July 7, 2009 | | Leave a comment College students can now rent textbooks from Chegg.com. The company started in 2003 but evolved over the years. It started out as a mini craigslist but never took off. The owners realized most of their traffic was looking for used textbooks. Since textbooks are the largest expense for students besides tuition, and housing, the owners of chegg.com decided to make that their primary service. Although that didn't work well either because no one wanted to buy books in the spring when students were trying to sell them. So the students would just end up selling their books back to the bookstore for zilch. One girl that I saw selling her books back ended up getting $80 dollars back even though she spent $450. She remarked "Wow Christmas came early this year." Even though everyone felt the same, she was the only one that voiced her annoyance at the fact that we were being ripped off. Having the option to rent books online however, ends up saving students lots of money. As more and more students are trying new alternatives instead of buying from the bookstore. Many students have turned to buying their books online, or trying to get a professor to put a spare copy on reserve at the library, or copying all the pages from someone elses book at the copy center. These options have worked well for students, but renting is also another great way to get books at a lower price. Initially how the system worked on Chegg, was that the order was placed online and then the company searched the web for the cheapest copy. Then the book would be placed on Chegg's owner's credit card. As Chegg's has grown the system has improved. They now have an automated system that is much quicker. For students interested in renting, book prices vary. A macroeconomics book retail priced is around $122 but renting from Cheggs is $65 a semester. An organic chemistry book worth $123 is offered for $33. However, there is a $4 shipping charge for each book. The books are not only offered at a cheap price, but they are also in good shape. However, they can only be rented out so many times. Chegg's offers a great alternative for book buying. Renting books can help students handle the rising costs of education and the savings offered at Chegg's has turned many students into big fans.