Buying books for school is always costly for students. With the growing popularity of ordering books online for almost half the price, the Southern bookstore started its second semester with the new option of renting books.
“In the fall, we had 300 titles and now this semester we have over 400, and we plan on adding more,” said Larry Gal, the SCSU bookstore manager.
The success of the renting process is still very new to the SCSU bookstore, but it’s been showing great interest with the wide range in books there are to offer, said Gal.
When a student wants to rent a book, there is a short process that needs to be completed in order for the student to secure the book for the semester.
“There are three netbooks at the registers used for rental. Students show their Southern ID and a credit card. No charges are made to the credit card unless the book is returned damaged or never gets returned,” said Gal. “The student signs the contract and has the entire semester to use the book; even write in it. We will send out reminders a week before finals to return the book by the due date. The only shocker students get is that they get no money back.”
Gal said that as time goes on, the book store plans on offering more books with the rental option.
“It’s been well received with students, and we try to tell the faculty they can choose books for rental,” said Gal.
With competitors like Amazon, Chegg, Bookrental.com and many other websites, Gal said he felt that as a company, they needed to have the rental option.
“We also have a new electronic book option. There are five digital titles in the store, last semester we sold 155 of them,” said Gal.
Not all students are receptive to the new book rental option. Almarillis Hernandez, a junior sociology major, said she has bought all her books online.
After past semesters of spending hundreds of dollars on books and barely getting anything in return at buybacks, Hernandez went to the Internet to purchase and rent her books.
“I got all my books at Bookrental.com. Three books for $170, while one of those was $100 in the book store,” she said.
The only downfall to buying or renting online, Hernandez said, was having to wait for them to be shipped to the dorm.
“This is my first semester renting and buying books online. I’ve always used the Southern Bookstore, but by going online I realized how much I was going to save. The book store is overpriced. There is the same book, same edition online for like 30 percent off the book store price. Overall it saves me at least $400,” said Hernandez.
Like many other students, Hernandez is paying out of her own wallet for these books.
“I was so scared of how much I’d have to spend, especially since I’m paying out of pocket this year and not my mom’s,” she said.
Julia Rowan, a senior athletic training major, said she used both the book store and the Internet to purchase and rent her books for her final semester.
“I bought one and rented one book from the book store, and the rest I got online,” said Rowan.
Rowan said she thinks it’s a nice option for the book store to rent out books.
“It is nicer with rental options, and more should be rented because you don’t get any money on buybacks anyway,” she said.