May 17, 2011

BookRenter Announces the Next Evolution of the BookRenter Platform Built to Solidify College Stores as the Ultimate Source for Affordable Textbooks

Expanded offering combines college stores’ local advantage with integrated mobile and in-store tools to give students the best price, widest selection, and broadest choices in textbooks

Current platform adopted by more than 500 college stores, serving more than 6 million students, saving them more than 60 million dollars on textbooks in the last year

San Mateo, CA – May 17, 2011 – BookRenter, the largest and fastest growing textbook platform, today announced a major evolution of its platform that will make it easier for college bookstores to leverage their local advantage and compete more effectively for the business of the students they serve.

Building on the momentum of its initial offering – adopted by more than 500 stores in 2010 – BookRenter’s expanded platform gives local stores integrated mobile and in-store tools to help them better compete for students’ business against ecommerce sites.

Responding to increasing pressure to find the lowest price for educational materials, more than 48 percent of students report purchasing some or all of their textbooks from online sources in the last year, and online sites garnered 45 percent of total textbook sales*. However, students continue to rate campus stores high for convenience and the confidence they are getting the right book.

“Consumers are clear that they want to shop locally if the price is right,” said Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of BookRenter. “We give stores a simple yet powerful platform to offer great selection and price with the satisfaction and convenience of local pickup and support."

"Our students want the convenience of local service with the knowledge and confidence that they are getting a great deal on textbooks, " said Robert Spencer, manager, Seattle University Bookstore. "The BookRenter platform is the most competitive model on the market today. Our BookRenter partnership gives students some of the lowest possible prices, and that makes us look like heroes.”

With the expanded platform, students can use their phone to quickly compare prices and options from a variety of online sources and their local store; they can then rent or purchase any book immediately from their college store, for pick-up or delivery, confident in the knowledge that they got the best overall value.

“BookRenter truly helps us fulfill our mission to serve and benefit our students by providing a wide variety of quality course material choices, delivering meaningful savings, and enhancing our overall relationship," said Bryan Pearce, CEO of The University Book Store, Inc. at the University of Washington. "Their solution also increases foot traffic to our stores and keeps a higher percentage of transactions local.”

The platform debuted last year and was rapidly adopted by more than 500 stores serving more than 6 million students, including eight of the top ten independent college stores like the University of Texas, University of Washington, and University of Minnesota. Stores can be up and running on the expanded platform in minutes with minimal training.

“Because of our scale and unique technology, we know a tremendous amount about how to competitively price and deliver textbooks to students,” said Maghsoodnia. “We recognize that the best thing for students is to give college stores the technology that runs BookRenter.com so they can compete and win today while preparing for the world of digital content tomorrow.”

New features in this release include:

  • The ability to rent or sell any book from store inventory without taking on rental risk or affecting sales.
  • Dynamic shelf tags that connect the store shelf to the digital world through a mobile phone.
  • Online, mobile and in-store price comparison tools that help capture more student purchases and build trust.
  • Backend pricing engine that exposes real-time market prices for textbooks.
  • Convenient purchase, pick-up and local return options to increase foot traffic.
  • Loyalty reward programs that keep students coming back.

To learn more about the BookRenter Platform, register for an introductory webinar at stores.bookrenter.com

*Source: NACS Student Watch Campus Market Research 2010.

About BookRenter

BookRenter launched in 2008 and is dedicated to making education more affordable by allowing students to rent textbooks for up to 80% off the retail price. BookRenter helps students find the best price, highest quality books, and most flexible rental experience through their campus store or online at www.bookrenter.com. Offering more than 5.5 million titles and serving millions of students on over 5,000 campuses. BookRenter is one of the fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley. With offices in San Mateo, California, BookRenter is a private company that is funded by prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firms. To learn more about how to use BookRenter for all of your textbook rental needs, please visit www.bookrenter.com.