No More Amazon Textbook Rental Program? Not a Problem—Rent with BooksRun!

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Amazon announced the discontinuation of its print textbook rental program along with its print and digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions. The sales of print textbooks and books, both new and old, will stay available. Many students who used to rent textbooks from Amazon will now be looking for other alternatives, and it’s high time for us at BooksRun to remind you about the benefits of our book rental program.

Why Is Amazon Discontinuing Its Textbook Rental Program?

Amazon has been recently making many changes in various sectors of its business, and Amazon rental book and textbook sectors have also been affected.
While Amazon has offered more than 10,000 textbooks for rent at affordable prices for years and has been so far one of the first places where students looked for books both for sale and for rent, things have changed. According to Publishers Weekly, “The company is ending its print textbook rental program, which was established about a decade ago, and will phase out print and digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well.” The news has recently appeared in Publishers Weekly, and it’s going to affect the entire textbook industry a lot. Why did Amazon decide upon such a change, and what to expect?

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What to Expect?

  • The print textbook rental program will be discontinued in the course of the spring semester.
  • The digital textbook rental program (book rental online) stays available.
  • The sale of new and used textbooks will continue.
  • Also, print and digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions and single-issue sales available on Kindle Newsstand will also be terminated.

What Are the Possible Reasons?

In the aforementioned press release, the company’s spokesperson Lindsay Hamilton explained that “Following an assessment of our print textbook rentals and our magazine and newspaper subscriptions and single-issue sales, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue these services. We don’t take these decisions lightly and are winding down these offerings in a phased manner over several months. We will continue to support customers, sellers, and publishers during that time.” Yet, Amazon will continue renting digital books (eBooks) as well as selling new and used books.

So, what’s the possible reason behind this? With Jeff Bezos at the head of Amazon, growth was more important than profits. However, it looks like with Andy Jassy as CEO, the company’s policy has clearly changed. Now Amazon has entered the cost-cutting mode to save cash and stop sales from further slowing down. All the recent alternations and moves speak plainly about the dedication to the frugal course (where necessary) and focus on profits.

Here’s what’s been done in recent months: 

In other words, Amazon is cutting down on the underperforming sectors and making every effort to focus only on those that bring or promise to bring profit. To use Jassy’s own words, “Good companies that last a long period of time, who are thinking about the long term, always have this push and pull… Some years where they’re checking in and working on profitability, tightening the belt a little bit. And sometimes when you have multiple businesses like we do at Amazon, some businesses are expanding at the same time that others are checking in.” Taking into consideration that throughout entire Amazon’s history, the company has never had a problem parting with what’s not working anymore, the print rental program shut-down is only natural. It means that book rentals Amazon used to offer for many years have stopped being as lucrative as they used to be. It also means that regardless of what Amazon received for offering cheap textbook rentals—balancing these offers by high breakage/non-return fees (You can learn more about Amazon’s textbook rental processes through one of its third-party vendors—Apex Media—in the article covering the truth about renting textbooks.)—the profits must have considerably plummeted, given the company’s decision to wind down the program. And the reason for this might be the declining demand for physical textbook rentals. Is it so?

What Are the Recent Book Rental Trends?

There have been no signs that the book rental market is in recession at the moment—despite the recent Covid-19 pandemic-induced crisis and economic downfalls—though there has been a perceptible decrease in textbook rental demand over the past ten years. However, as far as we can see, overall book rental demand has stayed more or less stable since 2019, and textbook rental demand has also been relatively stable, taking into account its seasonal nature.

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Image source: Google Trends

While some physical textbook rental resources are shutting down (e.g., Campus Book Rentals, which resources, we suppose, have been redirected to other business sectors by the parent Nebraska Book Company), others prefer to go digital, following the path of many publishers (e.g., TextbookRush)—as eTextbooks are growing in popularity and eTextbook rental market is increasing together with eBook textbook rental demand. It’s possible that Amazon (which we’ve already mentioned has never had a problem parting with something that doesn’t work anymore) has decided to put a bet on digital rentals as well—hence the decision to keep digital textbook rentals.

However, we can say that students are still interested in college book rentals—both physical textbook and eTextbook rentals—and are actively using textbook rental services. Yet, in the light of the recent Amazon news, they won’t be looking for the answers to “How to rent textbooks on Amazon?” and “How to return Amazon rental book?” as both questions will soon be irrelevant. Instead, they will be looking for other print textbook rental opportunities. 

Where to Rent Textbooks Now? On BooksRun!

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BooksRun has been offering textbook rental services for many years. Currently, we have more than 170,000 books and textbooks, and we continue to increase our supply. We provide various used books as well as new books and textbooks. We also provide the best prices and exceptional customer service; our order processes are straightforward and streamlined. Over the years, we’ve helped out thousands of students get their textbooks, and we don’t plan to stop.

Now that Amazon announced the discontinuation of its print rental program, we can help students even more. Here is how we work and why we can be your choice for rental textbooks in the future.

BooksRun Rental Terms 

  • With BooksRun, you can rent textbooks for 35, 60, 90 days, and for a longer period depending on the book and the season.  
  • You can also extend your rental for 15 days (multiple times).
  • The rental period starts from the date of order placement. 
  • Standard shipping on all orders is free of charge. Expedited shipping is $3.99 per item.
  • We don’t provide any supplementary materials (access codes, CDs, etc.) with rental orders.

How to Rent Books and Textbooks with BookRun

Step 1: Find the textbook you need by entering the book’s ISBN, author, or title. Click “Search.” Choose the rental period and click “Add to cart.”

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Step 2: You can change the length of the rental period when you review your order in the next step. 

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Step 3: If you haven’t ordered anything from us before, we recommend registering. If you have an account, please sign in.

Step 4: Next, you make a payment and will be able to see your order and the deadline. It will be displayed as “Return by MM/DD/YYYY” in red. You can extend your period for 15 days.

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Rental Returns 

You should return your rental within the specified date. For your convenience, we send you friendly reminders: texts and emails, from an email about the rental shipment to a reminder of the rental deadline before purchase. Please read more about our rental rules and policies on our Terms and Conditions page (Purchases and Rentals).

How to Return Your Rental

Our return rental process and policy are simple: you should ship the book back by the deadline. We provide you with a free return label. Once you have clicked the button “Print free return label” on your rental order page and received a prepaid return shipping label, it should be used within 25 days; otherwise, it will become unavailable. You’ll have to cover the return shipping fee yourself.

We have a manual on how to return your rentals; please check it to make sure you understand all the steps: HOW TO RETURN YOUR RENTAL.

Why Choose BooksRun Book Rental Services?

BooksRun’s mission is to provide exceptional used book buying, renting, and buyback services at the best prices. By choosing to rent books online from us, you can expect 

  • Low prices and many cheap books for rental
  • More than 100,000 new and used books
  • Straightforward rental and payment processes
  • Transparent rental terms
  • Free standard shipping
  • Prepaid return labels for rentals
  • Exceptional customer service

By choosing us as an alternative to Amazon print textbook rentals—which will no longer be available soon—you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out we have a lot to offer. From cheap books for rent to impeccable service, there are plenty of benefits. We encourage you to rent your textbooks for the next semester with BooksRun, and see for yourself! 

Natalie Song