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      September 29, 2020

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eCampus vs Textbookx

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 Textbookx.

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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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2.5 stars
Textbookx

TEXTBOOKX

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Buy New or Used, and Sell

TextbookX has a goal to find students the lowest prices for their course materials. They are owned by Akademos, Inc., a company that operates online college bookstores and provides college textbooks, educational materials, and other student resources. They receive an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Mixed customer feedback

Customers who have shopped through TextbookX generally have good things to say about their customer service. More recently, however, students have reported issues with their orders not shipping, or receiving the wrong books. Other feedback from customers is positive, saying that they had a smooth experience and felt well taken care of. We recommend reading through the company's policies to make sure there is a clear understanding of how refunds, shipping, and exchanges work before ordering.

Dissapointing refund policy

We will save you the hassle of looking into all the fine print at TextbookX and spill it here. Items purchased from the marketplace through TextbookX cannot be returned to the company because they are bought and shipped through third-party sellers. Some books are also marked "non-returnable" and those can't be sent back either. As long as customers return their other materials within 30 days to TextbookX in new condition (no scratched off access codes, wrappers left unsealed), the return is eligible for a refund minus a 10% restocking fee. We are not a big fan of restocking fees in this case, since it makes it harder for students who add/drop classes or realize they didn't need their college textbook after all. It's not a good way to genuinely help students save money.

Easy to search

To find a textbook for sale, customers search by ISBN, author, keyword, or title. A list of products will appear and show the pricing options right away. Titles might be available as a brand new purchase, used, and or through the marketplace (third-party sellers offering their used books at different price points). It is an easy process that operates similarly to many of their competitors.

Selling your textbooks

Students have the option of selling their college textbooks through the marketplace operated by TextbookX. To do this, visit the website, go to the "Sell" page, and follow three steps:

  1. Enter the 10 or 13-digit ISBN code of the book(s) you are planning to sell.
  2. Select the condition and price for your book. If an instant offer appears, you can choose to either accept the offer or ignore it.
  3. Mail in your book(s) and get paid.

No rentals

We have two main hang-ups with TextbookX. The first is the fact that they don't rent books, so students will likely be paying more here no matter what. The second is the restocking fee for any books that are returned for any reason. These two things together make TextbookX seem like a less affordable option, so they have not earned our highest rating. We do think their customer service is helpful for students and it's nice that they have a marketplace to sell books back, but we don't see how they stand out above our higher-rated college textbooks retailers.

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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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