy College Textbooks.

When it’s time to buy (or rent) your textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered. With 4.0 stars on Trustpilot, eCampus.com is the most trusted bookseller among the student community. You can save up to 90% on Textbook Rentals, Used & New Textbooks, and eTextbooks. eCampus.com also offers a great rewards program (eWards) that is designed to make it easier for students to save money by earning rewards and exclusive deals.

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References

  1. https://www.cappex.com/articles/college-life/textbooks-rent-or-buy
  2. https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/save-on-college-textbooks#:~:text=%E2%80%9CRenting%20textbooks%20is%20such%20a,founder%20of%20The%20College%20Investor.
  3. https://money.com/college-textbooks-how-to-save-rent-lowest-prices/#:~:text=Rent%20Textbooks%20Instead%20of%20Buying%20Them&text=Renting%20can%20go%20a%20long,book%20costs%20%2437.49%20to%20rent.
  4. https://www.textbooksolutions.com/how-textbook-rentals-work.aspx#:~:text=When%20you%20rent%20a%20textbook,using%20a%20free%20shipping%20label!

Benefits of Renting Textbooks

Renting textbooks saves you time, money and effort. Check out the five ways below that eCampus.com is making college life better with textbook rentals! If you are one of the smart ones and have already rented your textbooks from eCampus.com let us know in the comments how much money you saved!

Save Money Renting Textbooks

So Much Cheaper!

Keep your piggy bank full this semester by renting textbooks for college instead of buying them. When you rent you can save up to 90% off the regular price of a new textbook. Suddenly, ordering your textbooks for the upcoming semester doesn’t seem so bad. Use the coupons on this page to save even more off your textbooks!

Semester Textbook Rentals

We’re Flexible!

We know you’re busy and we want to fit into your schedule, not the other way around. eCampus.com offers three different rental options: short term, quarter and semester. So, you’re taking an 8-week course over the summer? Save money by getting a short term rental! Plus, if you need to keep the book longer you can extend your rental at any time.

Textbooks

You Aren’t Going to Keep the Book!

Once the semester is over you know you will never open those textbooks again so why buy them in the first place? Especially for those general education courses everyone is required to take. Not only does renting your textbooks save you money, but it also keeps your dorm or apartment free of unwanted piles of textbooks. Did you rent and decide that you actually do want to keep that incredibly interesting Chemistry book? No problem. You can purchase the book at any time during your rental and we subtract what you already paid for the rental from the purchase price.

Free Return Shipping on Textbook Rentals

Returning is Easy and Shipping is Free!

Returning your rented textbooks at the end of your rental period is simple. We’ll send you a reminder when your due date is approaching and after you take that last final just print your pre-paid UPS shipping label and drop your books off at a UPS Store. You can even re-use the same box you received your books in. Easy as that! Once we receive the books, we’ll send you a quick email letting you know we got your books back.

Textbook Buyback

Don’t Stress About Buyback Prices!

Gone are the days of carrying your textbooks across campus to the local bookstore to have them offer you $10 for that biology book you paid $300 for three months ago. Since you were smart and rented your textbooks you saved a ton of money at the beginning of the semester (and definitely didn’t pay $300 for your biology book!).

eCampus.com

Bonus!

Your eCampus.com box doubles as a comfy bed for your cat!

Now that you know all the benefits of renting textbooks, what are you waiting for?

Start renting today at eCampus.com!