Back to School is a multi-million dollar shopping season in the United States, and the textbook industry that helps fuel it, is a billion-dollar industry all unto itself. With prices from dorms to meal-plans getting higher and higher every year, it can be important to use the latest technology to save as much money any chance you get.
Renting textbooks became extremely popular when the service began a few years ago, since that time prices for the books have dropped and new services have made it even better. Out of all the textbook rental services, Amazon stands out to me for a few reasons. One, the company has its own world-wide distribution network for shipping your books in an orderly and secured fashion, the second is how you return them.
Unlike a lot of local places that require you to come in, fill-out forms and check IDs, Amazon lets you ship your books back to Amazon (for free). Return labels are part of your purchase and in just moments you can have your books back to the original supplier and move on to the next semester.
The service works by letting you rent your books with savings “up to 70%” according to the website, then you just box them up and send them to Amazon at the end of the semester. Here’s a PRO tip, your student .edu account gets you FREE Amazon Prime for a year, so you can then use service to get free two-day shipping on almost anything Amazon has to offer (including those textbooks you have to rent).
The downside to Amazon is that the books are not promised to be brand-new, though you can return the books to Amazon if there are serious defects to the book (should that ever happen). In order to be accepted by Amazon’s rental program the books go under a quality check which includes (No water damage (wavy, swollen or discolored, crinkled, stains, rings), No broken spine or binding, Cover is not torn or taped, No missing, torn, or loose pages, No burns, fire, or smoke damage, No strong odor of any kind (including musty odor, cigar or cigarette odor), No excessive writing or highlighting.) So if a book somehow gets through the cracks of the QA guidelines, you can send it back for free and get a new one. As Amazon states, “If you are not satisfied with the book you receive, you can return it for a refund within 30 days.”
You can also use Amazon giftcards or store-credit to rent the books, but you do still have to have a credit-card on file in the event that you skip out on returning them. Right now students in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii can rent the books in the massive library.
Finding books is simple thanks to ISBN numbers, keyword searches and pictures. All of your rentals can be easily tracked on your profile page, with prices, return dates, shipping labels and details all of your important details right there on one screen. It makes renting books easier than buying them, since you can just login and shop at your own convenience, and since most books weigh about 3-5 lbs, it’s a little easier on the back. You can check out the official details below and start finding your books.
more info: amazon/textbookrentals
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