Filed under: Company Updates
- BookRenter Team
Dear BookRenter Community,
When the news of the devastating earthquake in Haiti reached us, we at BookRenter wanted to do something to help as quickly as possible. We also heard from many of our customers, who were also interested in contributing to the relief efforts.
As such, we decided to quickly raise money to donate to Relief International (RI), an organization known for its low overhead and hands-on efforts. With our customers’ support, we set out to donate 5% of all rental revenue (up to $25,000) to aid victims of the earthquake. Our plan was announced on January 14th, and the rapid outpouring of support from our community truly amazed us. Thanks to your efforts, we met our goal in less than 10 days, and the money is now on the way.
So where are those funds going, now that the check has been cut and sent? RI is using our donation to send food, medical supplies, and other high-demand items to the people of Haiti who so desperately need it. The organization is also running emergency clinics to provide urgent medical care and surgeries. Thanks to RI and your help, together we can all take pride in knowing we’re helping to make a small but significant difference for those in need.
BookRenter founder Colin Barceloux here, and like you (and most students), I was very frustrated with the high cost of textbooks, as I paid over $500 each quarter while at Santa Clara University. To help pay for textbooks (and other necessities like beer, food, and clothes), I worked part-time as a campus mail carrier. Often while driving around campus, I would notice a large number of discarded textbooks just lying around. There were even huge stacks of books on the bookstore’s “Zero Value Table,” containing books that the bookstore wouldn’t buy back. To me, something seemed wrong with the fact that a book’s value could drop from $100 to $0 in a few months.
So, I started to collect all these unwanted books, and sold them online to students all over the country on eBay, Half.com, and Amazon. Then it hit me – the practice of buying a book, using it, and selling it is really just a rental! Thus the idea behind BookRenter, and the entire textbook rental category, was born.
We have grown tremendously since the early days of selling used books for extra beer money, but our core mission — to make education more affordable for everyone — still drives us today. So go out there and rent textbooks!
So again, welcome!
— Colin Barceloux and Emma the Dog