Borders opens up textbook marketplace

Bambi Francisco Roizen · July 21, 2010 · Short URL:

Book giant could start textbook war as it offers discounts of up to 90% off used textbooks

College students are going to enjoy a lot of savings this new school year, as Borders is offering a 90% discount off of used textbooks.

Yep. Amid a boom in textbook-rental sales, Borders on Wednesday unveiled its strategy to grab some market share of students seeking bargains by creating "Borders Textbook Marketplace" for new and used textbooks. The marketplace, created in partnership with Alibris, will offer college, high school, middle and elementary school textbooks and some textbooks used for homeschooled children.

The new service features more than 1.4 million titles, with used textbooks savings of up to 90%.

In addition, students can earn extra cash by using the site's textbook buyback option. The buyback option allows students to offload the book, much like they would if they'd rented the book.

But Borders, at the moment, doesn't offer textbook rental. It wouldn't be surprising if the marketplace opening is just the first step.

After all, textbook rentals are exploding.

The textbook rental market is growing at 300%, according to Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of BookRenter, one of the leading book rental players. The other player is Chegg, which is estimated to be dominating this fast-growing sector is estimated to be generating some $130 million in sales. 


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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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