Textbook rental companies are flourishing as college students seek alternatives.
Some may call it “Netflix for textbooks,” but what David Comisford really wants to call his new venture is “successful.”
Frewg — pronounced , not coincidentally, like the first syllable of frugal — was quietly launched online, evolving from an enterprise that Newark native Comisford developed as a scrappy Capital University undergrad.
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Frewg is an online college-textbook rental business. Students order their textbooks online, then ship back the books when the class ends.
Students pay “about 60 to 70 percent less than the cost of buying, and we offer prepaid return shipping.” Students can buy extensions, or if they decide they want to keep the books, they can pay a purchase price that includes the rental fee.
The Columbus-based business is a spinoff of an enterprise Comisford, now 25, started during college, said Ward Hill, a professor of business and finance at Capital who has taught and advised Comisford.
“When he came to school as a freshman, he recognized that the cost of textbooks was high,” Hill said. “So he did a little research and started a textbook-buying business.”
Comisford was tentative about the venture at first, he said, thinking that “maybe my friends and a few kids would buy them” and “the school might shut me down if it went beyond that.”