Textbooks are undoubtedly a source of headache for many college students—why oh why are so many of them the price of iPods? No one wants to shell out the entire contents of their wallets for a stack of hardcovers that they’ll probably never flip open again once the semester’s over…but what can you do? Sure, if you’re lucky enough you may be able to find and borrow them from the campus library— you may even be able to find a free copy online somewhere; but usually this isn’t the case. There’s also always the option of buying a used book from someone else, but while that might save you a little bit of money upfront, you’re left with the hassle of having to try to get rid of it after your classes are over.
But what if we told you that there was another way for you to get the books that you needed for school without emptying your bank account? What is it? Textbooks Rentals. Although the notion of buying used textbooks have been around for a while, the idea of renting them is still a fairly new concept to many unaware students. With rentals, you don’t have to worry about having to sell it once your final exams are over to try to get a portion of your money back; you simply return it back to where it came from—and that’s it! Think of it as a textbook library, with a small added fee. Another good thing about this option is that these rental companies typically have an enormous inventory of books, so chances are they’ll have the ones that you need. No more hunting around for textbooks!
However which rental company should you use? With the amount of options out there, you probably want to do a little bit of research before committing to one for your college texts. In this article, we will be talking about Chegg—a San Francisco based company who specializes in textbook rentals.
An Overview (and a Little History) on Chegg.com
First established in 2001 by Mike Seager, Mark Fiddelke and Josh Carlson as a classified website for students at Iowa State University, Chegg (initially known as “Textbook Flix”) eventually became a national textbook retailer in late 2003; it was later launched under its current name in 2005. Having garnered a few investors to fund their plans, the company soon turned into a full-time ordeal for the founders, who at that point, had left their original careers to focus entirely on the growing website. After publicizing the website on numerous campus campaigns as well as by word-of-mouth, Chegg’s presence on the internet quickly became known amongst students in the US.
Noticing the staggering amounts that students usually spent on textbooks, the founders soon turned their attentions towards the possibility of starting an online textbook rental service. Putting their plans into motion, Chegg (which was still known as “Textbook Flix” at the time) eventually began renting out books in 2008, following a model similar to Netflix. Considered to be an attraction option for many students, the company soon found itself with hundreds of orders over the next few months. Growing quickly, as of 2010, Chegg has rented out over 2,000,000 books!
How Does Textbook Rental on Chegg Work?
Say you wanted to go for it…how would you get started? Let’s go over the steps. First off, you’d want to type in the name of the book that you’re looking for in the search bar. Upon doing so, you’d be greeted with a page of results—the textbook that you’re after should be at the top of the list (given that you’ve inputted the correct information). Click the selection and you’ll be brought to that particular book’s details, including its rental and purchasing prices (should you decide to buy). Simply make sure you’ve checked off the “rental” option and select your state from the drop down menu; after you’re done you can then proceed to add it to your cart. From there, you just create an account to finish the process. You can make your payment easily and securely via credit card, Paypal or Masterpass!
As soon as your rental order is placed, Chegg will begin the process of shipping the book to your front step; they guarantee delivery of the texts no later than the exact date on your order confirmation so you’ll know exactly when you’ll get your books. While you’re waiting for it to arrive, you’re also given a seven day access to a free online version of the book—this means that you can use and read the book before it even gets to your house, how awfully convenient! We all learn differently and you may be wondering, “Can I highlight in the books?” The answer to that is yes (but you know, just don’t overdo it)!
The idea of returning textbooks may seem like such a hassle but it really isn’t! When you’re done with the text, simply sign into your account on Chegg.com to get your free prepaid UPS return label—that’s right, you’re not responsible for any of the shipping charges! Just put it into any old box, slap the return label on said box and drop it off at your local UPS office (make sure to do so on or before your due-date though!). If you rented multiple textbooks, you can also save yourself the hassle and just send them all together in the same box, super easy.
If at any time you feel that you’d rather keep the book for yourself, that’s a possibility too. Not to mention that you also have complete control over its due date, so you can extend the rental period if you’ve decided that you want to keep it a little bit longer.
Chegg’s Inexpensive Textbook Pricing
By using Chegg for your textbook rentals, you can save up to an amazing 90%! You get to use the same books as the rest of your classmates for your courses, but you get to save your money for the things that really matter in collegeーsuch as good food and shopping trips to the malls. For example, you’ll be able to rent a textbook that sells for over $170 at the bookstore for only $56! At the very least, you’ll be able to get your books for half of its retail price—that’s still a lot of money saved if you ask me!
But that’s not all! Chegg also offers exclusive coupons from time to time that help to lower their already low prices even further. Looking at their coupons page (accessible from a link at the bottom of their site labelled “Chegg Coupons”), you can see that they currently have a free shipping code for all orders above $50 (which is pretty easily to fulfill textbook-wise) which expires on September 30, 2016.
Their 21 Day Hassle-Free Return Policy
Sometimes we change our minds after making a purchase and that’s no big deal at all with Chegg. In fact, the company has a wonderful refund policy in place, which allows you to get your money back (minus the shipping costs) anytime you’re unsatisfied with your textbooks within 21 days of the purchase, hassle-free. They’ve made the process very straightforward; all you need to do is print a return label from their Return Center, put said book in a box with the label on and send it back to them. That way, you’ll never have to worry about having to pay for a text that you don’t need after switching or dropping classes.
If you’re ever unhappy about the condition of the book which you’ve received, you are also entitled to a free exchange for another copy, given that one is available—just return the one that you got back to Chegg and they’ll be happy to send you a different book.
Customer Satisfaction and Support
Over the years, Chegg has helped to ease the textbook woes of tens of thousands of students across the country; they are also always open to feedback from their customers. Praised for their quick shipping and the ease of returning, the company has grown to become one of the most well trusted textbook rental websites in the United States. Out of the vast amounts of college students served since the inception of their rental services in 2008, only a small handful have ever faced any issues—and even if they do, they are typically sorted out promptly by their excellent customer service team.
If you ever have any questions about their textbook rentals, you can visit their Help Center (accessible from the top right corner of the page) to see the most commonly encountered inquiries along with their answers. If you don’t see your question there, you are also always welcome to ask on social media—that’s right, Chegg has a Twitter account, just for answering customer questions.
You can tweet (or view previously asked questions) them under their handle @CheggHelp anytime during their open hours (7am to 10pm seven days a week) for a speedy response! Alternatively, you can also contact the support chat Monday to Sunday from 6am to 5pm PST as well as on the phone from 5am to 6pm on weekdays.
Other Services Offered by Chegg
Besides being just a book renting website, they also offer other services such as online tutoring, ACT and SAT test preps, course reviews and textbook solutions. You can even get answers to your homework questions by snapping a photo of the problem you’re your phone on their mobile app—in as little as thirty minutes! When you download the app, you are also given exclusive access to Chegg’s vault of over 6 million already asked questions—valuable information which will undoubtedly help you to grasp difficult concepts (which previous students like you have already asked about). As an added bonus, first time users will also be eligible for an hour of free one-on-one online tutoring from some of the best tutors from Chegg.
Wanting students to be able to get the best out of their college experience, Chegg also offers a number of scholarships for eligible individuals featuring monetary amounts from $500 to $100,000—most of which are available for application online. Feel free to check to see if you’re able to qualify for any of them by visiting their “Scholarships” page under the College menu, you have nothing to lose!