The following is a review of eCampus.com, which is a site that allows you to rent, buy, and sell back your old textbooks.
If you know me, you know I'm all about the cheap deals. When I was in college, I always bought the cheapest book (used, or searched online for the best deal). Textbook rental was just starting to become main stream when I left school, and now it is a very popular alternative to buying textbooks at the bookstore.
How eCampus Textbook Rental Works
First, why are people renting books? Because you only use them for one single class usually and these books can cost $100s! It makes sense not to buy them, so now companies like eCampus are renting them out to students for the quarter or semester.
To rent a book, you simply look for the book you need, and you add it to the cart. eCampus offers several rental terms: Semester, Quarter, or short-term, with semester costing a bit more because of the longer period of time. If your rental book costs more than $59, shipping is free BOTH ways (from them shipping it to you, and you shipping it back)! When you're done with the book, just send it back in the same box with the return label they sent you, and you're all set!
I was doing some price comparisons, and on average, you will save 50% of the used book price by renting, which is an great deal.
Other eCampus Services
eCampus also offers the other traditional services of a college bookstore:
Buy: You can buy both new and used books from them, and even eBooks for certain titles. They also offer a marketplace similar to Amazon Marketplace, where individuals can sell their books private party. While doing some comparisons to Amazon, the traditional powerhouse of booksellers, their prices for books is a little higher. However, if you rent a textbook, you easily beat Amazon's prices (even Amazon Marketplace) on every book I checked on.
Sell: eCampus also offers a service where you can sell them back your old textbook. Similar to Gazelle for selling your old electronics, you simply type in the ISBN, and they will give you a quote for what they will offer you for the book. If you accept, you simply print the shipping label (provided for free), and send the book in. Once they receive it, they will send you a check, direct deposit, you you can earn 20% more by keeping it as store credit and using it towards future book rentals.
If you're looking for an easy and cheap alternative to buying textbooks, I recommend that you check out eCampus for renting books online. There are some great prices that you can't find anywhere else, and eCampus makes it quick and easy to do. And if you're looking for some extra money, check into selling your old textbooks for cash!
How Does eCampus Compare
We have compared the most popular textbook rental services, and eCampus falls in the middle of the pack. If you want to know more about eCampus and other textbook rental services, check out our article on Comparing the Best College Textbook Rental Companies.