(Text) Books Cost Too Much . . .

Years ago, Bobby Haft ran Crown Books. The chain was part of an empire built by his dad Herb Haft. They had a slogan “Books cost too much in Washington”. Commercials were aired with Bobby pronouncing that “Books cost too much …” and advising savvy shoppers to visit his discount book store. They had a run of success and then faded from view.

Books, especially text books still cost tooooooooo much !

Students in college face a large expense each semester when they have to pay for the books for their classes. A visit to the college book store reveals that new text books for one semester can range in cost from $700 to $1,000. Most book stores have a “used” area where the books can be purchased for a discounted price. Even at a discounted price, students are faced with a large expenditure. For example, “Social Psychology” would cost about $142.65 if purchased new. A used version of the same book goes for $107.00. You can purchase a version of the book as an e-book for slightly under $100. (Note: This is just one textbook for one class. Some classes require more than one text book.)

At the end of the school year, new and used books can usually be sold back for a fraction of the initial cost. The money invested in having the textbook for one semester is severely devalued. This system is wonderful for the publishers and an unfair burden on students and those that support students across this country.

Someone thought about it and THERE IS A BETTER WAY !

A new company is gaining traction in the textbook world. In a market that was pricing itself out of the reach of the average student, a company came up with a better way. They rent the textbooks to the students for a fraction of the cost of purchasing the same textbooks. Students, already burdened with higher tuition and housing costs, now have a more cost effective way of achieving their scholastic goals.

Chegg.com has rented more than 2 million textbooks to students at more than 6,400 schools since it was launched nationally in 2007. Students can rent books by the semester, quarter or summer at rates that vary depending on the popularity of the title and when the semester starts. It is like the Netflix of textbook rentals. The cost is usually a bit less than half of the retail price. The books are picked up in orange boxes. The students hang on to the orange boxes and mail the rented books back at the end the rental period for free.

Students can even become “student ambassadors” for the company and they are paid $5 for every customer they recruit. The company has promises to plant a tree for every book rented. Entering it’s third year on solid ground, the company seems to have opened another logical venue for students.

It is important that you share this information with any freshmen or parents of incoming freshmen before they begin seeking textbooks. Chegg.com is in direct competition with university book stores (although they are welcome on campus and can be checked out at the university bookstores). If you don’t know of the company or the program, you might spend $1,000 before beginning to research other avenues.

As mentioned before, every text book is not available. It is fair to say that every text book that is available represents a sizable saving on the cost of a college education. For more information…visit Chegg.com.



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