"Pack Back Books" on Shark Tank
$5/ Day Text Book Rental - Episode 523 - 3/21/2014
|Buy, Sell and Rent College Text Books|
Rent Digital Copies for
Only $5 a Day!
My oldest son is in his 3rd year of College, and spending over $1000 every year just in books and been a thorn in my side since day one. One textbook he was "required" to have for a class costs over $400.00 all by itself. Sure, at the end of the year he did sell it to a used college book store which went towards next year's text books, but I still remember thinking that's quite a racket, and as soon as the digital age matures and textbooks start going digital, these outrageous prices would soon be a thing of the past.
To find out if digitally renting college textbooks for $5 a day from "Pack Back Books" versus buying the same book for some outrageous price, and possibly re-selling at the end of the semester, I decided to ask a few college students what would be the better deal in this day and age. First and foremost, they all would prefer most college textbooks to be in digital form simply because of convenience.
Given a choice from the ones stated above, interestingly it was almost a 50/50 split depending on the textbook. Half the books they use on a regular basis and would become too expensive to rent from Pack Back Books for $5 a day, but the other half they could actually save a good amount of money on.
Some of the textbooks cost $120 to $200 each for a specific part of the course lasting only a week. It seems a lot easier coming up with $20.00 when the time comes, compared to a much larger investment at the beginning of the school year.
Pack Back Book Digital Books before Shark Tank Update
The entrepreneurs behind Pack Back Books are Kasey Gandham and Mike Shannon who will be appearing on the Shark Tank, and Nick Currier who was busy running the Digital Book Rental Business. They first came up with what appears to be a whole lot better business plan than I first thought while attending Illinois State University. So far (pre-Shark Tank Show) Packback Books has already raised over $350,000.00 in seed money, along two major deals with textbook publishers McGraw Hill and Sage Publishing.
Wow, I 'd imagine if these deals were already signed before Gandham and Shannon entered the Shark Tank last Fall, the Sharks will definitely be interested investing in this business.
As good of a business model selling digital product's for $5 a day may sound, Pack Back Books has taken it many steps further to now include Buying, Selling and Renting of "All Textbooks". With a single search you can check the current prices of any college textbook in a matter of seconds. Another really innovative solution Pack Back Books has come up with is the "Free Homework Help" tagged for very specific help related for "that" textbook.
While I admit the $5 a day digital textbook rental seemed a little steep at first, in the long run, this business model will save student's money on at least some of their books. This also helps reduce how much money's needed at the beginning of the semester, which is also a very good thing.
As far as the future of Paperback, I wonder if they thought about renting the more used digital textbooks out for lengths of time, instead of by the day. Or perhaps maybe a discount for renting all the textbooks required for the entire year, that would catapult Paper Back Books in this multi-billion dollar industry into one of the Most Successful Shark Tank Products, ever.
Visit Pack Back Books Website (Receive One Free Textbook Rental)