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Company Gives College Students The Option To Rent Expensive Text Books

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Like many college students, Cathy Polcano looked for ways to find a good deal on her textbooks but found she always ended up paying top dollar. “I remember spending over $300 for one semester,” she said.

Last semester while registering for classes online, Kathy noticed something new. “You have the option of buying it used, new or you can rent it,” she said.

Students all over the country are now renting their textbooks through bookrenter.com, a company started by former starving college student Colin Barceloux. “How could a book that was worth $200 or $300 two or three months later be worth nothing and I started selling these books online,” he said.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

What began as a way for Colin to make a little extra month has transformed into a thriving business. Bookrenter.com now partners with various suppliers providing access to more than five million textbooks, most at a steep discount.

Here’s a look at exactly how much students are saving.

A Botany text that retails for $112 in the campus bookstore is just $28 dollars on Bookrenter.com. A used writing book is $28 dollars in a bookstore and just $10 on Bookrenter.com.

Surprisingly book stores are not complaining. In fact the campus store at San Francisco state was one of the first to partner with the company in an effort to avoid losing students to other online retailers.

What makes Bookrenter.com different from other online booksellers is students can either have their books shipped directly to them or they can pick them up at the campus bookstore.

For Cathy, the savings makes a big difference in her budget for the semester. “It gives me extra cash to buy food and eat and spend it on other leisurely things,” she said.

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