CourseSmart has put out a press release claiming that it's saved college students more than $100 million on eTextbooks and digital course materials since the company was founded in 2007. The press release doesn't say how CourseSmart came up with its savings figure, but it most likely compared the rental price for its eTextbooks with the full retail price of the equivalent print textbooks. The company clains to have 30,000 titles from "more than 33 publishers" (does that mean 34?,) representing over 90% of the core textbooks in use today.
The press release refers to a Book Industry Study Group survey that found that "close to 35%
of students considering bookstore exchange or buyback programs say that
it is not worth the effort or believe that the bookstore would likely
not accept their textbooks." Of course, that means that 65% do believe
that it's worth it to sell their textbooks back. The reason that
CourseSmart is making this argument is that it only rents its
eTextbooks; there's no purchase option, so students have nothing to sell
back (or to keep, for that matter) at the end of the semester.