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Amazon Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 College Textbook Store Reviews

Amazon Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Vast inventory of textbooks
  • Exclusive deals and promotions on textbooks with Prime Student
  • All copies of a textbook found under the same listing
  • Free shipping with Amazon Prime Student membership, quick delivery
  • Convenient platform for selling old textbooks
  • 30 days for returns

Amazon, known to many as the go-to online marketplace for a dizzying array of products, actually got its start as a humble book retailer. Before it became the behemoth it is today, it was a place where book lovers could find their next great read. Its expansion is credited to its quick delivery, vast inventory, low pricing, and the ability to share experiences with products. You can purchase and sell your own used textbooks here, although they no longer support the ability to rent physical textbooks.

Navigating Amazon's selection is difficult

We're not really into Amazon's search function for textbooks. You can begin by browsing their New and Used Textbooks category, but you can't search within it, and let's be real: no one is browsing textbooks for kicks. You're going to be after a specific title and edition. So, wandering around in the Science & Math category of New and Used Textbooks, hoping to magically stumble across the one you need? Not super efficient. To search for a specific book, you have to use the general search bar at the top, which can't be narrowed down any further than Amazon's broad "Books" category.

Potential Savings with Amazon

Price-wise, Amazon can be a mixed bag. Sometimes, you'll stumble upon incredible deals on used books, with prices that brick-and-mortar stores can't match. Other times, new editions might be priced close to the publisher's rate. But with the possibility of buying used, or even scoring a deal during one of their frequent promotions, there's potential for real savings. Combine that with Amazon Prime Student discounts, and you've got yourself a recipe for some budget-friendly textbook shopping. Amazon itself advertises savings of up to 90% on used textbooks, up to 49% on new ones, and discounts of up to 60% off the print list price.

Best College Textbook Stores

No more physical textbook rentals

A notable change in 2023 saw Amazon putting an end to their print textbook rental services. However, you can still rent their eTextbooks. The move towards digital makes sense given the convenience and flexibility eTextbooks offer. Here's how it works: if you're looking to rent an eTextbook, simply navigate to the Kindle eTextbooks section on Amazon. Pop in the ISBN, title, or author into the search bar to find what you're after. If the eTextbook is up for grabs as a rental, a rental price tag will be visible right there. Once you've found your eTextbook, click the "Rent" button, followed by "Rent now with 1-Click" , and voila! You've got your digital textbook ready to guide you through the semester.

All copies under the same listing

Found the textbook you were looking for? Make sure to click on the blue text labeled "[quantity] used & new offers" under "More Buying Choices" to see the lowest price available. This is something Amazon does well: all of the available copies of that textbook on Amazon, whatever the condition, will show up under the same listing. No need to try alternate spellings of the title to bring up other results.

Maximize benefits with Amazon Prime Student

If you're looking for free shipping on your textbooks, Amazon Prime could be your best friend, especially since students get a deal on this membership. Head to the Prime Student page and sign up for your first 6 months for free. Once your trial runs its course, you can continue enjoying Prime Student for only $7.49 monthly. Beyond the obvious free shipping perk, Prime offers exclusive deals and promotions on textbooks - including discounts of up to 90%. So, not only do you save on shipping, but you might just get your books for a steal too.

Best College Textbook Stores

Cash in on old textbooks

Got old textbooks gathering dust? Amazon can help you turn them into cash. Selling your textbooks on Amazon is pretty straightforward. Simply list your used books on their marketplace, describe their condition accurately, and set a competitive price. With millions of users visiting Amazon daily, your books will be showcased to a wide audience, increasing the chances of a quick sale. Plus, Amazon provides shipping labels and even offers trade-in options for select books. So whether you're decluttering or just looking to recoup some of your expenses, Amazon's platform can be a convenient way to get value out of your old textbooks.

Returns generally possible for 30 days

Bought a textbook, then dropped the class? Don't sweat it. Items shipped directly from Amazon can generally be returned within 30 days of delivery. However, there are some exceptions, and you'll want to check out the list of "Items that Can't be Returned" to be sure. Also, while most of the products fall under the 30-day window, some specific product types might have extended return timelines; you'd need to check the product type's listed details for that. Bought a used textbook from a third-party seller on Amazon? Most of them align their return policies with Amazon's, especially if their listing is Prime-eligible.

Doesn't specialize in textbooks, but does a good job

Amazon wears a lot of hats, and for the most part they seem to have their College Textbook Retailer Hat on straight. While they could probably stand to improve their search function, they're still a solid choice thanks to their large inventory, fast shipping, and discounted Prime membership for students.

Where Can You Find the Cheapest College Textbooks?

Picture this: Emma is a sophomore majoring in Economics. A new semester is approaching, and she's been handed her list of required readings. Instead of braving the long lines at the campus bookstore and potentially paying high prices, she turns to online college textbook stores.

In a matter of minutes, she's located every textbook she needs, some at heavily discounted prices or even available for rent. Not only does she save money, but she also saves time, making her semester preparations smooth and hassle-free. Right on, Emma!

The Best College Textbook Stores Compare College Textbook Stores Compare College Textbook Store Reviews What are the best College Textbook Stores Best College Textbook Store Reviews

College Textbook Store FAQ

You'll probably find a mixture of both. At some schools, you can choose whichever format you prefer (and, according to The New York Times, 50% of students prefer a print textbook!).
You won't be surprised to hear that books can be free, like certain open source online textbooks, but some can cost as much as $1,000 or more! The College Board recommends that students plan on setting aside $1,200 each year for textbooks and course materials.
Your campus bookstore will likely be selling the textbooks at full retail value, or maybe even with a bit of a markup. And, even if they offer used books, you'll be competing with everyone else at your school to get a copy. Shopping online lets you get the exact same books for the best available price.
Absolutely. Most online textbook stores make it easy to determine the condition of any title you need, and you can even get them in new or like-new condition - at a fraction of the price you'd pay for a brand-new text at your college bookstore.
That depends on the textbook store you use and how quickly you need the book. Many providers offer free shipping for economy shipping, with options to upgrade if you want to get it faster.
Yes! Both print and digital textbooks can be rented through many textbook stores. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before choosing the rental option: you'll want to know if you're allowed to mark up the book or save any of your digital notes, when your rental period will end, and any instructions you'll need to follow to return the textbook when the class finishes.
Most textbook stores know that students may buy a textbook they wind up not needing: classes get cancelled or dropped, the wrong edition is ordered, and so on. You typically have a risk-free return period of anywhere from 14-21 days from the purchase date, so you'll need to time your purchase carefully (ordering enough in advance that the title is available, but not so far ahead that you can't return it once the class starts).
Without a doubt. Some textbook stores have been in business for a decade or more, with excellent customer ratings and a strong reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Buying your textbooks online can save you a significant amount of money and hassle!
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Continued from above...

Online college textbook stores have revolutionized the way students acquire their academic resources. These platforms offer a convenient, often cheaper, alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. With just a few clicks, students can purchase new or used books, rent textbooks, or even access digital versions.

How much could you save? In some cases, students might spend over $1,000 per semester on required course materials, especially if they are studying in fields that require expensive textbooks or access codes for online resources. It's obvious that every penny counts, so why not take advantage of every possible way to get your textbooks for less money? You could cut that $1,000 in half (or even more) by skipping the school bookstore and opting to source your books online.

When choosing a college textbook retailer, it's important to consider several factors to be sure you get the best deal and the resources you need. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Cost. How much does the textbook cost on this site compared to others? Look for competitive prices. Are there any special deals or discounts? It's always a win to save some money.
  • Selection. Does the website have the textbooks you need? Check if they offer both e-books and physical copies. It's best to have choices to fit your study style.
  • Shipping and return policy. Can they get your textbook to you before classes start? Consider shipping costs and speed. If the textbook isn't what you meant to order, is returning it easy? A good return policy can save you from headaches later on.
  • Access codes. Do you need an online code for your course? Some books come with codes for online materials. If buying used or renting, is the code still valid? Make sure you're getting everything you need.

Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best online stores to buy college textbooks, both secondhand and new. We hope these reviews help you get the books you need for school quickly and without spending too much.

See the Best College Textbook Store
The Best Reviews of College Textbook Stores