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      October 22, 2020

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Amazon vs eCampus

Best Online College Textbook Stores

To help you find the Best College Textbooks, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Amazon and eCampus.

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Where is the best place to buy college textbooks? At the beginning of every semester, students anxiously head to their new classes to find out their course outline and get a fat list of textbooks they will need. Even hands-on classes that don't require a lot of writing or book studying usually require textbooks.

Whether you're in an automotive class, dance, physics, woodworking, English, or business analytics class, you'll probably need to buy textbooks. Gone are the days of having to hunt these textbooks down store by store, waiting in huge lines, and paying outrageous prices without being able to compare costs with other retailers.

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2020

College Textbook Reviews

5 stars
Amazon

AMAZON

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Options:

Rent, Download, Buy New or Used, Sell

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award There is almost nothing you could possibly imagine that Amazon does not sell on their website. They are one of the biggest online retailers in the world because of their fast delivery, wide inventory selection, competitive pricing, and ability for customers to read and leave reviews on products. Amazon's textbook selection is extensive. Buyers can purchase textbooks outright on this site, rent, and sell them. Amazon is not only a great place to buy college textbooks, but it is one of the best places to sell them as well.

Thousands of college textbooks

Amazon has thousands of textbooks for sale on their website. There are a few ways to quickly find the books you are looking for. You can use their search bar function, which is great if you already know the exact name of the book and edition.

Textbook categories

If you are looking more broadly at your options, they have the following categories of books to choose from:

  • Business & Finance
  • Communication & Journalism
  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Reference
  • Science & Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Test Prep & Study Guides
Best College Textbooks

Variety of formats

The textbooks you find on Amazon often come in many formats. Some of these formats include Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback, MP3 CD, loose leaf, and more. You can get a peek inside any given book to make sure it is what you are looking for. From the same page you can buy textbooks and view a sample of the inside, you can sell that exact book as well. Amazon makes it so easy to create a listing, manage your orders and inventory, and ship any rented books or books that you've sold.

Returning textbook rentals

Simple guides are available for students to walk them through returning textbook rentals. Amazon works hard to make sure their customers are satisfied and able to easily navigate their website and processes. You can find out how to return your books, but also how to extend rentals. This is helpful if you are using a test prep book and realize you need some more time to study than your allowed rental period.

Textbook savings

Amazon boasts that when you buy college textbooks on their site, you can save up to 90% on rentals, 90% on used books, 60% on eTextbooks, and 49% on new books. On top of this, students get free Amazon Prime accounts, meaning their purchases qualify for free, 2-day shipping. Buying from Amazon is about as affordable and fast as it gets.

Highest rating

There are a million and one reasons Amazon is a great place to shop. When it comes to college textbooks, it could not be easier to compare prices and find the most affordable options. Customers have 30 days to send back items purchased from Amazon for a full refund. This should give students enough time to make sure they purchased the correct book and will be using it for their classes. We highly recommend browsing Amazon's inventory of textbooks next time you're in the market for one.

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3.5 stars
eCampus

E CAMPUS

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Options:

Rent, Buy, Sell

ECampus launched in 1999 after they received funding from investors like Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, Long John Silver's founder James Patterson, and George F. Valassis, who created free-standing inserts that revolutionized the coupon industry. They aim to be a premier retailer of new, used, and electronic college textbooks that students can either rent, buy, or sell back. ECampus' mission is to set the online industry standards for savings, selection, convenience, and customer service.

Free shipping

If you need more than one or two books, you'll be spending over $35, which is great because it means you'll qualify for free shipping. At the time of this review, they were running a discount where customers can text a number and receive $5 off their total purchase of textbooks. Prices for college textbooks vary a bit more on eCampus than we have seen with some other textbook retailers. Most rentals are between $25 and $100, which is more expensive than you can usually find elsewhere. Prices for buying new used, or eBooks are listed alongside rental costs.

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Rewards program

An "ewards" program is set up for customers to earn reward points that can be used toward future purchases. It's as easy as providing an email address. Points can be earned by referring friends to eCampus, following eCampus on Twitter, and making purchases online. For someone just starting school, joining the eCampus ewards program is a good way to save on textbooks for future semesters.

Returns for any reason

Textbooks can be returned to eCampus within 25 days of purchase for any reason. In addition, if a rental due date is coming up and a student needs to extend their use of the books they have, they can do this online at any time. Navigating the website for returns, rental extensions, or purchases is straightforward at eCampus.

Mostly good feedback

Customers have mostly good things to say about their experience with eCampus. Some students claim they found great deals on their site, ordered a textbook, but never received it. Others say that when they receive their books, they are badly damaged. There are more good things than bad though, and it is not uncommon to hear from students that the process of ordering college textbooks through eCampus was quick and easy. The Better Business Bureau gives them an A rating, so we feel comfortable recommending them as an option for textbook rentals and purchases.

Overall, eCampus seems to work hard to make their website user-friendly for students and provide them with a big inventory of textbooks. We highly recommend taking advantage of the ewards program if you decide to get college textbooks here because their pricing is a bit more expensive to rent than some of our higher-rated sites.

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Continued from above

Textbooks can range from $15 to hundreds. These prices make many students cringe - because they're already paying top dollar for their tuition and housing costs. On top of it all, college textbooks are not where students want to spend the rest of their savings. Shopping for textbooks online is the best way to go because you can get the best deals out there on new and used books - or even rent them instead!

It is not uncommon for classes to require not just one textbook for the course material, but sometimes two or even three. From the time students are given the list of needed textbooks to the time assignments roll in that require their use, there is usually only about a week's time. It is imperative for many students to find an online store that provides the textbook they need, in the updated edition being used, and have it shipped and ready for class as soon as possible.

When searching for college textbooks online, consider the following things to ensure you get the best deal and online shopping experience:

  • Cost. Is it cheaper to buy the book new, used or to rent it? Do you get a better deal for paperback vs. hardcover? How do the prices compare with other retailers?
  • Selection. Textbook editions are frequently updated and there are thousands of different ones out there. Ideally you want to find an online store that sells everything you need in one place.
  • Return Policy. It is not uncommon to purchase all your books and realize you bought the wrong one, or maybe the professor isn't actually teaching out of the book. Whatever the case may be, students often need to return textbooks, so make sure the retailer has a good return policy that allows for flexibility.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best college textbook stores online. We hope these reviews help you find the textbooks you need for your classes in a timely manner and at affordable prices.

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