"Why rental vs purchase used and then sell back?"
In my experience, even when purchasing used and selling back you still end up paying something like 75% of the book`s face value. The price difference between a new and used textbook in a typical college book store is surprisingly small if the used book is in a decent shape. And you don`t get a whole lot selling it back to the store. So unless you are buying from and selling back to other students directly, renting would be a better value.
One possible problem I see with the rental business is how often textbooks are updated. You may end up getting stuck with a lot of expensive paperweights when a new edition comes out, and all the proffesorss require that students have the "latest and greatest".
You`re right, the rental price may need to be just as high to account for the short lifespan of each textbook - since you may only be able to rent it out for 2-4 semesters before the next edition comes out.
Is it really strange that I buy everything and anything from Amazon on a regular basis, yet never once bought an actual book from them? I don`t even remember the days when they were just a book store.
Thanks for the feedback. Our pricing model on achieving profit in 3 turns. The first 2 would be recovering the costs incurred. While this may not beat all the prices available in the market, it takes away from the student, the liability and inconvenience.
What do you guys think? Also, what else should we consider or do to take the next step?