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      July 6, 2020

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Textbooks 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 Textbooks 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

3.5 stars
Textbooks

TEXTBOOKS

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Buy and Sell

Textbooks started selling books direct-to-consumers in 2006. Their inventory includes over 10 million textbooks. In addition to the physical book copies that are mailed to you, eTextbooks are available as well. Used books are hand-inspected before they are shipped out to make sure no pages are missing and the book is in satisfactory condition.

Search bar

To browse the collection of books on Textbooks' site, you can use the search bar function. You'll be taken to pages of results showing the book covers, names, editions, ISBN, and "starting from" price. Some college textbooks have different pricing options depending on if they have copies available in new, used, and/or eBook formats. Books labeled "Guaranteed Cash Back" mean that when you buy the book and sell it back to Textbooks, you are guaranteed to get 50% cash back based on what you paid for it.

3rd party sellers

If you scroll to the bottom of the product page, some books have other third-party sellers who are vetted through Textbooks and sell the book for varying prices in varying conditions. These books ship directly from the marketplace seller and not from Textbooks, so be sure to see where it is shipping from, because Textbooks cannot guarantee delivery dates. The Marketplace might be a good option for some customers if they are able to find better prices than Textbooks'.

Textbook buybacks

Textbooks claims to have the "best buyback in the business." When you sell your books to them, they will get you a quote within 30 days and pay the return shipping. Simply add the ISBN(s) to their online form to submit the books you want to sell. Once you have received a quote, lock it in by printing the return label and sending in your book(s) within 30 days.

Free shipping

When you spend $25 or more at Textbooks, you'll get free shipping (excluding marketplace items). For orders less than $25, shipping will range from $3.99 to $19.98. If customers need to make returns for any reason, they have 30 days to receive a full refund (minus shipping). It will take up to 2 weeks to receive your money back after returning your textbook(s).

Textbooks has an A+ rating on their Better Business Bureau profile. We like that they make it so easy for customers to sell their college textbooks and find books at varying price points. Rental options at some of our higher-rated sites seem to be a less expensive option than what can be found at Textbooks, which is why they have earned an average rating from us.

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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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