“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times
BookRenter 4 Star Rating: Cheapism Good Pick
Where to Buy BookRenter

BookRenter does exactly what the name suggests, and for relatively cheap prices. In addition to renting textbooks, the site hosts a marketplace for purchasing new and used books. Many BookRenter reviews come from repeat customers who say the site is easy to use, and the books arrive on schedule and in good condition. Negative reviews on sites such as Reseller Ratings typically mention universal drawbacks of renting textbooks instead of buying. For instance, some customers caution that online access codes and supplemental materials often are not included with a rental, so if they are important to a class or your study habits, look elsewhere.

Typing in the title, author, or ISBN number of a book and clicking on the search result reveals a list of rental options, from 30 to 125 days. BookRenter claims that books are sent out within two days, and several reviews on Trustpilot attest to timely delivery, although others howl that books did not show up when expected. Shipping is free in both directions for orders over $25. Students who need a book in a hurry can shell out an extra $9.99 to $19.99 for expedited shipping. Refunds for rented books are available within 21 days of the date the order was placed (14 days for ebooks). The refunds include taxes but not shipping, unless BookRenter made an error.

Rentals can be extended for up to 14 days, in seven-day increments. Students who decide they want to keep the book at the end of the rental period can buy it out. Otherwise they must use a pre-printed label to send back the book from a Post Office, FedEx, or UPS location. Some reviewers recount disputes with BookRenter about the timeliness of a return or the condition of a returned book. Although highlighting is permitted, minor damage incurs a $15 fee. Books judged to be in less-than-good condition cost the student the buyout price.

Books for sale via BookRenter come from third-party sources. After connecting students with sellers in its marketplace, BookRenter bows out of the transaction. Still, some reviewers hold the site accountable for the caliber of the product and service, which isn't always good.

This website seems to excel at its core business. Renting is a reliably cheap option for obtaining textbooks, and renting is what BookRenter is all about.

by Elizabeth Sheer (Google+ Profile) – September 8, 2015
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