launches textbook rental program

By Kelly Price

Independent Florida Alligator, U. Florida via UWIRE

Students can now add to the list of websites to scour when comparing prices for textbook rentals.

Amazon, which already sells and buys textbooks, launched a textbook rental program Wednesday, according to a press release.

Students can now rent textbooks and have them shipped to their doors or opt for a Kindle eTextbook rental.

All rentals are eligible for free standard shipping on orders of $25 or more as well as free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime.

College students can also sign up for Amazon Student, a free membership program with benefits such as six months of free two-day shipping and email alerts with discounts.

The membership covers two-day shipping on products including video games, CDs, phones and Kindles, the company said in the release.

“College is expensive, and students are always looking for ways to save money on textbooks, which is why we’ve long offered great prices on both new and used textbooks,” Ripley MacDonald, director of textbooks at Inc., said in a statement.

Amazon’s pre-existing textbook trade-in program allows users to sell books or trade them in for credit.

Heather Halak, an 18-year-old U. Florida sophomore, has bought textbooks from Amazon before. She said the assurance Amazon Student provides with free two-day shipping on most orders is helpful.

“I know that in three days, a package will be at my door,” she said.

But Halak said she wouldn’t rent from the online retailer.

“When the class is over, you can just sell your textbooks back, whereas if you rent textbooks, you don’t get any of that money back,” she said.

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