Students to rent instead of buy textbooks
June 27, 2019
A new site which will allow university students to rent instead of buy textbooks for much cheaper has just launched.
Creator of RentaLibro Eve Halliwell came up with the idea to fill a gap in the market, particularly for students who couldn’t afford textbooks and needed them for a short time. She struggled to buy textbooks as a single parent when she was a student.
She didn’t intend on making any money for the first six months of the project as they built a following. “For me, it’s certainly about giving my idea to hopefully help people. My heart and generosity is more important to me than huge acquisitions of wealth.”
Marketing manager Andre Brice-Crawford came on board the project two months ago. He had a similar idea that would be like Trade Me, where you could borrow items instead of buying them. He had bought items he would use only a few times a year.
He said its aim wasn’t to reach every student but the ones who couldn’t afford to buy a textbook outright. “Some people will just, regardless if there’s a cheaper option, will just want to go buy the next textbook. There’s some students who will go look on Facebook. Those are the kind of students who will look into renting.”
Students could register and set a price for renting and bond money, if they wanted the extra security. He said the site would be safer as many students were getting scammed on Facebook. It had safety measures in place such as having to register and verify ID.
Student Trevor Broviak found textbooks really expensive for his course. Each textbook was around $120 brand new. He thought he found a good deal when someone was selling all four textbooks on Facebook for $200.
However, once he sent the money, the seller deleted his account and there was no way to find him. “I felt totally betrayed and taken advantage of. I trusted him and was left with nothing”, Broviak said. It made that semester hard for him as he had to do without any textbooks and look everything up online.
Vic Books manager Sue Cochrane said it had trialled renting books out but it didn’t make enough money from it. She didn’t see the benefit of renting. “Students can buy a second hand book for the same price as renting one.”
She also didn’t think there was enough demand for it and that students could make the money back by selling their textbook to them.