According to the National Association of Colleges, as many as 65 percent of students opt to not buy textbooks. At some college campuses in Utah there is now another option.
Last February a pair of entrepreneurs, Ron Akins and Stephen Watkins of Murfreesboro, TN, started the first-of-its-kind textbook rental service website called mybookhead.com.
Since February the operation has grown to the point that mybookhead.com is now operating in six states servicing 37 college campuses including UVU, BYU and Weber State.
There are no membership fees or service charges, just the rental fees that range from five to 15 percent of retail prices. According to Akins and Watkins, students can rent textbooks on an “as needed” basis. Rentals last three days and automatically renew if textbooks are not returned on time and continue to self renew with no late fees until the retail price of the textbook is met. “Once they’ve paid the price of the book they own it.” Akins said. “We never exceed retail price. Some people are just using it as a payment plan.”
The service operates in collaboration with local off-campus bookstores such as Beat the Bookstore. Students simply login to the mybookhead.com website, set up a free account, find their local bookstore, browse the inventory and rent.
Mike Winward, co-owner of the Orem Beat the Bookstore location said that he heard news of the online rental service through the Murfreesboro, TN. Beat the Bookstore franchise that services Middle Tennessee State University, where mybookhead.com got its start, and expressed interest in joining.
Winward said that the expects to have the Orem store’s inventory list uploaded on the mybookhead.com site by the end of this week.