It's no secret that the college textbook publishing business is in trouble. The declinging economy, student and faculty resistance to high prices of new text books, and the used textbook market are among the factors making life difficult for publishers. Now, according to a NYTimes article, publishers are having their base business attacked by textbook rentals.
Chegg.com is a venture back startup that is building a growing business renting textbooks to college students.
With demand for good deals on textbooks running high, Chegg’s success comes in large part from being able to address those inefficiencies. While Chegg primarily rents books, it is also essentially acting as a kind of “market maker,” gathering books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting — or sometimes selling — them to other students at the start of a new one. That provides liquidity to the market, said Yannis Bakos, associate professor of management at the Stern School of Business at New York University.