August 5, 2008, 12:00 AM

Textbook e-retailers partner to offer buy and rent options

Biblio, which sells textbooks and other tomes, and Chegg, which rents textbooks, are partnering to give college students different options during the impending textbook season.

Biblio Inc. and Chegg Inc. are partnering to cross-promote their college textbooks offerings. In addition to used, rare and out-of-print books, Biblio.com offers textbooks for purchase. Chegg.com, on the other hand, rents textbooks to college students.

The goal of the partnership is to widen the audience for both e-retailers. The timing of the partnership was designed to maximize revenue during the impending college textbooks season, especially for what the e-retailers call “Textbook Tuesday,” August 19.

97% of U.S. college students own a computer and use the Internet daily, Biblio and Chegg say. Because students of this generation spend such a significant amount of time on the web, the companies believe students want an online method of tending to their textbook needs.

“Biblio is one of the fastest growing book marketplaces online,” says Osman Rashid, CEO of Chegg. “By offering customers the alternative to rent as well as buy, Biblio is providing a breadth of ways for its customers to save money on textbooks.”

Chegg launched its textbook rental service in July 2007. Rented textbooks are delivered to students before classes start. Once a semester is over, students print out pre-paid shipping labels from their online accounts and send books back.

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