The Matador Bookstore’s textbook rental program, which offers students a chance to rent new and used books for 50 percent off the listed price, is expanding its selection from just a few titles from last fall to over 500 this semester.
According to a recent press release, Follett Higher Education Group, who supplies approximately 850 university bookstores with textbooks and other materials, used last semester as a pilot to test its textbook rental program. Student feedback showed that the program was hugely successful and allowed for expansion from a few titles to over 11,000 classes to choose from.
Elio Distaola, campus relations director for Follett, a retailer for the Matador Bookstore, said this substantial expansion in selection “enables us to provide a really robust program for students.”
“Our rental program provides the lowest cost upfront to students. All of our titles are selected and personally discussed with campus faculty and staff and as students add or drop classes the bookstore can also make these changes instantaneously,” said Distaola.
As for this academic year, Distaola added that Follett plans to use a $120 million expansion to reach more than half the schools it supplies with textbooks with its rental program by fall of 2010.
Students who know about textbook rentals consider it a better option than buying textbooks. For example, a brand new edition of Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis will cost $208 while the used book costs $156. Renting the book is less than half the price of the new textbook and cost $82.35.
Michelle Cobian, 26, a Liberal Studies major, thinks that renting is a much better option than buying.
“Even if you buy it new, when you sell the textbook back sometimes they don’t even give you anything for it — renting is cheaper,” said Cobian.
Rilee Stuart, 19, a psychology major said she prefers to get her textbooks from Amazon but finds it difficult because they do not always carry the textbooks she needs.
“Renting is less than everything,” said Stuart. “Amazon is way cheaper but I shop at the bookstore only because the CSUN bookstore has certain books that I need, and rent-a-text is cheaper.”
Amy Berger, store director for the Matador Bookstore, said all you need to bring in in order to rent a book is “a valid driver’s license, a credit card, and then fill out the rental agreement, take it to the check-out and we take an imprint of the credit card, sign the rental, and you’re good to go.”
Students can also purchase the textbook during the rental period if they wish to keep it. “They get a refund for the rental price and then they pay the full price of the book,” said Berger.
If the textbook is returned late, the full price of the book is charged to the listed credit card plus a 7.5 percent processing fee, said Berger.
“I personally think it’s a steal,” said Brian Barraza, 18, a theater major who works at the Matador Bookstore. “You’re saving sometimes more than half off. That’s money that goes towards gas, car, clothes; it’s just a great deal. Plus, if you buy new the buy-back price is never guaranteed…the money you save really goes a long way.”