Looking for a textbook rental site that has a large inventory and offers big discounts?
With its low prices and huge array of options, Knetbooks could be worth considering. But that's only if you know you'll be able to return your books on time.
If you happen to miss your return due date, Knetbooks can quickly become one the most expensive textbook rental sites available today. Here’s what you need to know about the website to take full advantage its low prices while avoiding the fees.
- Low prices for textbooks and rentals
- Free shipping both ways
- Strict return policy and high late fees
Free Returns For Up To 25 Days
What Is Knetbooks?
Knetbooks is a basic textbook rental site that says it offers discounts of up to 85%. Students can look up books via title, author or ISBN, and add books to their carts.
Knetbooks only offers physical textbooks. So you'll need to look elsewhere if you're looking to rent an eTextbook.
And while some textbook sites also sell and buy books, Knetbooks focuses solely on rentals. It does have a "Sell Textbooks" link on its site. But if you click on it, you'll be directed to SellBackBooks.com.
What Does It Offer?
Here's what else you should know about Knetbooks before you decide to rent a textbook from them.
Shipping And Returns
All books from Knetbooks are shipped for free (in both directions) so the price you pay up front is the price you get. When it’s time for you to return your textbook, you’ll simply print off the return label and ship it back.
All books from Knetbooks come with a 25-day refund guarantee (except for short-term rentals which must be received within 15 days to qualify for the refund guarantee). That's one of the longest return periods that we've seen other than the 30 days that Amazon offers.
Renters get to choose their rental period ranging from a semester, a quarter, and a short-term rental. When we first reviewed Knetbooks, it considered a semester to be 93 days. This was concerning as many school semesters will last longer than that. And those with longer semesters would need to pay to extend their rental period.
However, recent customer reviews have said that their return was set for a week after their finals rather than 93 days. We hope that this is true, but it's still something you'll want to check on — especially if you know that your semester will last at least 94 days.
You can extend your rental for 15, 30, 60, 90 or 130 days from your original due date. You'll need to pay a fee, to extend your rental. With the shorter than average rental periods, borrowers should plan to extend rental and will need to bake the added price into their fees.
Knetbooks allows highlighting in its books but discourages renters from writing in the book. The company reserves the right to charge you the full price of the book if you highlight more than one-third of the book, or if you write too much in the margins.
If a book is damaged beyond repair, including too much highlighting or writing, Knetbooks could charge you the full purchase price of the book, less any fees you’ve already been charged.
One unhappy customer on Trustpilot, for example, said that he rented a book for his son for $50 but after returning was charged an additional $200 because the book was damaged (which he vehemently claimed it was not). A representative from Knetbooks did respond to this complaint and didn't deny the charge. Instead, the employee said:
"We do certainly apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced. I have reviewed your account, the rental was received back with the front cover torn and taped back together. Any rental return damaged will be charged for the damage."
Regardless of whether the torn cover was caused by the customer or not, charging $200 for this damage does seem excessive. However, this practice is not too uncommon in the industry. Chegg, for example, will also charge the full price of a textbook if the rental is returned damaged.
The big downside to Knetbooks is its draconian return policy. According to the rental agreement, Knetbooks can charge you the full purchase price of the book (less any rental fees you’ve already paid) if they don’t receive the book on its due date.
In practice, customers have said that they charge 50% of the book price if the book comes within 15 days of its due date. That's better, but still higher than the late fees that other rental sites charge. And with Campus Textbook Rentals, you get a free 15-day grace period before any late fees kick in.
You want to stay as far away from Knetbooks late fees as you can. So if you won't be able to get your textbook back to Knetbooks by its due date, it's imperative that you apply for a rental extension and pay the applicable fee.
One issue that often comes up when renting textbooks is that they often are missing access codes or CDs. Like most other rental companies, Knetbooks doesn't guarantee access to these supplemental materials.
Be sure to ask your professor about supplemental materials before opting to rent from Knetbooks or any other rental site. If you definitely need them, you may be able to buy them separately elsewhere.
Are There Any Fees?
In addition to the cost of the rental, you'll be charged a late fee if you don't return your textbook by it's due date. This fee could be 50% to 100% of the purchase price of the book.
Should you need to extend your rental period beyond its original due date, you'll be charged an extension fee. This fee will vary based on the value of the book and the length of your extension.
Finally, it should be noted that free shipping only applies to standard shipping which takes 6-10 business days. If you'll need your book to arrive sooner, you can pay a fee to get faster delivery.
Expedited shipping (1-5 business days) costs $5.00 per shipment + $2.00 per additional item. Two-day shopping costs $13.00 per shipment + $3.99 per item. And one-day shipping costs $22.00 per shipment + $6.99 per item.
How Does Knetbooks Compare?
Knetbooks offers rates that are on par with sites like Campus Book Rentals and Amazon Textbook Rentals. However, it falls behind those sites by not offering any grace period or automatic extensions on late returns. Here's a quick look at how Knetbooks compares:
Physical and Digital
Free Both Ways
Free Both Ways
Free Both Ways
For Amazon Student Or Prime Members
15 To 25 Days
How Late Returns Are Handled
Charged A Fee (50% to 100% Of Book Price)
Receive a 15-day Grace Period
Extended For 15 Days For A $12.24 Fee
How Do I Contact Knetbooks?
Knetbooks doesn't publish a customer service phone number on its website. If you need assistance, you'll need to send a message through it contact form or reach out via email. Knetbooks' customer support email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the past, Knetbooks was known for receiving negative customer service reviews online. However, they seem to cleaned things up a bit over the past few years. On Trustpilot, they now have a 4.4/5 rating out of over 2,800 customer reviews. And they've been reviewed over 1,900 times on Sitejabber with an average rating of 4.7/5.
Is It Worth It?
Knetbooks' prices tend to be very competitive. We also love that they offer free shipping both ways and have such a generous guaranteed-free-return period. If you're sure that you'll be able to return your books by their due date, using Knetbooks could definitely be worth it.
But, remember, Knetbooks doesn't offer eTextbooks. And if you do happen to return your books late, you can expect to be charged a hefty fee. If you're wanting to compare your options, check out our full list of the best college textbook rental sites for 2021.
Let's answer a few of the most common questions that people ask about Knetbooks.
Is Knetbooks a legit website?
Yes, Knetbooks has been around since 2009 and has helped over 318,000 students save money.
How long does it take Knetbooks to ship?
Knetbooks says that most orders are shipped withing 1-2 business days but processing times can be longer during high-volume periods.
Can you highlight in Knetbooks?
Yes, students are allowed to highlight up to a third of the textbooks that they rent from Knetbooks.
Does Knetbooks have any coupons?
Yes, Knetbooks is currently offering coupons for $3 off (for orders over $60), $5 off (for orders over $80 ), and $5 off (for orders over $100).
Up to 85%
Cannot ship internationally -- US address within one of the 48 contiguous states required.
15, 30, 60, 90 or 130
Customer Service Options
Contact form or email
Customer Service Email
Free Return Window
Knetbooks offers low prices on par with major sites. But their policies regarding late returns are less generous than most competitors.
- Discounts of up to 85%
- Free shipping both ways
- Free returns for up to 25 days
- High late fees and no grace periods
- Standard (free) shipping takes 6-10 days
- Customer service is email-only
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.