Beginning in the fall, students at UNC Pembroke will have another option to save money on textbooks; they will be able to rent their books, rather than purchase them. By renting, students may save up to half of the cost of textbooks, many of which cost more than $100.
Bookstore student worker Essence Reels, left, shows student Megan McMillan how the textbook rental kiosk works.
This summer two kiosks were installed next to the cash registers at the bookstore. The kiosks will make rental as easy as swiping a credit or debit card, said Karen Swiney, director of UNCP Bookstore.
“The soft rollout this summer went smoothly,” Swiney said. “Without advertising, we rented 113 textbooks of the 83 titles offered.”
Two years ago the bookstore began a “guaranteed buyback” program that offered students half the price of textbooks upon return. Textbook rental is another option to save. The program may save students even more money by offering used textbooks as well as new ones.
“We’re providing options to fit students’ budgets,” Swiney said. “We expect this program will grow over time.”
The savings is about the same as UNCP Bookstore’s guaranteed buyback program, so students can choose to save up front or at the end of the semester. Because the book rental only accepts credit cards, students will not be able to use financial aid to rent textbooks.
Students can browse the bookstore’s shelves where the rental options will be posted. Swiney said textbook rental options will be posted about two weeks prior to the start of school.
Swiney had a few words of caution. “Remember, rent means rent; students must return the book, or they will be charged,” she said. “If a student decides to keep the book, they will have to return the rental and purchase a new or used copy from the bookstore.”
The two kiosks will adequately serve students during the fall semester, and Swiney estimates that 200 titles will be available out of 1,200 the bookstore will offer.
The business is streamlined because the rentals are drawn from inventory. Bookstore Solutions of Ogden, Utah, is handling the rental business in partnership with UNCP Bookstore.
“The program requires little expense on our part and [provides] savings for students,” Swiney concluded.
For questions about the textbook rental program, please contact UNCP Bookstore at 910.521.6222.