How To Rent A Textbook On A Budget


Wondering how to save money on your next textbook purchase? Tired of buying books that you read only once and keep forever? Have you ever tried renting a textbook?

So how do you rent a textbook? Using AmazonRental is a great option for renting textbooks and should be the go-to solution for most students.

If you want to learn more on how to use AmazonRental and some of the services it provides read below. I have also included other options and recommendations that you may find helpful.

Textbook Rental

Buying textbooks can be very expensive. According to a recent study by College Board, the average full-time student spends over $1,200 on textbooks per year. That is a lot of money that you could save if you choose to rent instead. If you are interested in learning what each rental site has to offer then read my favorite list below.

Amazon Book Rental

AmazonRentals is a great option for students on a budget. They have very similar policies to Chegg but have prime shipping built-in which is free for the first 6 months for students and half-off each month after. If you’re interested click here.

Another cool feature of AmazonRentals is its buy-back policy. If you want to purchase the textbook after renting, Amazon will use 100% of your rental fees for your purchase. AmazonRenatal also takes the cake for return policies giving you 30 days to return the book after renting it. I love AmazonRentals and recommend it highly to anyone looking to save some coin.

Chegg Book Rental

What makes Chegg stand out to me is their 21-day return policy and Chegg Study. Many times I have gotten the textbook needed for class only for my professor to tell me I don’t need it anymore. The reassurance that I can return the textbook is worth it alone to rent from Chegg.

Chegg Study

I also love that Chegg offers a free four-week trial of their Chegg Study. This service provides step-by-step answers to each problem in the textbook. They also have expert help which allows you to take a picture of your homework problem and sent it in and receive help in less than 30 mins according to Chegg. The only downfall to Chegg Study is the pricey monthly subscription that is set at a high $14.95. I highly recommend Chegg Study if you ever struggle to find homework help and can spare the extra change.

Barnes And Noble Rental

When I think of renting a textbook I don’t think of Barnes and Noble. To my surprise, Barnes and Noble offer a renting program with competitive pricing sometimes even cheaper than AmazonRental or Chegg. When renting a textbook, you are allowed to choose a time period from 60 days to 130 days. You can always extend if needs be and can purchase the textbook at any time during the rental period. Barnes And Noble allow you to write and highlight in their textbook to a degree. As long as the textbook is still legible then you won’t be charged for the textbook.

There are some cons to using Barnes And Noble as your textbook provider. They don’t offer free shipping which is very unfortunate considering that most other companies are. They also charge a $5 fee if you return the textbook within the first 21 days for a full refund.

I would only recommend Barnes and Noble if you find a textbook that is considerably cheaper than the other sites otherwise I would use something else.

Campus Book Rentals: Avoid

Campus Book has been around for a while and you would think that would give them credibility. I have never personally rented from them but from reviews, it looks like they have horrible customer service. According to other users, they often get their orders canceled and have to deal with customer service to get their refund. I recommend avoiding this site to save you some headaches.

Other Textbook Rental Websites

Here is a list of other rental websites to look out for if you looking to save.

  • eCampus: Great option if you need your textbook immediately. They provide a free digital copy whie your physical copy ships.
  • Student2Student: Allows students to trade textbooks with other students. Great option when you don’t want to pay for shipping and handling.
  • Alibris: Great for getting hard to find textbooks.
  • TextBookRush: Point program lets you get additonal things for free.

Comparing Prices

If you’re looking to save the most then I recommend using a comparing site that takes your textbook’s ISBN and searches for the cheapest listing of that book. I have included my favorite sites below be sure to try them out.


BookScouter has the largest selection of textbook distributors included in their listing when comparing prices. They also let you switch between renting and buying so you can compare the two and see if it’s worth renting instead of buying. Another great feature of BookScouter is its selling tab. The selling tab lets you enter a textbook you own and see how much a company is willing to pay you for that textbook priced from highest to lowest. Overall BookScouter is a great tool that every college student should know about.


CheapestTextBooks is another great site to compare prices. They have included their free search engine which searches for the cheapest listings of each textbook. One really cool feature is the recommendation tab that they have. It looks at buying and renting and recommends which one is better. When buying a textbook they take into account if you were to sell the textbook back and subtract that off the purchase price. Sometimes it’s actually cheaper to buy and sell your textbook back after your done using it, a very handy tool.


Textbooks are a very important thing to consider when you start college. Almost all classes require you to buy textbooks and it can be stressful.

Unless you happen to have a small fortune to spend on textbooks, rentals will probably be your best friend. They offer an inexpensive alternative to buying them and, as clearly shown above, there are plenty of options to choose from. Take as much time as you can to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Make sure you consider your options before you fully commit to purchasing anything so you don’t regret your choice afterward.

And remember to not compromise your mental or financial health before you check if you are even going to go through with the class. It wouldn’t be good to spend all of that money for something that’ll have to be resold or end up being a $400 dollar paperweight!


I'm a college student just like you. I want to know what the best tech is so I can be successful at college.

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