Textbooks are a necessity for most, if not all college students. However while they’re needed for classes, they also tend to be ridiculously expensive. If you’ve ever taken any college courses, then you’re most likely aware of how wearying the process of textbook gathering can be; it’s time-consuming and costly. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you’re able to borrow a copy from a friend or from the library but even that, doesn’t occur that often for most people. Textbook publishers also have a thing for coming out with new versions every once in a while, something that renders the previous editions of the same book insignificant. But what can college students do about it? They still need their study materials—regardless of their price tags.
2018 Update: To get the best prices with available discounts and coupons at BiggerBooks.com you can click here.
For most of us who don’t want to shell out the money for the books’ retail prices, we buy them used. There are many ways of going about this; you can either buy them second-hand from the local bookstore on campus or you can buy them from someone who has taken the course previously. Most of us usually go with the second option; sure, it can be more of a hassle to find someone with the book you need, but in the long run, you tend to save more money that way—you don’t have to pay taxes when you’re just buying it off of someone for one thing. However despite its advantages, purchasing a used book still has its down sides; for instance, you’ll still be stuck with it after your done. To get a portion of the money back, you’d have to take the time to re-list it online, and hopefully find a buyer; otherwise, it’d just be another collection to the bookshelf (a rather costly one at that).
Occasionally, you may be lucky enough to find a copy of the book, which someone has shared online; but that’s only a small percentage of the time. Don’t get me wrong, you might still be able to, but it’s something that has grown to become increasingly difficult. With the rise of textbook prices (and their frequent new editions), a new attractive option has been made available for cost conscious students—textbook rentals. Just like renting from the library, you borrow the book for your classes, and simply return it back to where you got it from when you’re done with it and that’s it! There’s no hassle of having to try to relist it for sale, or even trying to find a space for it on your bookshelf. The only catch is that you have to pay a small rental fee (normally a fraction of the retail price) and that you have to return it before a given due date.
Where can you rent a textbook? There are dozens of options available out there nowadays, which should you choose? To help make your decision a little easier, we’ve taken the time to review one of the most popular textbook rental websites today—the Kentucky-based, Biggerbooks.com
An Overview and History of Biggerbooks.com
Initially launched as an online premier retailer of textbooks, Biggerbooks has come a long way since it was simply a place to buy and sell books in 2001. Recognizing the importance of affordability when it comes to buying said study materials; the company has placed a high priority on being able to offer them to college students at the most reasonable, and affordable prices. Since then, Biggerbooks has saved students from all across the country, thousands of dollars worth of textbook money. With their broad inventory of books, there’s no doubt that they will have the ones that you need—you’re just one search away from them!
After over a decade of serving as an online textbook retailer, Biggerbooks adopted the notion of textbook rentals in 2014. In order to help students further with their savings, the company made renting an option for those who’d rather not empty their wallets for their books. With the rental fees being only but a small portion of the retail prices, customers are undoubtedly able to keep the integrity of their bank accounts in check. That same year, Biggerbooks also launched a new, more modern design of their website in order to provide students with the best quality of customer service available.
Staying close to their roots of being a textbook retailer, Biggerbooks still offers both the selling and buying of used and new textbooks, should you choose not to rent. Chances are, their prices will also be cheaper than your local bookstore on campus! We’ll just be focusing on textbook renting however, for the purposes of this article.
How do I Rent a Textbook from Biggerbooks.com ?
At first, the idea of textbook rentals may seem novel and intimating but it’s actually very simple and straightforward; let’s go through it step by step. With your list of needed books in hand, simply visit their main webpage and enter in the title, ISBN or author of the textbook in question, into the search bar. Once you press the green “search” button, you’ll be presented with a list of results. Given that you’ve correctly inputted the information, the textbook that you’re looking for should be on the top of the list. Right off the bat, you should notice a rental price and a purchasing price—take note of how the rental price is only a small fraction of price to “Buy New Textbook.”
To reach the detailed page with more information on the book, click its title. On the new page, you’ll see that there is a list of rental options displayed in a grey box on the right along with its corresponding prices and lengths (eg. semester, quarter, short-term). Choose the period, which you’d like to rent the textbook for, make sure it’s selected and press the green “Rent Book” button. Once you do, a pop up will appear on your screen to confirm the addition into your cart. If you’d like to rent more books, simply press the “Continue Shopping” button, otherwise you can proceed to the payments page by clicking “Proceed to Checkout.”
Before you’re prompted to enter your payment details, you’ll be brought to a confirmation screen—where you can see a list of your selected books, their quantity as well as their rental price. On this page, you can also adjust the rental period once again if you’ve changed your mind on how long you’d like to borrow the textbook for. When everything is good, press the “Proceed to Checkout” button once again. If you’ve never used Biggerbooks.com, you will have to create an account to continue—don’t worry, it’s easily and will only take a couple of minutes to do, max. Afterwards, you’ll be able to carry on with your transaction; you can pay for your rental securely via credit or master card.
One thing to note is that, the company offers free shipping for your textbooks with any order over $79. Considering this, it’s probably best to rent two or more books at once to maximize on your savings. After your order is placed, Biggerbooks.com will begin the process of shipping out your items; while they typically ship it out within 2-3 business days, it may take a little longer in some cases depending on the inventory status of the book. If you’ve rented multiple textbooks and one is currently out of stock, your whole order will be put on hold until it becomes unavailable; for this reason, it’s highly advisable to only rent books that are listed as “in-stock” if you’d like to receive them within a certain time period. If your order is under $79, you will be charged a small $3 fee for economical shipping within the United States.
How do I Return My Textbook Back to BiggerBooks?
When you’re finished with the textbook, returning it is just as easy as when you first borrowed it. Simply login to your account at Biggerbooks.com and access the “My Rentals/Returns” page; on the next screen, you want to click on “Manage or Return My Rental”, then you want to select “Ship My Rental Return For Free” (yes, returning your books is FREE) Upon doing so, you’ll be brought to a list of your borrowed books—here you can select the ones you’d like to return by pressing on “Print Label & Complete Return” button. Afterwards, you’ll be presented with a prepaid UPS shipping label as well as a packing insert—make sure to place the shipping label on the outside of the packaging box and the packaging insert inside the box.
All that’s left at this point is to send off your books at your nearest UPS location. While you can place the box into a UPS Drop Box, it is not advised, as workers may not regularly check them; your best bet is to take it inside the store for shipping. Super easy! Just make sure you do all of this before your due date (it might be a good idea to set a phone reminder, just in case).
With Biggerbooks.com, you have complete control over the rental of your textbooks. If at any time during the period you’d like to extend your order, you can do so by signing into your account and visiting the “Rentals/Returns” page. Next, you’d want to select the green “Extend or Purchase My Rental” option; upon doing so, you’ll be given the option of extending your rental length by either 15, 30, 60, 90, or 130 days. To complete the extension, you just need to choose and confirm your payment information and shipping address—it’ll be all set after you click the “Place Order” button. Remember to take note of your new due date.
Similarly, if you ever change your mind and want to purchase the book, which you’ve rented, you can do so on the same “Manage Rentals/Returns” page mentioned above.
BiggerBooks’ Amazing Textbook Pricing
By renting your textbooks with Biggerbooks.com, you can save up to 91% compared to its list prices! Dedicated to offering students the most reasonable discounted textbooks prices, the company uses proprietary technology in order to scour and compare difference prices from across the web—ensuring that you will be getting the best prices available on the market. For example, a biology textbook with a list price of $172 currently only rents for $74! That’s less than half the cost of buying it retail! What’s there to lose?
One thing that makes Biggerbooks stand out amongst its competitors is the fact that they have daily deals. That is, every day they list a new promotion on their website—just click the banner on the main page and you’ll be shown its detailed information. Also since they put up a new deal daily, you won’t have to worry about placing an order on take in order to take advantage of their coupons! Just check back the next day for the next daily deal! For example, as I’m writing this, Biggerbooks has a coupon that gives 7% off any purchase of $75 or more. To take advantage of this you can click here.
To gain access to even more exclusive offers, you can subscribe to their mailing list!
Biggerbooks’ Return Policy
At Biggerbooks.com, they understand that sometimes we change our minds on our purchases and it’s okay. If at any time you’d like to return your textbook for a refund (plus a minor 10% restocking fee), you can do so within 25 days of your original order date (for short-term rentals, you will need to do so within 15 days) To do so, login to your account and access the “My Account” page; afterwards, select the “Manage Rentals/Returns” option. From there, you’ll be able to select the book which you’d like to get a refund for—you can do so easily be clicking on the “Return an item for a refund” link next to the chosen textbook. You will be given a return label for shipping purposes; print it out, slap it on the box, and take it to your nearest UPS facility.
After requesting for a refund, it can take up to 3-5 business days for the amount to be credited back onto your account. If you ever run into any issues, you can contact the support staff at Biggerbooks.com and they’d be happy to assist you!
Customer Service and Support Team
Have any questions about anything regarding their textbook rentals (or anything really, for that matter)? Biggerbooks has a professionally trained support team that is dedicated to helping their students meet their needs. If you need to grab ahold of someone to talk to regarding you order or if you just want to make an inquiry, you can do so effortlessly by choosing to talk with a staff member via their online chat. To use this option, simply visit their chat page (chat.biggerbooks.com)—the awesome thing about the chat is that they can assist you right away! The online chat is available Monday to Fridays from 8:30am to 6:00pm EST.
If you’d prefer to talk to a customer representative on the phone, you can also do so at toll free line at 1-866-870-9186. You can reach them on the weekdays, Mondays to Fridays from 8:30am until 6:00pm EST. Alternatively, you can also send them an email via their convenient contact form—just enter your contact information, a short message regarding the issues/questions and they’ll get back to you shortly.
If you’re thinking of contacting them, it might also be a good idea to check out BiggerBook’s Help Center first, for answers to some of their most frequently asked questions. You can access it via the link on the top right corner of the website. With the Help Center, you can either browse questions by category or search the topic that you’re interested in, in the search bar provided. Considering the fact that they’ve served thousands of customers over the years, someone has ought to have faced a similar situation as you!