Photo: Sarah Melita
Few industries are more badly in need of disruption than textbook publishing.Every semester, students fork over masses of cash for extremely expensive textbooks. Teachers choose the books, but students pay for them, so the incentives to compete on price aren’t what they should be. Then, every few years, publishers make a few minor tweaks, issue a new edition, and send the resell value of the textbooks down to near zero.
Enter Chegg, a Santa Clara startup that has been crushing it for the past few years by providing students with an alternative: textbook rentals.
Chegg offers students the opportunity to pay well below cover price for books that they then return when the semester or school year is over. Chegg then rents them back out to a new batch of students.
That simple idea has brought Chegg $144 million in venture funding since 2007. Simply put, the company is crushing it.
So how does it all work? We spent some time with it, and took a look at:
Setting up an account is pretty standard, except that Chegg wants a school affiliation. That doesn't mean that non-students are excluded, however.
If they have the book you're looking for, you can specify how long you need it for, and see how much you'll save by not buying it
The rental price depends on whether you need the book for 60 days, a quarter, a semester, or a full year
This is smart: Chegg will pay you if you like, but it offers you a higher price in Chegg credit. Either way, enter your return address and you're good to go.
Seller beware: if Chegg feels your books aren't in good enough condition, it won't pay you anything, and won't return them.
Even if you don't have any old Krugman textbooks lying around, you can still make money by becoming a Chegg promoter
Even if you're already signed up for Chegg, you have to reenter all your information to apply for this.
Chegg gives you a unique promotional code to distribute. When people spend money on the site and enter your code, they get a discount, and you get paid.
Clicking on one of them fires up Twitter in a separate window, and queues up the tweet. Press 'tweet' and....
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