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      April 9, 2020

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Textbook Underground 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 Textbook Underground and Textbook Solutions.

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If you've stood in line at the college bookstore at the start of any college semester,you know the hassle of buying college textbooks. A semester's worth of college textbooks can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, hitting that bank account really hard.

However, a whole world of cost saving opportunity awaits on the internet today. Many college students are taking advantage of online college textbook stores. College textbooks can easily be purchased online for much less cost than you can find in a bookstore. College students can enjoy even bigger savings by renting college textbooks, buying used college textbooks, or even purchasing downloaded versions of college textbooks.

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Best Reviews

2020

College Textbook Reviews

3 stars
Textbook Underground

TEXTBOOK UNDERGROUND

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Options:

Buy or Rent, New or Used

Textbook Underground is an online bookstore, claiming to be the “quickest, cheapest, and easiest” method of finding college textbooks. Simply type a book's title, author, or ISBN in the home pages search function to find a textbook. If you're looking for a book without knowing specific information, no worries, you can also type in a category, i.e. chemistry. Either way, a selection of books will come up.

After finding the book in question shoppers have the option to buy used and save 25-50% off the cost of new textbooks (per the Textbook Underground website). While that statement may be accurate when pricing used versus new textbooks, when comparing used textbooks on Textbook Underground to its competitors, we found it difficult to nail down where to consistently find the best bargains. More times than not though, Textbook Underground did not have the lowest used textbook price on like items.

As stated above, this college textbook store also offers rentals. One added bonus when renting with them is that renters are encouraged to take notes, and highlight text, (within reason) in rented books. Because of this, Textbook Underground's rented textbooks “gain knowledge” from person to person. Supplemental materials (cd's, access codes, etc.) are not always returned with textbooks so they are not guaranteed when renting from Textbook underground.

Another nice feature with Textbook Underground is the no questions asked, 21-day return policy - a nice option if you need to change your course schedule or decide you don't need the book.

The breadth of overall selection is good on Textbook Underground, but their depth of stock may be lacking. Many selections we made while researching, especially new textbooks, were out of stock. At first our thought was this may be bad timing as this review occurred near the beginning of a college semester. But after seeing its competitors with more items in stock, that theory was proven incorrect.

Textbook Underground doesn't have as deep a selection as higher rated online textbook sellers and some prices may not be the lowest. They do, though, have some positives like the ability to take notes in rented books a good return policy. With that said, Textbook Underground would receive a higher rating from us with better selection of lower priced textbooks.

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3 stars
Textbook Solutions

TEXTBOOK SOLUTIONS

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Options:

Rent or Buy Used Textbooks, Sell textbooks only in store

Textbook Solutions is a nationwide textbook rental website founded by two college graduates that were fed up with expensive textbook prices. Textbook solutions offer students the option of renting or buying used textbooks online. They also have 2 store fronts in Texas and 1 store front in Florida. At these stores you may sell your textbooks – this is, unfortunately, the only option for selling used books.

Textbook solutions offer access to millions of titles online for rent and some are also available to be purchased. Note that all of these books are used. The site claims that students have the potential to save up to 90% off of retail. Most of the textbooks we researched were around 50% off of the retail price noted.

Textbook Solutions divides the year into 3 semesters and you can rent a book by semester. The textbook needs to be returned by the designated due date or you will start to incur late fees. The first fee if not returned by the due date is 20% of the full price of the book. If you are over one week late the second fee of 20% is charged. Two weeks late and you are charged the remaining 60% of the book and it is now yours to keep. You do have the option of purchasing the book prior to your due date – the rental price is deducted from the used price of the book. Shoppers will definitely want to make sure they stay on top of textbook due dates!!

If you purchase textbooks that are no longer needed you can return them within 21 days and get a full refund. The website also mentions that not all supplemental materials are included with the textbook rental. So before renting, make sure there aren't additional notebooks or online access codes that come with the textbook because most likely you will not be receiving them. If you like to make notes in your textbooks, try and keep it at a minimum. Textbook Solutions does allow you to highlight and take minimal notes in your books but if you overdo it they won't take the book back. So, if you like to highlight, doodle, write – might want to consider buying used instead of renting.

Textbook Solutions offers free shipping for orders over $50. Once you are done with your book rental you may print off a prepaid UPS shipping label on their website. Just need to find a box and your nearest UPS drop off. If you have any questions about returns, rentals, due dates, title searches, etc. there are several help options on their website. There is a chat messenger online during business hours and a phone number to call or text.

Textbook Solutions is a pretty basic textbook rental site. Not many bells and whistles here. Other websites are offering flexible renting periods, the option to sell textbooks online and ability to purchase eTextbooks. Some sites are also offering students online tutoring and test prep, they are designing their sites to be more of a community. For these reasons we have scored this company with only 3 stars.

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Continued from above

If you're interested in saving money, online college textbook stores are the way to go. However, not all college textbook stores offer the same options, and some have a lot of fine print in their rental contracts that you may not notice.

There are a number of factors you should consider before making your next college textbook purchase. Some of these include:

  • Selection. Will you find the college textbook you're looking for quickly?
  • Return Policy. Can you end your college textbook rental agreement or return the textbook if the class is cancelled or dropped?
  • Options. Will you be able to rent, purchase, or sell your college textbooks as needed?
  • Prices. How do the college textbook rental and purchase prices compare to the competition?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best College Textbook stores available today. We hope these reviews help you save time and money finding the right college textbooks!

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