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New Rental Books business

    • 4 posts
    July 8, 2007 4:53 PM EDT
    Hi,

    Me and a friend want to start a textbook rental business. We have been working with the idea for a few months now. Would like input from a few people about the idea. Let me know if you need more details and would be glad to provide them

    Thanks,
    A
    • 4 posts
    July 9, 2007 1:38 AM EDT
    I am located in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
    • 4 posts
    July 9, 2007 1:05 PM EDT

    Hi,

    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?

    Thanks,

    A

    • 4 posts
    July 15, 2007 5:20 AM EDT
    Hi Craig,

    Thank you very much for your response. You definitely have a point and it made us go back to the drawing board.

    Appreciate your input.

    Regards,
    Atul
    • 10 posts
    August 2, 2007 7:48 AM EDT

    You didn`t mention this, but I hope you remembered to factor in one very important expense for this business: author royalties.

    Failure to pay royalties based on multiple users could and most likely will result in lawsuits from the Authors Guild, the publishers, and the authors. Unlike libraries, you will be sharing these books for a profit, which can leave you open to copyright infringement lawsuits. Make sure you purchase a multiple user license for each book you acquire. You can do this by contacting the publishers of the books. It would probably be in your best interest to buy the books directly from the publishers, along with the license.

    As an author and a publisher, I can tell you we take copyright issues very seriously. In fact, there has been a movement (for quite some time) by some authors and publishers (not me or my company) to charge libraries for multiple-use licenses. Most authors do not make enough money to quit their day jobs, so royalties are a touchy subject with them. Good luck with your venture.

    ---
    Claddagh Publishing
    Claddagh Ltd.
    Your First Choice ~ The Right Choice
    CladdaghPublishing

    • 120 posts
    July 24, 2007 8:44 AM EDT

    Research how to offer downloadable textbooks to PDAs or even how to do podcasts of textbooks. Sort of like an audiobook except downloadable to PDA. Textbook rental is an ok idea, however, you`ll be buying the textbook, renting them for maybe 4 semesters, and then the required books change for the class. It will be hard to make money. Beleive it or not, there is a financial gain made by the Universities and the professors in choosing which textbooks to use. Another idea is textbook sharing. Find a way for two people to use the same textbook, cut their cost in half, you profit, everyone is happy.

    Thinks ahead of eveeryone else. What will make a student`s life easier, cheaper, what will make them smarter, or better looking.

    Just a few thoughts.

    ---
    Get Out of Debt

    • 84 posts
    July 9, 2007 5:47 AM EDT
    Great idea - I wish a service like that existed when I was in college!

    ---
    Oleg Issers | StartupNation.com Web Team

    50% of computer programming is trial and error. The other 50% is copy and paste.

    • 84 posts
    July 9, 2007 8:02 AM EDT

    "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".

    ---
    Oleg Issers | StartupNation.com Web Team

    50% of computer programming is trial and error. The other 50% is copy and paste.

    • 84 posts
    July 9, 2007 8:56 AM EDT

    Well when you rent them, you may end up paying that much as well.

    I used Bigwords when they used to do the buying and selling ... now it`s just a price database. It worked out pretty well for me. I don`t know what the age comparison is here, but when I was in school ... it was the rise of Amazon and Bigwords, so there wasn`t much use in going to the campus bookstore.

    I was just posing the question as a strategy issue ... the question is something this person will have to address in creating a marketing strategy!

    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.

    ---
    Oleg Issers | StartupNation.com Web Team

    50% of computer programming is trial and error. The other 50% is copy and paste.

    • 3 posts
    July 26, 2007 8:37 AM EDT
    check this out
    http://www.maketextbooksaffordable.org/newsroom.asp?id2=1810 7
    might this be of help?