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College Book Rental Business Idea

Learning how to start a college book rental business and successfully implementing the lessons you learn can put you on the road to successful entrepreneurship. College text books are expensive. Many of the same books required one year are also required the next.

With the rising costs of tuition, fees, and living expenses, college students and their parents are looking for ways to save. Renting used books is less expensive than buying them and has become a popular way to save.

Buying required books is the highest expenditure for most students after tuition and housing. Purchased new, many texts cost $100 or more. The concept behind the college book rental business is to offer the very same books as rentals at a much lower rate, saving the student 40-70%.

With research and some ingenuity, learning how to start a college book rental business can turn into a viable small business.

How to Start a College Book Rental Business

The location you choose for your book rental business must be carefully considered. Locate in an area frequented by students. There should be ample room for shelving and book inventories. Visit local bookstores and libraries to learn about efficient methods of shelving and storing books.

As you learn more about how to start a college book rental business, start gathering an inventory of required books. Begin building an inventory by buying used books from students after the semester ends. In addition to used books, you may have to purchase a well-rounded inventory of new books. The objective is to maintain a collection of highly sought after books to ensure there is a market for your service.

An inventory management system will be required to manage the collection. Bar coding books and computerizing inventories will make keeping track of book rentals more manageable.

Before opening your doors, consult with a copyright attorney. Book authors and publishers may be legally entitled to royalties as books are rented. The attorney will assist you in understanding the requirements and ensuring that you follow all copyright laws.

Obtain your business license from the city or county. You’ll also need to keep track of the courses offered each year so that you can ensure that you have the books that students will need.

Finding Book Renters

In order to run a profitable book rental business, you must have customers. Even if your location is in the midst of the student population, you have to give them a reason to come in the door. Use eye-catching signs and displays. Emphasize the savings on each display and sign.

Encourage students to come in and look around. If you have the right inventory and attractive pricing, students will start renting books from you.

Advertise in the student newspaper and place fliers around campus. Offer students who use your rental service a discount for referring others. Hold open houses and serve refreshments to attract students.

Learning how to start a college book rental business doesn’t end when the business opens. The longer you are in business, the more you will learn about the local student market and the inventory required to make money. Text books will change from time to time, so you need to stay well-informed.

Expanding Your College Book Business

Adding additional services to your book rental business can help increase the bottom line. Offering students the opportunity to purchase texts after the rental period is one way to increase revenue. Special orders can also bring in more business and automatically increase your inventory.

You may also even consider expanding your book rental business into a formal collegiate bookstore. In addition to book rental and sales, you could offer students a wide variety of collegiate clothing, classroom accessories, or even tutoring services.

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