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      September 29, 2020

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eCampus 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 eCampus 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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2020

College Textbook Reviews

3.5 stars
eCampus

E CAMPUS

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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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3 stars
Textbook Solutions

TEXTBOOK SOLUTIONS

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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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