Rental has shaken up the textbook industry over the last five years, and the staying power of this trend indicates that it isn't going to lose traction any time soon. If your store doesn’t currently offer rentals, now is the time to seriously consider it.
1. Rental protects your reputation
When you give your students a variety of ways to save, what you're really demonstrating is that you're on their side. Offering rental, in addition to a broad selection of other purchasing options, shows that you are doing everything you can to help lower textbook costs — and lets them know that you have their best interests at heart.
2. You need to be competitive
Any student with a smartphone in her hand can access a multitude of readily available options at any time. You can be certain that your customers are actively comparison shopping, even as they stand in your bookstore, in front of your books. Having a rental option allows you to be competitive with your pricing — even more so if your rental program allows you to set your own prices. To capture the sales of your phone-wielding customers, they need to see a range of options on your shelves, including lower-priced rental titles.
3. You want to gain marketshare
When students come to your store to rent their books, it’s inevitable that they’ll have to make a second trip to return them at the end of the term. Every time they walk through your door, there’s a built-in potential for add on sales and an opportunity for you to position your store as their one-stop-shop for whatever else they need as well.
4. Rental returns = more books
You can assume that the majority of the titles that are rented are more than likely going to be returned, as most students will want to avoid the expense of nonreturned rental fees. Because they have to return the book to your store, students will often just sell back their other books at the same time, rather than having to investigate other options. This convenience for your customers will likely result in your store receiving more books at buyback.
And the last reason, to put it simply:
5. Students want it
When it comes to shopping for course materials, your students want more: more options, and more savings. Your store should be the obvious place for your customers to purchase their books, so make sure you are giving them what they want — and more importantly, what they expect.