PRLog (Press Release)Jan 1, 2011 – Vancouver, B.C. – As Canadian post-secondary students struggle to deal with rising tuition costs – and as many still ponder if they can afford all their textbooks this semester – one company is on a mission to make university more affordable: Big Mama.

Through their website, Big Mama offers students the option to rent their textbooks instead of buying them – an easy, sensible and money-saving alternative to campus bookstores’ ever-increasing prices and buyback promises that frequently fail to deliver.

By renting from Big Mama, students can save up to 75 percent of the cost of their textbooks. Most universities suggest that students budget an average of $1,000 for textbooks. By saving an average of $500 to $750 a year by renting their textbooks, students can save $2000 to $3000 over the course of a four-year degree, which will go a long way toward reducing student-loan debt.

Big Mama’s textbooks are new or gently used (every book comes with a quality guarantee) and rental rates range between 25 and 50 percent of the face value of the textbook. Students not only save money, but they’re also not at risk of being stuck with an unsellable obsolete textbook at the end of the semester. Big Mama also offers the convenience of shipping textbooks straight to their door. Return shipping is free; students use a prepaid shipping UPS label to return the books to Big Mama.

Rental periods are flexible and can range from 60 to 120 days. At the end of the term, students send the book back or can extend their rental if they wish to use the book longer. If a student decides to keep a book, they simply pay the difference between the rental cost and purchase price.

Big Mama was founded by Ramona MacLeod, a single mom from Vancouver with two boys. As her oldest son began preparing for college, she saw the costs that today’s students are faced with. She soon realized that by providing an alternative to purchasing costly textbooks, she could not only help her own son, but students all across Canada.

“Let’s face it, a post-secondary education isn’t getting any cheaper,” says MacLeod. “By giving students the option to rent their textbooks, we make a post-secondary education more affordable.”

How do students feel about more money in their pocket? As one Kwantlen Polytechnic University student put it, “It will be nice to not buy a textbook for $100, then hopefully sell it back to the bookstore for $30 and watch them resell it for $75.” A Langara College student said, “Wow!  I should have rented from [Big Mama]; it could have saved me a bundle.  Too bad I already bought [my books] from the bookstore a few days ago.” A Simon Fraser University student quipped, “thank u sooooooooooooo much.”

The company’s commitment to students is equaled by its commitment to the environment. Not only does Big Mama hope to reduce waste and save paper by reusing textbooks that would otherwise go into the landfill or sit on bookshelves, Big Mama has also partnered with Tree Canada and plants a tree with every book rented to offset the destruction of millions of trees each year by the book publishing industry.

About Big Mama :

Big Mama Student Services Ltd. is dedicated to helping students save money. Through their website, the company provides online textbook rentals at 25 to 50 percent of the purchase price. Based in Vancouver and launched in September 2010, Big Mama can save a Canadian post-secondary student an average of $500 to $750 per year. For more information, please visit

About Tree Canada :

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit, charitable organization established in 1992. Under the direction of a 10-member volunteer Board of Directors, Tree Canada provides education, technical assistance, resources and financial support through working partnerships to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in rural and urban areas. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Ramona MacLeod