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      January 20, 2020

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Textbook Underground vs Valore Books

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 Valore Books.

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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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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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2.5 stars
Valore Books

VALORE BOOKS

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Options:

Rent, Buy, Sell

For more than 10 years, ValoreBooks has used a marketplace model to connect students with textbooks at the lowest prices. What does this model mean? First and foremost, it means that ValoreBooks doesn't carry any inventory themselves. Instead, they allow individuals and businesses to list their books for sale or rent, and then ValoreBooks takes care of the details of the transaction - collecting the funds and passing them along to the seller.

Start by entering the book's title or ISBN on the main page, to quickly find what you need. Alternately, there are several book categories, such as Children, Art, and Fiction, that you can browse using the links at the bottom of the site.

You'll find prices on ValoreBooks to be extremely competitive, whether you're looking to buy/rent or you want to get the most money for your used textbook. In fact, the ValoreBooks guarantee includes a low-price guarantee if you find a lower price within 7 days of your rental. But, be aware that the fine print says that they will only match rental prices on three competitor websites. Digging around on the website, we did find that they offer a sellback price match as well, which doesn't seem to be limited to any particular competitors' websites.

Did you buy or rent a book that you need to return? ValoreBooks' policy is that you can return them for a refund within 30 days from your date of purchase. We thought this sounded very reasonable - until we started finding review after review that said that books often took weeks to be delivered. Looking at ValoreBooks' shipping options, they do clearly state that books shipped via Standard Mail may take up to 21 business days to arrive, which is more than a month. In that case, you wouldn't be able to return your book for a refund.

Another drawback to using ValoreBooks' services is that customers are responsible for return shipping costs, even if they were sent the wrong book. Several shoppers complained about this to the Better Business Bureau - where, incidentally, ValoreBooks maintained an A+ rating at the time of our review - and it looked like the customer service representatives responded quickly and appropriately with a refund of those shipping costs. However, if you've already waited weeks for your book, only to find out you've been sent the wrong one, having to fight to get a refund is not going to make you a very happy customer!

Overall, it seems that ValoreBooks eventually makes things right when problems arise. But, because of the marketplace model they use, it can often take a great deal of time and frustration to get the appropriate response from the seller and get a refund to the customer. This model also means that they can't guarantee that any textbook will still be available after the order is placed; several reviews criticized ValoreBooks for orders that were cancelled unexpectedly, often because the seller no longer had the book.

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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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