Don't Waste Your Money: Pros and cons to renting textbooks - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Pros and cons to renting textbooks

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(Toledo News Now) - Do you have a student going to college? If so, be prepared to open your wallet again over the next few weeks as textbook bills start to arrive.

Many parents of college students are now breathing a sigh of relief, having signed off on that big fall bill for tuition. But not so fast: It's now time to buy textbooks. Luckily, there are some new ways to slash those costs.

$200 For A Single Book?

We spoke with two engineering students facing hundreds of dollars in textbooks fees.

"One of them is $200, the other is $130," one student complained. "It's pretty expensive."
    
So they try to buy used versions, and even share books if possible. That cuts the price by 50 percent.

But other students we spoke with told us they are turning to an even cheaper option: textbook rentals.

Where To Rent

Top-rated rental sites include:

New this year: Amazon is now renting too, as well as selling used textbooks, though its selection appears more limited, students say.

We could see the appeal of renting, as we browsed some titles in a campus bookstore.

The popular accounting book, Survey of Accounting by Carl Warren, lists for a whopping $264. Used versions are usually well over $100.

  • eCampus rents it for $98 per semester.
  • Chegg rents it for $80 per semester.
  • Campus Book Rentals rents it for $22 per semester, though it is not the newest version.

Beware Outdated Versions

That's the one catch: The rental may be an older version.
 
For instance, the new version of Survey of Accounting shows a windmill farm on the cover. Several sites are renting editions showing cash on the cover, that are as many as five or six years old.

Be sure to check with your professor before renting an older edition. In some cases, the changes are very minor, but in other cases, the chapters and text won't match.

But $300 for a new book? Many students would probably say, "don't waste your money."

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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