Chegg Review

Chegg is something almost every University student bumps into at one point during school.  They have a lot of different services, all of them meant to be tools for making college easier or cheaper.

Heres the three main services I’ll be reviewing:

  • Chegg Textbooks – rent, buy, or sell textbooks
  • Chegg Study – A monthly subscription that gives you access to the completed solutions of 22,000 textbooks.
  • Chegg Tutors – 1 on 1 tutoring with people who have complete your subject.

Chegg Study Review

Chegg Study lets you access a huge collection of textbook answers.  You can also chat with live help 24/7 to answer any questions you can’t find.

I first stumbled into Chegg Study because of the free four-week trial they offer with book rental.  I’ve found it useful enough to keep subscribing however its not without a few quirks.

The main features of chegg study are step-by-step textbook answers and a 24/7 live chat for answering any questions you need help to.

Textbook answers

Chegg claims to have answers to 22,000 textbooks, with hundreds of questions per book the total amount of answers is in the millions.

If the textbook does not come with its own solutions then the questions are solved by Chegg employees.  Chegg even has an entire team of people whose only job is to answer textbook questions for Chegg Study.

Now because of this there is a chance that some of the questions end up having the wrong answer.  For example I once found a time where a negative was incorrectly dropped resulting in the entire answer being wrong.  However this rarely happens and I’ve only seen a handful of wrong answers during my months of using the service.

The answers also have a rating and comment system so people will point out if they think the answers wrong, which (I hope) Chegg usually fixes.

Aside from the occasional wrong answer the service is really useful.  Especially for math, science, and chemistry classes where theres a lot of numbers involved.  If I get stuck I just look up the answer and check what type of steps the Chegg solver used.  Usually this makes things click pretty quick.  In the end it saves me a lot of time being stuck.

24/7 Chat Help

This has also saved my butt a few times.  Not so much in Math but in Computer Science.  I’ve asked questions about code I didn’t understand and send a few samples over.  The tutor pointed out my problem and gave me the right answer.  The answer took about 5 minutes so it wasn’t instant, but it got me unstuck pretty quick.

Chegg Textbooks Review

Chegg is most famous for its textbook services.  You can rent textbooks, buy them, and sell them.  Other than one other provider Chegg usually has the cheapest prices for buying books.

Pros

  • They cover the cost of return shipping for rentals
  • Shipping is free over $50
  • The boxes contain cute gifts like red-bulls, tide pods, or mint chocolates

Cons

  • Not always the cheapest price, be sure to compare the books you want with the #2 and #3 textbook rental sites.
  • The rented books occasionally had writing inside or scratches on the cover.

Renting

Most of the time I never use my textbooks once a class is finished.  Its hard to sell them too and you can end up wasting a lot of money.  However with renting you usually pay only 90% the full price.  So you can rent a $200 textbook for an entire semester for only $20.  I always pay between $50-$100 on textbooks compared to the $400+ I was paying before I knew about renting.

Once you find the book you want to rent on their store it usually arrives within 3-5 days.  Inside the box they also include a return shipping label.  You can put this on the same box and drop it off at UPS for free shipping, which makes it super easy.

The box always comes with little freebies related to College life.  I’ve gotten redbulls, chocolates, and tide pod packs before.  I’m sure they don’t cost much but its kinda nice.

The shipping is free over $50 too, which it usually is if you have a full course load.

One of the negative things was that one of the books I got was really worn down.  Most of them aren’t but one had so much writing inside that it was hard to do the homework.  I contacted Chegg about it and they shipped me a new rental book that was in near perfect condition.  They even covered all the shipping costs for the exchange.

Another pet peeve I have is there is no partial refund or discount if you want to return the book early.  A few times I had to drop a class half way through the semester.  Even though I mailed the book back early they said they couldn’t give me any re-imbursement.  Whatever you pay for the rental period seems to be pretty set in stone.

Buying Textbooks

Chegg also has the option to buy used or new textbooks.

Here are some times it can be better to buy than rent your textbooks:

  • You have a series of courses that uses the same book across multiple semesters
  • You want to keep the book as a reference and review of past material
  • You have siblings who are interested in a similar major as you

Online vs The School Bookstore –   School stores are expensive because they know people will pay for the convenience of having their books sorted by class ID number.  However, sorting out the booklist by yourself is not that difficult and can be done in a few minutes. In the end, buying online is almost always cheaper if you are willing to put in the work of hunting down the books yourself and waiting for the delivery.

Used vs New

New books on Chegg can be 10-25% cheaper than the list prices that school stores charge.  With used you can get the books even cheaper at 15-60% off.

Always double check with Chegg’s main competitor to see who has the cheaper price.  Usually Chegg does because its their specialty but there are exceptions.

E-Textbooks

Most textbooks now have an option to purchase an E-textbook version.  These are great if you want to keep your bag as light as possible.  For reading these books, Chegg has a free E-reader app for laptops, phones, and tablets.

As for price they aren’t that much cheaper than buying the actual book.  Especially because you only have the option to rent them for 120, 180, or 365 days.  Once that time is up you have to repurchase access and will have paid much more than the cost of a physical copy.

Every e-book has a 14 day no questions asked return policy.  So if you don’t like it you can easily swap to a physical book instead.

Learn more about Chegg’s E-Textbooks.

Selling Textbooks

You can sell your textbooks back to Chegg and get 20-60% the list price depending on the condition they are in.

After using the online tool they give you a quote on what you can earn.  Try it out now to see how much you could make.  If you like the quote and choose to sell you can print out the order form and ship the books in.

After Chegg gets the books the evaluate each one to make sure its good quality.  If any of your books are missing pages, have broken spines, or have stains they might return them to you.  They still take books with writing inside as long as its not too crazy.

Chegg Tutors

Chegg Tutors is where you sit down one-on-one with experienced teachers who have a lot of knowledge in your subject.

Get A FREE Chegg Tutor Trial (exclusively on course sidekick)

The Portal

Unlike the 24/7 chat feature of Chegg Study, this service is face-to-face with a web-cam.  If you aren’t comfortable showing your face you don’t have to use a web-cam on your end.

The tutor service also has three cool sections: the whiteboard, the code editor, and the text editor.

The whiteboard lets the tutor draw out concepts as they explain them, just like an in-class whiteboard. My tutor spent a lot of our time using it.

Cheg Tutor Giving A Lesson

If you are taking programming you will use the code editor a lot for showing code concepts or checking for errors.  The text editor is if you want to paste something to the tutor or they want to paste something for you to see – something writers would use a lot.

The Tutors

The tutors themselves are usually Americans who have completed a degree or at least the course you are struggling with.  The ones I have had were always really friendly.  To get a feel for what they are like try the Chegg Tutor free trial.

The Cost

Expect to pay the same amount as if you hired an actual tutor at school (around $20-$30 an hour).  The plans either come in weekly or monthly payments:

  • Weekly
    1. $15 a week for 30 minutes a week
    2. 120 mins for $48 a week
  • $30 a month for 60 minutes
  • $96 a month for 240 minutes

If you don’t want any plan at all you can meet with tutors for 75 cents a minute.

Again, the best way to get an idea for Chegg tutors is to just try the free trial.