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Pearson Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 College Textbook Store Reviews

Pearson Review 1 Star Rating


1 Star Rating
  • Access to 1,800+ eTextbooks and study materials for $10.99/month
  • Includes flashcards, audio, and study tools
  • Additional Channels feature offers curated study videos, quizzes, and summaries for $7.99/month

Pearson is a leading global publishing and education giant, long-recognized for its extensive collection of educational textbooks, resources, and digital learning platforms. However, while its influence in the education sector is undeniable, it hasn't been without its fair share of criticisms.

Response to the criticism

Many have voiced concerns over Pearson's near-monopoly status in the industry, accusing it of leveraging its dominant position to impose high prices and exploit students financially. Perhaps in response to some of this criticism, Pearson introduced Pearson+, a subscription service dubbed the "Netflix for textbooks". With Pearson+, the company attempts to reposition itself in the digital age, offering students access to nearly 2,000 eTextbooks and study materials for a monthly fee.

1,800 textbooks to choose from

For $10.99 a month (with a 4-month term), the eTextbook model gives subscribers access to their selection of 1,800+ eTextbooks. This subscription also boasts flashcards, audio, and other study tools. At face value, this seems like a deal, especially if you consider the cost of traditional textbooks.

No textbooks from other publishers

Something to keep in mind is that the catalog of 1,800+ only includes textbooks published by Pearson. This means that if your coursework requires textbooks from various publishers, Pearson+ might not meet all your needs. You could end up subscribing and still have to spend additional resources on books from other publishers.

Best College Textbook Stores

Study videos for $7.99

For an additional $7.99/mo, Channels offers thousands of curated study videos, practice quizzes, and AI-powered summaries. It sounds like a comprehensive study tool for the modern student, and the potential for this tool is vast, especially for visual learners.

Logs you out while reading

Unfortunately, not all that glitters is gold. One user from UBC voiced their regret after opting for a Pearson eTextbook, finding the platform "extremely frustrating and unintuitive." The book's navigation was clunky, and, even worse, the system frequently logged them out. Adding to their woes was Pearson's penchant for weekend site maintenance, rendering their "book" inaccessible just before an exam. Although this particular customer complaint was logged almost 6 years prior to the time of this review, our own experience with Pearson's eTextbooks confirms that these technical issues have not been fixed. We suppose there is not much incentive to create a product that works well when customers are cornered into buying it from you.

Not accessible for users with disability

Accessibility features, too, left much to be desired. Another user, living with low vision, criticized Pearson's text-to-speech function, which kept defaulting to the beginning of the book. Despite their efforts to seek help, customer support was "equally unhelpful." A harsh critique, but echoed by others: "I wish this company would vanish off the planet."

Best College Textbook Stores

Customer support is terrible

Finally, there are the customer support failures. One user lamented being charged five times for an online textbook, one they never accessed. When they called for support, the experience was draining, the outcome unsatisfactory: no credit, no access to the book, just hours and money lost.

Too good to be true

Pearson+ seems too good to be true. That's because it is. While the allure of accessible digital textbooks at a low price is tempting, the reality, as reported by many users, is a platform riddled with technical glitches, subpar accessibility features, and frustrating customer support. Students looking for consistent and hassle-free access to their study materials have learned the hard way that sometimes, the old-fashioned way - purchasing or renting a physical or used textbook - is best. It's no wonder that Pearson earns our lowest ranking among providers of college textbooks.

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
The Best Reviews of College Textbook Stores