June 23, 2010, 2:09 PM

ECampus.com targets more textbook rentals

Less than a year after it began offering online textbook rentals, eCampus.com is expanding the program to include almost 400,000 titles.

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Less than a year after it began offering online textbook rentals, eCampus.com is expanding the program to include almost 400,000 titles.

ECampus.com, No. 246 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, launched an online textbook rental program with about 150,000 titles last August as a way to give students and others more ways to acquire required reading materials for their classes.

Now eCampus.com, which also manages the virtual bookstores for about 150 universities, colleges and high schools, has expanded the range of titles students can rent and made it easier to complete the rental process. “A year ago we put our toe in the water and now we are expanding,” says eCampus vice president of customer experience Mark Carson.

A more prominent search box on the home page lets students look for books by title, author, keyword and ISBN. Each product page also now has an expanded “rent book” feature with a drop-down menu that gives students the option to rent the title by semester (130 days), by quarter (90 days) and by session (60 days). To the right of the shopping cart and once a student has selected a time frame, the product page also displays the expected return date in red type.

A typical textbook for a biology course may rent for about $70.43 for a semester, compared with buying the text new for $153.33, used for $111.80 and a digital version good for 180 days for $71.54, says eCampus.com. “The expanded textbook rental program along with the other options to purchase give students better options and more choices,” says Carson.

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