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BiggerBooks Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 College Textbook Store Reviews

BiggerBooks Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating
  • In business since 2001
  • Daily coupon codes
  • Textbook rentals for different periods (Semester, Quarter, Short Term)
  • Buyback program
  • Free shipping for orders over $59
  • Refunds available for 25 days after purchase

Around since 2001, BiggerBooks claims to have the "largest used book inventory" and that their "bigger selection of used books equals bigger savings." They try to differentiate themselves from competitors with their Daily Deal feature, which makes a new coupon code available to customers every day of the week.

Physical textbook rentals aren't going anywhere

While one notable competitor recently rolled back their textbook rentals, BiggerBooks is standing by this business model. Search for your textbook by title, author, or ISBN and you'll be taken to the list of results of titles available for rent or purchase. On each listing's page, you'll find their prices for each rental period: you have the option to rent by Semester, Quarter, and Short Term. Next to each option, you'll see the date the textbook would be due if you were to rent it today.

Prices aren't as low as they say

We found even the rental prices to be a little on the expensive side, though. The Short Term rental (roughly 2 months) on a particular textbook would cost $29.60. When we checked a competitor site, we found several used copies of this book available for purchase for a few dollars less. Forget renting - if you want to buy the textbook used from BiggerBooks? That'll be $63.20. Given that that's about 3 times the purchase price we found elsewhere, BiggerBooks' 7% Tuesday discount isn't enough to make their prices competitive.

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Buyback program has strict terms

Ready to cash in on your textbooks? BiggerBooks offers a straightforward Buyback program to help you turn those old books into some extra cash. Simply enter the ISBNs of the books you want to sell, and you'll get a quote that is valid for 7 days. But here's the catch: if your textbooks don't meet their standards, they won't be returned; they'll be destroyed. So, before you send them off, make absolutely sure they meet BiggerBook's condition guidelines to avoid missing out on payment and the chance to resell elsewhere with less stringent standards.

Returns subject to shipping and restocking fees

Your order will qualify for free shipping if it's over $59. Otherwise, for 6-10 day Standard Shipping, you'll have to pay $4 plus $0.99 for each item included in the order. Orders are eligible for refund up to 25 days after purchase; however, you'll have to pay shipping and a 10% restocking fee (ouch!).

Supplemental materials not included

Make sure you don't need an access code for your textbook. Gone are the days when all you needed was the book itself - publishing companies have gotten wise to students renting and reselling textbooks to save money, and now you often can't access your course material without a one-time code that you can only get with a new textbook. BiggerBooks is no different from other used textbook companies in that they can't guarantee your textbook will come with that access code or any other supplemental materials (like CDs).

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Unhappy customers

We found multiple 1- and 2-star reviews from customers who say BiggerBooks sold them textbooks they didn't actually have on hand. Customers were charged and not refunded or notified of the mistake until they reached out to inquire about why their orders had not yet arrived.

Look somewhere else

BiggerBooks talks a big game about their affordability (even promising savings up to 91% on list prices), but we didn't find these claims to be substantiated in our own test case. You might still luck out and find the specific used textbook you need at its lowest price here, but that could be said for virtually any of the websites in our review. With high rental fees, less-than-generous return and buyback policies, and poor order fulfillment, we're forced to give BiggerBooks a below-average ranking.

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.

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