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      September 28, 2020

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Amazon vs Textbook Solutions

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 Textbook Solutions.

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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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Best Reviews

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 stars
Textbook Solutions

TEXTBOOK SOLUTIONS

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Options:

Rent, Buy, Sell

Textbook Solutions was started in 2007 by two Texas A&M graduates who wanted to help students find a solution to the fact that college textbooks were getting more expensive and harder to find. Textbook Solutions is a nationwide book rental store that aims to help students save money on books they need for school. While they primarily focus on renting out books, a few of the college textbooks available online are also for sale.

Extra steps

Like most other textbook websites, customers can search for the books they need by title, author, or ISBN. When the results page pulls up, we don't like that very little information is given unless you select a book and go to its individual product page. You have to view each book to see the prices. This took extra time because we found many books listed were unavailable, so we weren't even able to see how much it would have cost to buy or rent them anyway.

Many textbooks unavailable

Most rentals (if they were available) seemed to fall between the price range of $20 and $65. Obviously, these costs will range based on the topic, size of the book, edition, and other factors. What we were most disappointed to find was that the inventory at Textbook Solutions seems weak. More often than not, books were unavailable - meaning they either don't carry it at all or there are very few copies out there. This is hard if even one class at one university used Textbook Solutions because only a few students would be able to get their hands on the necessary reading material.

21 day refund period

For those who receive their college textbooks and either change classes or realize they don't need their book for class, Textbook Solutions has a 21-day refund period from the time books are purchased. Refunds are processed in 1-2 days and include everything except for the shipping costs.

Regardless of our concerns about the slim product selection at Textbook Solutions, the Better Business Bureau gives them a favorable A+ rating. Students report that when they have used Textbook Solutions, their books arrived faster than they expected and were in good condition. It sounds like for those who are able to find the books they need, the services from Textbook Solutions are great.

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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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