Friday, November 15, 2013


I was approached by Angela  of Campus Book Rentals to partner with  by posting something on my blog.  I would be compensated.  First - I don't think I have many college aged kids reading this blog, but maybe some parents? And Second - I've never done this and heck if I know how legit it is, but I'll give you my review of what I learned through some research. 

1) Campus Book Rentals is a partner with Operation Smile. I'm big into supporting non-profits, having a non-profit background myself and knowing what beneficial work some of these organizations do within our local communities, and throughout the world, such as Operation Smile is doing. 

A little bit about Operation Smile from their website:  
  • Every 3 minutes, a child somewhere in the world is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. One in 10 children born with a cleft will die before their first birthday. 
  • During FY 12, 73.2% of all donations went directly to programs, while 20.6% was spent on fundraising and 6.2% for administration expenses. 
  • Operation Smile and its more than 5,000 medical volunteers are working every day around the world to provide safe, effective and free cleft lip and cleft palate reconstructive surgery for children all over the world.  We are an international medical humanitarian organization that works in over 60 countries that is dedicated to raising awareness of this life-threatening issue and providing lasting solutions. 
Please feel free to learn more about Operation Smile on their website.  Their focus is on the Philippines at the moment (understandably!).

2)  From the website - They are one of the original companies with the concept of renting college textbooks instead of purchasing them, then trying to sell them back to the campus book store at the end of the semester.  They been in business since 2007 and have over 1 million folks renting books from 5,800 colleges across the nation.  

If I understand it correctly, you can either rent books from them, or if you own books, you can rent your books to other folks via their website.  As a student renting a book, you may highlight in the book and treat it as if you own it.  (Down side - that means if you rent a book, it may be really marked up from the people ahead of you, as one person complained). However, for the cost savings over purchasing the books may be worth it to you.  Shipping is free both directions! 

So I asked someone who has one graduate and one still in college to help me compare this program to what she's been doing on Amazon.  She purchases the books used from online Amazon vendors. Once she is done, she sells the book on Amazon to recoup some money back.  We pulled two books from her recent inventory to see how it compares to 

The Human Record Vol1 Sources of Global History to 1700.                      
To Rent for 130 Days:  $58.49                     
To "Lend/rent" this book to other students:  $36.15 - $19 for their expenses = $17.15 in your pocket  
(Expenses: $11.70 in shipping, $3.30 markting, $2.20 Labor & Processing, $1.80 Profit for Campus Book Rentals)

The Human Record Vol1 Sources of Global History to 1700.
Purchased used: $48 + 3.99 ship = $51.99
Amazon Trade-in program:  $43.67 + free shipping = $43.67 (which she received as Amazon Credit for ANYTHING)
Total money spent to use the book: $8.32 

I personally think the Amazon deal is a better deal, however, if you don't want to deal with all that, maybe the is the way to go.  I have no idea what it would cost in your local campus book store.

I did try to check on other recent ones, not wanting to get too far out of date with the comparasions, but Campus Book Rentals werent accepting those from students for rent at this time.  My guess is there isn't a demand for them, but it doesn't allow me to compare. 

BOTTOM LINE: I think if you use your noggin, there are less expensive ways to get the books you need for college, however, I don't feel like this is a bad program.  And I'm glad to see companies partnering with non-profits to help give back and make the world a better place.  Who knows if they'll pay me for this review or not; regardless I have to be honest in how I feel. 

Do you have any dealings with college book programs like this or others? Feel free to comment below, I'm open to learning more about the process. :)  Thanks Ya'll! 

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