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eCampus Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 College Textbook Store Reviews

eCampus Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Established in 1999
  • Trusted by educational institutions
  • Offers a Price Match Guarantee
  • Competitive rental rates
  • Platform offers a Marketplace for third-party sellers
  • Free shipping on orders over $35
  • Rewards program
  • "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • Strong reputation and positive customer reviews

eCampus, launched in 1999 during the dot-com bubble, revolutionized the online textbook industry by offering new, used, and electronic textbooks for sale, rental, or buyback. Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, eCampus doesn't just serve individuals; it partners with educational institutions across the U.S., providing official bookstore services. It enjoys significant accolades including being named the "Best Website for Buying College Textbooks" two years in a row by About. Driven by a leadership team with deep roots in educational publishing, eCampus remains steadfast in its student-first approach, continually adapting to better meet their needs.

Price Match Guarantee against two top competitors

We love that eCampus has a Price Match Guarantee. A lot of used and rental textbook companies promise the best prices out there, but few of them put their money where their mouth is. There are a couple of catches, though: they'll only price match against two of their competitors (named in the Price Match Guarantee info page) and it must be in the same condition and format.

Rental prices similar to competitors

Rental prices on eCampus vary widely. We saw titles as low as $4.59 and as high as $184. The title we've checked against every site in this review rents Short Term for $28.74 and is available for purchase (used condition) for $63.84, which is pretty much on par with competitor prices. You can also rent titles from eCampus for the length of a semester or a quarter, with corresponding prices.

Best College Textbook Stores

Lower prices from Marketplace sellers

Keep an eye out for textbooks with Marketplace listings - if there is one, it'll appear right below the other rental and purchase prices. Often, that's where you'll find the best deal on eCampus. What is the Marketplace? It's a venue on eCampus through which third-party sellers, both individuals and volume dealers, can list their items. When you make a Marketplace purchase, eCampus handles the payment, making sure that your banking details are kept private and never shared with the sellers. After placing an order, these Marketplace sellers have a 2-day window to dispatch your textbook. However, it's important to note that they only ship within the continental U.S. Also, while browsing, be sure to check the seller's comments, as the item might differ slightly from eCampus' description.

Free shipping on orders over $35

eCampus offers free shipping on orders over $35. However, be aware that this doesn't apply to any eTextbooks in your order - you'd need to reach that $35 minimum with physical textbooks. We don't think this is a big deal, though: 6-10 Day Standard Shipping is only $4 (plus $0.99 per item). If you need your textbook in 3-5 days, it's $6 plus $3.25 per item.

Returns subject to 15% restocking fee

Books bought from eCampus can be returned within 25 days of shipping, though short-term rentals have a 15-day return window. To initiate a return, log into "My Account" and follow the "Manage My Rentals/Returns" process. Be mindful that returns come with shipping charges and a 15% restocking fee deducted from the refund. eBooks and access codes can't be refunded. Items must be in their original condition; for instance, items with broken shrink-wrap or opened digital media won't be accepted.

Best College Textbook Stores

Lots of ways to earn rewards points

The eWards program by eCampus offers a rewarding way to save on textbooks. By signing up with an email address, members can easily start accumulating points through various actions: making purchases, referring friends, engaging with eCampus on social media, and more. These points can then be redeemed for exclusive discounts on future orders. For instance, 175 points can snag you a $5 discount on orders over $30. The more points you gather, the bigger the discounts, reaching up to $20 off on orders exceeding $120. From signing up to tweeting a product, there's a myriad of ways to earn and save.

Find out how much your old textbooks are worth

Selling your books back to eCampus? Super easy. Just punch in the book's ISBN on their "Sell Textbooks" page to see what they'll pay. To determine the price they're willing to offer, you simply enter the book's ISBN on their "Sell Textbooks" page. When you accept their offer, you'll create a Buyback order and can choose from three payment methods: check (with a $2.00 fee), direct deposit, or in-store credit. eCampus provides a prepaid UPS shipping label, so shipping is free. Remember to send your books within 7 days of the Buyback order to lock in the quoted price. Always include a copy of your Buyback Confirmation in the package. Prices may change based on book demand, and eCampus holds the right to cancel any buyback order before payment is made.

Buyback can be hit-or-miss

Before selling your books to eCampus, you might want to double-check their quality requirements. Your book must be in "Good Condition" which they define as being free of many notes or highlights, water stains, missing pages, or a busted spine. However, one customer's buyback order got canceled because of a small fold on the cover. They were told it didn't match eCampus' "quality standards", even though that specific flaw wasn't listed under their Good Condition criteria. If the same thing happens to you, you can ask for your book back (it won't be destroyed like one of the companies in our review does), but there's a $12 shipping fee. Worth keeping an eye out for these details before you send in your treasured tomes.

Best College Textbook Stores

Great reputation

eCampus has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 3.9-star average on Trustpilot across more than 2,500 reviews. Customers say they found what they were looking for at great prices, that their orders had tracking info, arrived on time, and that any hiccups were resolved by customer service in a positive and prompt manner.

One of our top choices

Overall, we're impressed with eCampus and we'd say this is one of the few services that has sufficiently substantiated its claim to be number one in its industry. With their Price Match Guarantee, competitive rental prices, and the Marketplace feature, eCampus makes it easy for students to save on their textbooks. They also provide free shipping on orders over $35 and have a rewards program called eWards, where students can earn points for future discounts. With a strong reputation and positive customer reviews, eCampus is a reliable and customer-centric service that is worth considering for all your textbook needs.

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!
Compare the Best Reviews

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
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