Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) adds printed textbooks to its list of rentable books offered to the college students.
The rental service has been in Amazon’s list of services offered since 2011 when books were offered to college students on Kindle. But as opposed to the previous rental service as per which the books were available for 30-360 days, the new rental service will offer books for a single semester (130 days).
On the offer is also free two-day shipping if students opt for a Prime membership by signing up as “Amazon Student.” The membership would also entitle them to free two-day shipping on other items, such as books, backpacks, electronics, video games, shoes and other college essentials for six months plus 50% off on Prime membership charges up to four years.
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The new strategy clearly implies that Amazon’s rental service is aimed at hooking students to its Prime membership before its rivals Barnes & Noble (BKS), Apple Inc (AAPL) and eBay Inc (EBAY) get a market share.
Reports also say that the web retail giant has accepted that it would be required to start charging sales tax in all U.S. states. Rival, eBay (EBAY) had also announced in August that it will test same-day shipping, "eBay Now," for customers who purchase from local merchants and are willing to pay a $5 delivery charge. EBay Now uses an iOS mobile app that's downloadable on Apple (AAPL) iPhones, iPads or iPod Touch. Participating stores include Macy's (M), Toys R Us and Target (TGT).